Explaining Form I-797 and Its Many Variations

Form I-797, Notice of Action is issued as a result of an application or petition submitted to USCIS. It’s important to note that it is not a form to be filled out. USCIS uses seven different types of Form I-797, including six lettered varieties from A through F, to communicate with customers or convey an immigration benefit. Each has a specific purpose as follows:

Form I-797, Notice of Action: This is issued when an application or petition submitted to USCIS has been approved.

Form I-797A, Notice of Action: This is issued by USCIS to an applicant as a replacement Form I-94 (an arrival and departure record). This typically means that a change of status has been approved and the applicant can legally continue to remain in the United States. Form I-94 can be found at the bottom of Form I-797A. An applicant can continue their stay in the U.S. through the specified date listed on the I-94.

Form I-797B, Notice of Action: Form I-797B is issued for the approval of an alien worker petition. This version is issued to applicants who are currently residing in the U.S. and also to applicants applying from their home country. Form I-94 is not issued with Form I-797B. Applicants who receive Form I-797B and do not currently reside in the U.S. must go for visa stamping in their home country in order to enter the U.S.

Form I-797C, Notice of Action: This version is issued by USCIS to receipt payment, reject applications, transfer files, re-open cases, and schedule or reschedule fingerprint biometric appointments and interviews.

Form I-797D: Form I-797D accompanies benefit cards issued by USCIS, such as green cards or an employment authorization document.

Form I-797E, Notice of Action: This is issued by USCIS as a request for evidence. A request for evidence (RFE) generally requires that additional information or documents relevant to a case be submitted to USCIS within a certain period of time. This form is particularly important as unanswered RFEs are typically denied.

Form I-797F, Transportation Letter: Form I-797F is a transportation letter, issued overseas to allow applicants to travel.

Berardi Immigration Law’s attorneys and paralegals are vastly knowledgeable in filing U.S. immigration petitions with USCIS. If you have any questions on Form I-797 and the processes mentioned above, please schedule a consultation to speak with one of our attorneys today!

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