When Does USCIS Cash Check? FAQs About USCIS Application Processing - CFAJournal (2023)

Whether you want to become a citizen of the US or want permanent residency in the country, you will need to complete the due process with the immigration agency.

The United States Citizenship And Immigration Services agency is responsible for assessing and deciding the eligibility of an alien person to come and stay in the US.

USCIS is a federal government agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States. Other services of the agency include citizenship, adoptions, working permits, humanitarian programs, immigration, and other relevant services.

The US’s green card holders and citizens often need to contact USCIS whether they want a renewal of their cards, work permits, etc.

Certain applications and petitions filed with the USCIS require the applicants to pay the agency a certain amount of filing fees. There are different ways permissible by the agency to pay the filing fee.

However, once the applicant has deposited the checks, one of the biggest concerns is how long it will take USCIS to cash the check or when exactly the agency will cash the checks.

Today’s article will address the most frequently asked questions about USCIS application filing and filing fees. So let’s get into it.

What Is USCIS Filing Fee?

United States Citizenship And Immigration Services(USCIS) have no fixed form filing fee. Some cases might have a fixed fee as notified by the department. However, in other cases, the fee varies from case to case.

According to the agency’s disclaimer, the form filing fee is adjusted periodically, and you can know about the exact filing fee on the form downloading webpage of the USCIS. The total fee to be paid by an applicant consists of a form filing fee and biometric services fee.

You can also utilize the Fee Schedule of the USCIS or the Fee Calculator to estimate the fee for your specific case. Here is an image of the USCIS Fee Schedule, and you can also access the complete schedule by clicking on the link here.

What Are Different Ways To Pay USCIS Fees?

As already mentioned, the applicants must pay a filing fee for most immigration forms. But what are the different ways to pay the USCIS fees?

See also When Does USCIS Update Case Status? How Often Is It Update? FAQs and More

This answer depends on where you reside at the time of paying the fee. If you are residing in the US, you will have many options.

However, you will have to rely on one or two payment methods when paying fees from outside the US.

Living Outside The US

For applicants residing outside the US, any filing fee or biometric services fee can be paid by getting information from the US Embassy, consulate, or the official website of the International USCIS Office.

Depending on your country of residence, you can contact the relevant authorities and pay the filing fee as prescribed by the relevant officials.

Living Inside The US

If the applicant is residing in the US, here are some of the payment options for such applicants:

  • Filing Online

When you are filing an application online, you can use direct transfer from your bank account or your credit/debit card for payments to the USCIS.

Once you tap on pay fee, you will be redirected to the official website of the Department of Treasury for secure transactions. The accepted cards include Visa, American Express, MasterCard, and Discover.

  • Via Mail

When applicants file the application via mail, they can pay the fee using paper financial instruments like checks, money orders, and even cards.

Cards can be used for making payments when leveraging the USCIS LockBox facility. When filing via mail, you will have to pay and write the check or money order for an appropriate amount of filing fee.

  • In Person

Applicants can also opt to visit the USCIS field office near them and pay the fee in person. When choosing in-person visits, you can use any of the payment modes like a credit card, debit card, prepaid card, etc.

You can also use a money order or check if the concerned field office accepts that mode of payment.

How Should I Write A Check To USCIS?

Checks are one of the widely used instruments when paying USCIS fees via mail. However, many people have no idea how to write a check for USCIS. So here is what you need to know about it:

  1. You will need to have pre-printed checks(official checks) for pay to the USCIS. The pre-printed information includes the bank name, payer name, payer’s address, and phone number.
  2. You will write US Department of Homeland Security instead of USDHS or DHS on the “Pay to the Order of” line on the check.
  3. Write the exact dollar amount of the fee for the relevant service you are applying for. If you have to pay $450, you will write the amount as $450.00
  4. For the date section, write the date in the following format: month/day/year. It implies that you will write the date as Nov. 7, 2022, or 11/7/22.
  5. On the ‘For’ line of the check, you will have to write about the general purpose of the payment. Describe the purpose, like the example: N-400 application and biometric service fee.
  6. Finally, you will need to sign the check with your legal name/signature.
See also Does USCIS Accept PO Box Addresses? FAQs About USCIS Application Filing


How Will I Know If USCIS Started On My Case?

The receipt number of your case with USCIS is the only way you can use to know if USCIS started working on your case.

You can inquire about your case status via the receipt number by calling on the USCIS Customer Care Service or the online website.

How Do I Make The Check Out To For Immigration?

When you are making a check out for immigration, you will follow all the instructions we discussed above.

Make sure to write ‘US Department Of Homeland Security’ on the payee line. Don’t use the short forms, as such checks will not be cashed and rejected straightforwardly.

Why Haven’t I Received A Receipt From USCIS?

It is not strange if you have submitted your application or petition with USCIS but didn’t receive a receipt. It is common to not receipt if the agency has not yet started processing your application.

Once the USCIS enters your information into the agency’s case management system, you will receive the receipt number.

Another reason why you didn’t receive a receipt from USCIS can be a delay in fee deposit to the USCIS bank account.

Can I Pay USCIS With Personal Check?

Cashier’s checks, certified checks, personal checks, bank drafts, and money orders can all be used to pay the filing fee of USCIS.

Certified checks, cashier’s checks, bank drafts, and money orders are mostly pre-printed with the name of the payer and payee.

However, when using personal checks, make sure you use the pre-printed check with your name, address, phone number, and bank name on it.

See also Can USCIS Check Your Phone? Everything About USCIS Investigations

When Does USCIS Cash Check?

You should expect the USCIS to cash the checks you submitted to pay the filing fee to be cashed within 7-14 working days after the application receiving.

The agency usually cashes checks within two weeks, and the receipt notice is sent to the applicant via mail by the third week of application submission.

What Does It Mean When USCIS Cash Your Check?

Applicants will receive a specific receipt number after the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services agency will cash the check.

It indicates that the agency has accepted your petition for processing, and the work has started on your application.

How Do I Know If USCIS Has Received My Document?

The application processing by USCIS depends on the volume of the applications and petitions. The processing time also depends on the specific category of the petitions.

The general correspondence time for sending the receipt number is two to three working weeks.

However, in some cases, the agency might take 8 to 9 weeks to issue receipt notices. The only way to know if USCIS has received your documents is by receiving the receipt notice.

Once you have received the notice, take a sign of relief as USCIS has received your documents

What Happens If USCIS Check Bounces?

When the check bounces or any other financial instrument is returned back due to the non-availability of enough funds or other reasons, the check is resubmitted for payment.

If the second attempt to cash a check also fails, such petitions and applications are rejected. The grounds for rejection include non-payment of the filing fee.


How long it will take USCIS to cash a check? ›

USCIS will usually cash the check in two days to two weeks after you file the application. How Do I Pay By Check? When you do pay your fees by check, you will still need to ensure that you have the correct filing fee amount on the check and you must make the check out to US Department of Homeland Security.

What does it mean when USCIS cashed check? ›

If your cash is cashed, that means your petition has been accepted by USCIS. If you still did not receive anything from USCIS, it might mean the letter is lost or your address is not deliverable and the letter has been returned.

How long does it take for USCIS to respond to case inquiry? ›

Upon submitting your service request, USCIS will provide an email response within 21 calendar days describing any issues with your case and how the issues may be resolved. You should note that applicants can only submit one case inquiry within a 30 day window.

Can I cash a check if its processing? ›

Yes. Banks and credit unions generally don't have to wait until the date you put on a check to cash it. However, state law may require the bank or credit union to wait to cash the check if you give it reasonable notice.

Is cashing check instant? ›

By law, banks are required to make at least the first $225 of a personal check deposit available for use by the next business day. Note that certain checks may take additional time, particularly if it's an international transfer as those may take longer to verify.

What does it mean when a check is processing? ›

This involves the banks ensuring the money is available and fully cleared for deposit into your own account. Check processing simply refers to the steps taken along the way as the money is verified, moved, and approved from one end to the other.

How do I know if USCIS is processing my case? ›

With your receipt number, you can check the status of your case on www. uscis.gov and also register on our Web site for automatic case status updates while we process your case.

What happens after a check is processed? ›

The check will move from the deposit bank to the drawing bank as part of the check clearing process. The process starts when a check is deposited to a bank. The bank will then set about contacting the drawing bank. The check is cleared when the depositing bank has received the check and funds from the drawing bank.

How do I speed up USCIS processing time? ›

You can generally request expedited processing by calling the USCIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283 (TTY 800-767-1833) or by asking Emma after you have obtained a receipt notice.

What happens when USCIS is actively reviewing your case? ›

If a USCIS case is being actively reviewed, the agency is looking at all of the documentation associated with it. At this point, USCIS officials are checking the documentation and examining the case in detail. If these officials have concerns about the case, they will try to address them right away.

Is USCIS processing time improving? ›

In the first few months of 2023, we have continued to see improvements in processing times for many petitions and applications. For example, the current processing time for the I-129 petition is approximately 2 months.

How long does cashier check take to clear in USA? ›

Usually one business day for government and cashier's checks and checks from the same bank that holds your account. The first $200 or so of a personal check is usually available one business day after the day you deposited the check.

How do you get approved for a cashier's check? ›

To get a cashier's check, have a photo identification with you, such as a driver's license. Have enough cash on hand or funds in your account to pay the bank the full amount of the check. You also must supply the name of the payee, since banks cannot issue blank cashier's checks.

How can I verify funds on a cashiers check? ›

How can I verify a cashier's check? Verifying a cashier's check is just like verifying any other check. You will need to contact the issuing bank and provide them with the check number, the amount the check was issued for, and the name of the account holder (the person who issued you the check).

What are red flags for check cashing? ›

Non-characteristic, sudden, abnormal deposit of checks, often electronically, followed by rapid withdrawal or transfer of funds. Examination of suspect checks reveals faded handwriting underneath darker handwriting, making the original writing appear overwritten.

Do banks verify checks before cashing? ›

Do Banks Verify Checks Before Cashing? Yes, banks always verify checks before cashing. Checks have no intrinsic value, so banks have to check the account numbers to determine if there is money in the account and if the accounts exist.

What happens when you deposit over $10000 check? ›

Banks Must Report Large Deposits

“According to the Bank Secrecy Act, banks are required to file Currency Transaction Reports (CTR) for any cash deposits over $10,000,” said Lyle Solomon, principal attorney at Oak View Law Group.

Can a check be cashed same day? ›

If your deposit is a certified check, a check from another account at your bank or credit union, or a check from the government, you can withdraw or use the full amount on the next business day if you make the deposit in person to a bank employee.

Where can I cash a $20000 check without a bank account? ›

Cash it at the issuing bank (this is the bank name that is pre-printed on the check) Cash a check at a retailer that cashes checks (discount department store, grocery stores, etc.) Cash the check at a check-cashing store. Deposit at an ATM onto a pre-paid card account or checkless debit card account.

How can I make a check cash faster? ›

The safest and fastest way to get cash is to take your check to the check writer's bank. That's the bank or credit union that holds the check writer's funds, and you can get the money out of the check writer's account and into your hands instantly at that bank.

How long does it take for a check to be accepted for processing? ›

Bottom line. In most cases, a check should clear within one or two business days. There are a few cases in which a check might be held for longer, such as if it's a large deposit amount or an international check. Make sure to review your bank's policies for what to expect in terms of check hold times.

What time are checks processed? ›

In general, you can expect most checks to clear the day after you deposit them, as long as you make the deposit on a business day and during bank business hours. So if you make a deposit at 1:00 p.m. on a Tuesday, for example, the check should clear by Wednesday.

What happens when a payment is processing? ›

The card data, including the cardholder name and account number, is passed through a payment gateway, which then sends the details to the merchant's bank. The payment processor uses that information to notify the card's issuing bank of the transaction.

Which USCIS field office is the fastest? ›

Share this graphic: The field office in Cleveland tops the index, with a typical (median) citizenship application processing time of 4 months, and almost nobody waiting longer than 12.3 months.

Does USCIS work on weekends for premium processing? ›

Are weekends included in processing times? Currently, yes. For example, USCIS will review an H-1B in 15 calendar days if filed with premium processing.

How often does USCIS update case status? ›

For processing estimates, head to the USCIS website. Select the form you filed, the form category, and the office you sent it to from the drop-down lists. Be aware that USCIS updates its average processing times once a month.

Do checks process on weekends? ›

Do banks process payments on weekends? Weekends are generally non-business days for banks. Payments received on weekends are generally processed on the next business day, Monday, unless it's a federal holiday.

How do I know when a check clears? ›

How Do I Know If a Check Has Cleared? You can call your bank to see if a check has cleared. They'll be able to tell you your available balance and if there are any existing holds.

Does a cleared check mean it was cashed? ›

Cleared funds are money that has been fully transferred from one account to another, for example after depositing a check. Cleared fund are available for immediate withdrawal or use. Payments and money transfers take time to clear, especially if the originator uses a different bank than the receiver of the funds.

How many cases does USCIS process in a day? ›

On an average day we:

Adjudicate more than 32,500 requests for various immigration benefits. Process 3,700 applications to sponsor relatives and future spouses. Analyze nearly 550 tips, leads, cases and detections for potential fraud, public safety and national security concerns.

Can a lawyer speed up the immigration process? ›

Immigration attorneys can help speed up your immigration case in a few different ways. The most obvious is by using their knowledge and experience to make the process go more smoothly and easily. Help you consider your options.

What is the longest I-130 processing time? ›

Approximately 6 to 12 Months After Filing

Most Form I-130 petitions for immediate relatives are approved within a 6 to 12 month time frame, but they can take longer in some cases.

Which service center is IOE? ›

IOE is not really a Service Center as well. IOE is used for cases that were filed electronically. It is part of USCIS effort to modernize USCIS processing system from paper-based. You will see this for case numbers that are usually filed electronically using ELIS e-filing system.

What does USCIS case processing time mean? ›

Processing time is defined as the number of days (or months) that have elapsed between the date USCIS received an application, petition, or request and the date USCIS completed the application, petition, or request (that is, approved or denied it) in a given six-month period.

How do you know if your USCIS interview went well? ›

If everything goes well in the interview, the USCIS officer will likely tell you that he/she is approving the application. He/she may also hand you a piece of paper containing information about your oath ceremony. In some cases, the USCIS officer cannot make a decision after the naturalization interview.

Will USCIS be faster in 2023? ›

The USCIS has also improved its processing time for work permits in 2023 to 3.6 months, up from 4.1 months in 2022. Green card petitions under the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966 are being processed much faster in 2023 (3.4 months compared to the 5.4 months processing time for 2022).

How accurate are USCIS processing times 2023? ›

USCIS processing times are quite accurate but are subject to change without prior notice. For example, the USCIS processing times I-130 may be influenced by an error on the petitioner's side or even the USCIS themselves.

How long does I-130 take to get approved 2023? ›

If you are a U.S. Citizen filing Form I-130 for a spouse, it is taking about 15 to 18 months on average for USCIS to process these petitions as of May of 2023.

Do cashier checks clear instantly? ›

Generally, cashier's checks must be made available by the next business day.

Does a cashier's check clear immediately? ›

Cashier's checks are also useful in time-sensitive transactions. The funds are usually available immediately—in most cases, the next day. If you're looking to make a big money purchase, a cashier's check may be the quickest and safest way to go.

What is the maximum amount for a cashier's check? ›

Cashier's checks are typically used for larger purchases. Although the policy may change from bank to bank, generally there's no upper limit for a cashier's check.

Can you be denied a cashier's check? ›

As a rule, the only time a bank may refuse to pay its cashier's check is when the bank has its own defense against paying the item and the person attempting to enforce payment is not a holder in due course.

What is the difference between a cashier's check and a certified check? ›

Cashier's checks are signed by the bank while certified checks are signed by the consumer. Cashier's checks and certified checks are both official checks issued by a bank. Both are easy to get, relatively inexpensive and considered more secure and less susceptible to fraud than personal checks.

How long does it take for a $30000 check to clear? ›

Deposits of $5,000 or less usually clear within 3 business days. Deposits of more than $5,000 usually take 4 business days to clear. The first $200 of the total check deposits will be available no later than the first business day after the deposit, usually available immediately.

How long does it take for a bank to verify funds in a cashiers check? ›

Under federal law, your bank is required to make the funds from the cashier and other bank checks available within one to five business days. It can take up to two weeks for the check to clear the banking system and for your bank to receive payment from the issuing bank.

How long does it take to verify a cashier's check? ›

When you deposit a check into your account, your bank generally is required by law to make the funds available within a specific period of time (usually, one business day for a cashier's check or other official instrument). This is true even if the check has not yet cleared through the banking system.

Can I call a bank to verify a cashier's check? ›

You can call the bank or visit a branch to ask for verification. If you're calling the bank to confirm a cashier's check, be prepared to tell the bank the check number, payment amount and the name of the person who gave it to you.

How long does it take to cash a check on green dot? ›

Mobile check deposits using the Green Dot app could be in your account as fast as one business day, but some checks may take up to 5 business days. As a mobile bank, we work hard to deposit your check as quickly as possible.

How long does citizen take to deposit a check? ›

When will my deposit be available? Most deposits made before 10 pm ET on a business day are available the same business day to pay checks and purchases posting to your account overnight, and the next business day for withdrawals.

Does USCIS refund checks? ›

Generally, USCIS does not issue refunds for filing fees, regardless of the decision on the application.

Does Green Dot cash checks instantly? ›

Deposit your paycheck, government check and personal checks with the Green Dot app and get your money in minutes! Active personalized card, limits and other requirement apply. Additional customer verification may be required.

Who does Green Dot use to cash checks? ›

We've teamed up with Ingo Money so you can cash your government checks, paychecks and personal checks quickly and safely. The app is available in the App Store SM for iOS devices or Google Play™ for Android devices.

How much can I cash a check with Green Dot? ›

Hand the cashier your check and card to cash your check and load the money to your card. Load up to $1,000 to your card for a $3.74 reload fee. Check cashing fees of up to $4.00 may apply.

What is the maximum you can deposit on a Green Dot card? ›

The maximum daily cash reload limit is $3,000, but maximum in-store reload limits also apply, and you may not load cash to your Card at any time the funds balance on your Card exceeds $3,000. We reserve the right to accept or reject any request to reload your Card at our sole discretion.

How can I make my check clear faster? ›

The fastest way to have access to check funds is to deposit the check in person at a bank or credit union branch. That ensures the deposit is made before the bank's cut-off time, which speeds up the process. Mobile check deposits and those made at ATMs after hours typically take longer to clear.

Why do checks take so long to clear? ›

A bank may hold a check longer if it's an unusual deposit, such as if you've never deposited a check from that payer before. A check may take also longer to clear if it's for a larger amount or is from an international bank. Checks from foreign banks usually require longer hold times because they take longer to verify.

Can USCIS see IRS records? ›

USCIS will review your tax returns (for any relevant years) to confirm that they were filed jointly. After two years as a conditional resident, you'll need to file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence.

What does USCIS check when applying for green card? ›

The background and security checks include collecting fingerprints and requesting a “name check” from the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). In addition, USCIS conducts other inter-agency criminal background and security checks on all applicants for naturalization.

How can I cash a large check without a bank account? ›

Here are five different ways to do so and what they'll cost you.
  1. Cash your check at the issuing bank. ...
  2. Cash your check at a retailer. ...
  3. Load funds onto a prepaid debit card. ...
  4. Cash your check at a check-cashing outlet. ...
  5. Sign your check over to someone you trust. ...
  6. 7 banks that offer free checking accounts.
Apr 12, 2023

Why won't Green Dot let me deposit a check? ›

You must have activated the card we mailed you. Your must have had at least four recurring payroll or government benefit direct deposits for the past two months. You must have had point-of-sale card transaction activity in the past month. Your account must be in good standing.


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