Identity Verification and the USCIS Immigrant Fee

When your USCIS Immigrant Fee is paid, you will have the option to create a USCIS online account after you verify your identity. Creating a USCIS online account is voluntary. Having a USCIS online account allows you to:

  • Check the status of your Permanent Resident Card (commonly referred to as a Green Card);
  • Change and update your address online; and
  • Receive electronic notifications and case updates.

Although anyone can pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee on your behalf, only you as the immigrant may create a USCIS online account and go through the process to verify your identity. Verifying your identity protects your personal information and ensures we communicate with the right person when we send you secure documents.

You do not need to create a USCIS online account to pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee.

If You Choose Not to Create an Online Account

You can still use Case Status Online to track the status of your Green Card. To get the status of your case, you will need the receipt number for your USCIS Immigrant Fee payment. Your receipt number will begin with the letters “IOE.”

About Identity Verification

Before you can create a USCIS online account, you will need to verify your identity by correctly answering questions about your personal immigration history. When answering these questions, you may find it helpful to refer to documents such as:

  • Your passport;
  • The visa issued to you by the U.S. Department of State; and
  • Your visa application or immigrant petition.

Note: The identity verification questions are not limited to the information contained in these documents.

If you are unable to answer the identity verification questions correctly, you will not be able to make changes to your account profile or access case information from your USCIS online account until your identity is verified. If your identity cannot be confirmed online, you will receive instructions to schedule a free appointment so that you can visit your local USCIS office and have your identity verified in person after you arrive in the United States (U.S.). In-person identity verification can only be done in the U.S.; international USCIS offices cannot verify identity for purposes of creating a USCIS online account at this time.

Receiving Your Green Card

We will mail your Green Card to the most recent U.S. mailing address we have on file for you. This could be the address you provided to the Department of State at the time of your immigrant visa interview, or to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer when you were admitted to the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident, or the address you enter in your USCIS online account.

If at the time of your admission to the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident you plan to live at a different U.S. address than the one listed in your immigrant visa packet, please provide that address to the CBP officer upon admission to the U.S. You may also update your address online if you have created a USCIS online account. Providing an accurate U.S. mailing address will ensure that your Green Card and other secure documents arrive at your new home.

You should receive your Green Card within 90 days of your entry into the U.S. or within 90 days after your USCIS Immigrant Fee is received (whichever occurs later). If you do not receive your Green Card within this time frame, please submit an inquiry at Need Help or log in to your USCIS online account for specific case inquiries and contact us.

Also, we recommend that you update your address online with the U.S. Postal Service by visiting your local U.S. post office and our Change of Address page.

Still need help?

Use the online help form if you need assistance with:

  • Technical issues with your USCIS online account;
  • Retrieving your user ID or having your password reset for your USCIS online account; or
  • Getting information about your USCIS online application, petition, or request.
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