What Is an Alien Registration Number?

In the marriage Green Card application process, each applicant is assigned an Alien Registration Number by USCIS. Typically the alien registration number will begin with “A-“ followed by 7, 8, or 9 numbers. It is important not to confuse the alien registration number with the USCIS case number. Check this article to learn what the Alien Registration Number is.


I. What is an Alien Registration Number?

During your marriage Green Card application process, the applicant will be assigned an Alien Registration Number. This number is registered with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in order to keep your petitions and filings separate and well organized.


II. Who is eligible for an Alien Registration Number?

In general, anyone that applies for a permanent residence card will receive an alien registration number. Temporary nonimmigrants that are not part of the permanent residence card programs will not be issued an alien registration number.

At times, there are other temporary visa holders that will obtain alien registration numbers along with their work authorization letters. However, these are an exception to the general rule that permanent resident card applicants obtain alien registration numbers.


III. When does an Alien Registration Number get assigned?

There are different time frames of when a marriage Green Card applicant will receive their alien registration number, depending on where the marriage application is submitted.

When are Alien Registration Numbers assigned?

Category of StatusTime frame for assignment
Applying from within the United States
Spouse is a U.S. Citizen
  • After filing Form I-130 and Form I-485 together, 30 days
Applying from within the United States
Spouse is a U.S. Green Card holder
  • After filing Form I-485, approximately a year
Applying from outside of the United States
  • At the time of marriage Green Card interview

IV. Where can I find my Alien Registration Number?

When you receive your alien registration number, you will be able to find it on all USCIS notices, and you will need to use the alien registration number for all future USCIS filings. In general, your alien registration number will start with “A-.” It can be found as “Alien Registration Number”, just as a “Registration Number” (typically on passport visas), or sometimes as “USCIS #.”


V. Is the USCIS case number the same as the Alien Registration Number?

Each USCIS case will have its own case number. However, there will be only one alien registration number assigned to one individual. Typically the alien registration number will begin with “A-“ followed by 7, 8, or 9 numbers. A USCIS case number will be a 13 digit number beginning with three letters (dependent on the USCIS office). Although there are some documents that may list your alien registration number after “USCIS,” it is important not to confuse that with your USCIS case number.