Sometimes immigration-related petitions and applications need to be filed again after a certain time period in order for the benefit to be renewed or extended. And sometimes the renewal application requests the date of filing of the intial application. Even if the renewal application does not request this information, you may still want to know the date that you filed your initial application, whether you’re being questioned by a government official, you’ve hired a new attorney who is requesting a case history, or you just want to stay organized. So how do you determine the date of filing of the initial application? Depending on the documents you have in your possession, the answer may not be clear cut.

If you have kept the original or a copy of the I-797C, Notice of Action (also known as the Receipt Notice) in your case, the date the government received your petition or application is the “Received Date” on the notice. The I-797C also contains a “Notice Date” – this is the date that the government mailed the I-797C, Notice of Action, to your address. The Notice Date may sometimes be the same date as the Received Date. However, it is more often the case that the Notice Date is a few days later than the Received Date.

If you did not retain the Receipt Notice, it’s possible that you retained the I-797, Notice of Action which told you that the immigration benefit you sought was granted or approved. Approval Notices, as these notices are sometimes called, indicate a date of receipt that is not the actual date the intial application was filed. The “Receipt Date” on the Approval Notice is the date that the government issued the Receipt Notice (I-797C), which, as already mentioned, is generally a few days after filing. In essence, the Notice Date on the Receipt Notice transfers to the Approval Notice as the Receipt Date, and a new Notice Date is added to the Approval Notice, which is the date that the government mailed the I-797 Approval Notice to your address.

Thus, when determining the date of filing, you need to look at the actual Receipt Notice and not the Approval Notice in your case.

This blog posting is offered for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Also, keep in mind that this is an INTERNET BLOG. You should not rely on anything you read here to make decisions which impact your life. Meet with an attorney in person to obtain competent personal and professional guidance.