We see you as more than a number
We still believe in the American dream. We are dedicated and experienced in navigating the changing tides of the immigration system. We know where you want to go and we can help you do it.

How to Get Missing Approval Notices from USCIS

Latest News

What Should I Do If I Did Not Receive My Approval Notice from the USCIS?

The USCIS uses the United States Postal Services (“USPS”) to deliver sensitive immigration documents to applicants or petitioners. Unfortunately, some documents get lost in the mail, and you may not receive some expected correspondence. That can happen despite previous documents being mailed successfully.

Lawyers in legal litigation law firms in Houston often receive complaints from petitioners about missing letters, such as approval notices. The loss of such documents can slow down the onboarding process, leading to unintended and frustrating consequences such as:

  • Leaving an applicant without proof of their immigration status
  • Preventing employees from renewing their driver’s licenses
  • Making it impossible to cross borders

If you’re missing your approval notice from the USCIS, consult skilled immigration law attorneys in Houston for legal guidance on how to get it. Your options include the following:

Track Your Mail

Start by tracking your document through the USPS tracking system. If the information shows your package was delivered, but you’re yet to receive it, follow the instructions the USPS recommends on their website through this link: Find Missing Mail. Start the process as soon as you believe your mail is missing.

If you can’t track the mail or still don’t receive it, Houston immigration law attorneys recommend doing the following:

Contacting the USCIS for a New Notice

You can contact the USCIS by phone or their online chat system, Emma, on the agency’s official website. The officers will only speak to you or your immigration law attorneys. In requesting a copy of the Approval Notice to be mailed to you, you’ll be required to provide the following details:

  • Your name and date of birth
  • Your address information and desired mailing address (you need to fill out form AR-11 to ask for an address change if it’s different from the one you used before.)
  • The receipt number, which usually starts with SRC, WAC, or EAC
  • The date you filed the case
  • Your email address
  • Item not received, in this case, Approval Notice


You may also use USCIS’s online tool to contact them for the notice. The platform is designed purposely for notices and cases outside the standard processing time. Once you get on the platform, you will find an option for “did not receive notice by mail.” You or your immigration law lawyers in Houston can use this option to request a new notice to be sent to you.

However, contacting the USCIS on this platform doesn’t guarantee the notice will be mailed to you. The USCIS tracks the notifications they send to petitioners or their representatives. If they have records that they sent out an original notice that hasn’t been returned to them, the agency may not send another document. In that case, your other option is to file a Form I-824.

Application for Action on Approved Application (Form I-824)

Form I-824 is available on the USCIS website, and you can use it as your last resort if the other two options fail. However, unlike the other two options, this form comes at a charge of $465. Given the high fee and the lengthy waiting time for the letter to be processed, it’s advisable to consider the other options first.

Additionally, it’s important to note that the USCIS prohibits you from filing Form I-824 in the following cases:

  • You have gained your Lawful Permanent Resident (“LPR”) status through a T or U visa.
  • Your immigration status was approved through an asylum application.
  • You were granted refugee status after being admitted to the country.
  • You were issued an immigrant visa at the US consulate or Embassy via consular processing and were admitted to the US as an LPR on an immigrant visa.

You also should not use this form if you’re requesting the following:

  • A correction of an error on a previously approved petition or application.
  • Further action on an application or petition that was denied, withdrawn, terminated, or revoked.
  • A copy of the approved Form I-485, Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, or Application to Adjust Status or Register Permanent Residence.
  • A duplicate approval of an approved immigrant visa petition naming children or a spouse following to join you.
  • An action in an approved application filed with CBP.
  • Information regarding an employment-based application or petition.
  • Information regarding the approval of your non-immigrant petition or application.

File a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) with USCIS

You can request a copy of the file by submitting a FOIA, after which you can obtain the I-129 forms you submitted to the USCIS. The documents will be stamped with the approval details., giving you some certainty regarding the status and the length of the status. When filing the request, consult immigration law attorneys in Houston to ensure you frame the request properly.

A Skilled Immigration Law Attorney Helping You Get Your Missing Approval Notice from the USCIS

Expecting an Approval Notice from the USCIS and not getting it at the expected time can be frustrating. It can delay your application and have adverse consequences depending on the type of application. If you exhaust all your options to get a missing Approval Notice, consult skilled immigration lawyers in Houston for the way forward.

They could help you contact the DHS Ombudsman for further assistance to enhance your chances of getting a favorable outcome in the shortest time possible. The Law Office of Shelle-Ann Simon, PLLC, is a legal litigation firm with experienced immigration law attorneys who can help you with your case. Don’t get stuck with your application;

we can help you navigate the complexities. Call us at (281) 606-0800 to schedule a consultation.

Related Articles

What is the Difference Between Immigration Lawyer and Immigration Consultant?

Read More

A Road to US Citizenship: Should Democrats Just Ignore the Senate’s Parliamentarian?

Read More

Immigration reform could help boost a declining rural economy

Read More