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My Original Approval Notice Did Not Arrive, What Are My Options?

By February 3, 2023Immigration
A person considering their options and the direction they should take (arrows on the floor)

When an USCIS application is approved, USCIS will mail the applicant the original approval notice. This original approval notice is needed for consular applications, border crossings, or, depending on the type of visa, it will have the applicant’s new I-94 information. The original approval notice is an important document that needs to be kept well. However, sometimes notices get lost in the mailing process. Here are the options you have if you were not able to receive your original approval notice.

Contact USCIS for a New Notice

There are several ways to contact USCIS. The first is through phone. USCIS officers are available from 8 AM to 8 PM on their customer service help line at 1 (800) 375-5283. You will need your receipt number, name and date of birth of applicant or petitioner, address information, and other identifying information regarding the application. USCIS will only speak to the applicant or the applicant’s legal representative. A request can be made with USCIS on the phone to mail out a new notice.

USCIS can also be contacted through their online chat system, Emma. Emma can be reached at USCIS’ website, The online chat has an option to speak to a live representative. The live representative will require the same information as a call to confirm identity. The same request can be made through online chat.


USCIS has an online tool where the applicant can use to contact them for notices and cases that are outside of normal processing time. The e-request tool can be accessed here: The online tool has an option for “did not receive notice by mail”. The applicant or legal representative can use this tool to request that a new notice is sent again.

Contacting USCIS however does not guarantee that a new notice will be sent out. USCIS tracks the notices that they send. For approval notices, if they have records that an original notice has been sent and not returned to them, USCIS will not send out another notice. In that case, the only way to request a new original notice is to submit a Form I-824, Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition.

Form I-824

This is a form that can be found on the USCIS website. This form has to be submitted to USCIS for cases where they refuse to mail out a new notice. The fee for this form is $465. With the high fee and the waiting time for a new letter to be processed, it is a good idea to exhaust all of the above options first. If those options are unsuccessful, the Form I-824 is the official way of getting another approval notice.

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