how to find your A-number

Where Do I Find My Alien Registration Number?

The Alien Registration Number is also known as the “A-number” and it’s a way for USCIS to keep track of your immigration history. If you’re wondering “where do I find my Alien Registration Number?” then keep reading this post!

As soon as you are considered to be an intending immigrant, USCIS will create an A-number for you. This number will represent your immigration history going forward.

USCIS will use the A-number to identify you as an immigrant to the US. You can think of it as a “social security number” for immigrants who are applying for immigration benefits.

When I first learned about the A-number, I always wondered why USCIS called immigrants “aliens?” Such a funny term but it basically refers to anyone who isn’t a US citizen.

To find your A-number, take a look at any official document from USCIS. The A-number is used to not only identify you but can help USCIS track your case when it moves from one service center to another.

If you already have your green card, the A-number can be found right below your name. On the actual green card it is referred to as the “USCIS #” so don’t get confused by this!

Note: If your A-number is less than 9 digits long, you can add a zero in front of the numbers and before the letter A. For example, if your A-number is A23499834 then you can add the zero here “A023499834.”

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Who Will Have an Alien Registration Number?

Not everyone is automatically given an A-number.

For example, nonimmigrant visitors to the US on a tourist visa will not be assigned an A-number. This is because they do not have immigrant intent and therefore don’t need one.

However, green card holders will always have an Alien Registration Number. This is because they are intended immigrants and need their cases tracked within the USCIS system.

Case Example:

Fatima arrived in the US on a student visa (nonimmigrant) and later married a US citizen. They applied for adjustment of status for Fatima and she was assigned an Alien Registration Number. This number was initially provided to her on the Notice of Action for form I-485 that she submitted. Fatima will need to keep this number somewhere safe because she will need it when she removes conditions and applies for US citizenship.

Below is a screenshot of the Notice of Action for form I-485 Adjustment of Status.

You can see that the A-number is located on the right hand side (circled in red). You want to verify that this is correct on all the letters you receive from USCIS.

 

I-485 notice of action form I797c

Can An Employer Ask For My A-Number?

Yes, it’s perfectly legal for a US employer to ask for your A-number.

This is usually asked so they can comply with the USCIS E-verify system that checks whether you are authorized to work. The A-number is a unique identifier and can be request along with your social security number.

However, an employer should not ask for an A-number unless they’ve offered you a job. This may help to reduce discrimination at the interview stage so you don’t need to provide it until you accept the job offer.

To learn whether an employer will require you to give them your A-number, check the actual application you’re completing. Sometimes it will specifically as whether you are authorized to work in the US.

Note that you do not have show any physical document that has the A-number on it unless you also use it for identification.

Having Two or More Alien Registration Numbers?

Yes, but this is probably because you didn’t let USCIS know that you had a previous A-number on file. You would think that they could simply do a quick search of your name and DOB and find it, but no.

If you had a previous A-number and you submit a form that says you didn’t have one or left the field blank, USCIS will issue a new A-number.

But, don’t think that you get a clean slate just yet! Having prior issues such as an overstay, it’s likely they will find this information while running name and background checks.

USCIS may realize that you have multiple A-numbers on file, they may connect them together down the road. If they don’t catch it, then it’s your responsibility to contact them and let them know that you have two A-numbers.

Does A Child Have Separate A-Number Than The Parent?

Yes, each immigrant that is applying for an immigrant visa (K2, CR2, green card) will be issued a unique A-number. This helps to track the child’s case even if it “piggybacks” on the parents application.

Whenever you are completing a form for your child, be sure to include their own A-number instead of your own. This is specifically if the application is primarily for them.

If you are completing a form that is for the parent and the child is simply listed as a derivative beneficiary, then you don’t need to include the child’s A-number unless the form specifically asks for it.

What If I Can’t Find My A-Number

If you’re unable to locate your A-number but you are percent resident or have applied for an immigrant visa, you can also contact USCIS customer service at 1800-375-5283.

A customer service agent may be able to help you locate the number over the phone.

Another option is to make an InfoPass appointment with an immigration officer to help you find your A-number. You can do this by visiting Uscis.gov and setting up an InfoPass appointment.

If this doesn’t work, then you have the option to request your A-number using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

DHS FOIA request

How To Submit A FOIA Request to DHS

  • Contact information: You will need to include your name, address, phone number and email address with your request.
  • Complete description: Include enough information on the file you are requesting. In this case, we are requesting the A-number so you should provide the case type, service center, visa type. It’s also a good idea to provide other information such as dates, and circumstances surrounding the event the record covers.
  • FOIA Fees: See FOIA processing fees below for more info.
  • Multiple requests: If you have submitting multiple requests, note if you are submitting it to more than one Department. This will mean faster processing of your request.

FOIA processing fees

Based on the cost breakdown for the FOIA request, it’s quite affordable. But, I will warn you that it takes quite a few months hear back from DHS so do this as a last resort!

Find Your A-Number On Green Card

You may be a bit confused why the A-number shows at USCIS# instead.

Its just another term they use to describe this identification number.

If you have your green card in front of you, right below your first name is where you can find your A-number. It’s usually a 9 digit number with dashes between every three numbers.

Your A-number should match what’s on the letters that USCIS sends you.

green card alien registration number

Find Your A-Number on Immigrant Visa

With an approved immigrant visa you will find the a number on the top right-hand side of the stamp. It will sometimes be referred to as the registration number and it may actually be shorter than 9 digits.

What’s important is that you can find your A-number whenever you need it. This visa is not the end of your relationship with USCIS, there are many more applications to come if you plan on becoming a US citizen in the near future.

Another point I want to make is that you should confuse the “IV Case Number” with the A-number. The case number is used to check the status of your case. It was issued by the National Visa Center and should no longer be used when you enter the United States.

By the way, a K1 visa holder will also be issued an A-number even though the K1 is a nonimmigrant visa.

cr1 visa alien registration number

Find Your A-Number on EAD Card

The employment authorization document (or EAD card) is given to immigrants who have a green card pending or otherwise have legal status inside the United States.

This document gives you the ability to work in the US. Without it, you would be working illegally and risk negative consequences with your immigration status.

To locate your A-number on the EAD card, take a look at the number right below your first name. This is called the “USCIS#” and it is the same as your Alien Registration Number.

Don’t ask my why the heck there are a millions names for the A-number and why it’s different on every document! 😅

Learn how to expedite your EAD card.

A-number of EAD card

Find Your A-Number on Immigrant Fee Handout

I’m sure you’re wondering “what is the immigrant fee handout?” it’s also called an “immigrant fee summary.”

Glad you asked! It’s a document(s) that is sent to the beneficiary during the NVC stage of processing. It outlines the steps needed to complete after your visa interview.

Next, you’ll be asked to pay the immigrant visa fee (ah yes – more fees on top of more fees!) After paying the immigrant visa fee, you will be able to complete the online immigrant visa forms (DS-260) on ceac.state.gov.

Learn more about how to complete DS-260.

Your A-number should be on the immigrant fee handout as well as your Case ID. Make sure that it matches the A-number on the actual visa once you are approved.

DOS Alien registration number

Final Thoughts: Finding Your Alien Registration Number

As an immigrant to the United States, you will likely have an A-number assigned to you.

If you are curious to know what type of information is associated with your A-number (immigration history) you can request the data through a FOIA request.

Additionally, locating your A-number is easy if you know where to look. Hopefully, you are a lot of more comfortable finding your own A-number after reading this post. If you still can’t find it you have the option to call USCIS customer service or set up an InfoPass appointment.

Unfortunately, USCIS is using different names for the A-number which can definitely confuse some immigrants. Here are some other terms that refer to the A-number as well:

  • USCIS#
  • Registration Number
  • A-number

Keep your A-number handy as you will likely be asked for it up until you become a US citizen.

Get Notified of USCIS Updates!

Get notified about our updates, processing times and policy changes.

 

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