What are the Types of Form I-797?
September 26, 2019
Paperwork is a large part of the immigration process, and one group of forms that applicants may be familiar with are Form I-797s. These are sent by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to communicate with those who send in applications. There are seven Form I-797s, and they notify applicants about a variety of things, including notification of an application approval. It can also be used to ask for additional evidence or inform the applicant about an appointment. There are several other uses for I-797 forms too, and they are distinguished alphabetically after the first one. The following are the different types of Form I-797.
I-797, I-797A and I-797B
I-797, Notice of Action: This is sent to an applicant when their petition or application is approved. It is a standard receipt, and not an official document. This means it cannot be used to get a job or travel. However, it is important because it allows applicants to track their cases online through the USCIS Case Status Checker.
I-797A, Notice of Action: This is sent to an applicant to replace the older Form I-94, which included the applicant’s arrival/departure record. It has the same information as I-797, and is usually sent for address changes. It includes more guidelines, and the bottom portion is the official document. Applicants may continue staying in the U.S. until the date shown.
I-797B, Notice of Action: This is an approval form, sent when an alien work petition for applicants residing in the U.S. does not have a arrival/departure record. It is important to note that applicants who receive a Form I-797B while not residing in the U.S. must get their visa stamped in their home country before entering the U.S.
I-797C and Fingerprint Biometrics
I-797C, Notice of Action: I-797C is the form used most often, and covers administrative actions, such as application rejection, receipt of payments, upcoming interviews, appointment rescheduling, re-opening of cases, and file transfers. It is also sent for fingerprint biometrics appointments. Biometrics appointments are common and are a way for the USCIS to collect data. It uses signatures, photographs, and fingerprints to confirm the identity.
I-797D, I-797E, and I-797F
I-797D, Notice of Action: This form is sent along with benefit cards, such as a green card, work permit, and other official paperwork. Nothing needs to be done, but these should be put in a safe place and copied.
I-797E, Notice of Action: Also referred to as Request for Evidence, the USCIS uses this form to request more documentation to support the petition or application already filed. The applicant is responsible to send the evidence in as directed within the time frame shown. Those who do not do so may experience a delay or denial.
I-797F, Transportation Letter: This form allows overseas applicants to travel into the U.S. In most cases, it is sent to green card holders that are outside the country and lose or damage their cards.
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