What is the I-797 Form?

Instructor: Jessica Mercado

I completed my BA in Criminal Justice in 2015. Currently working on my MS in Homeland Security Management.

In this lesson you will learn about the I-797 form, along with its subcategories. Learn what they are, and what their purpose is in the immigration process.

Moving to the United States

Congratulations! You have decided you would like to become a permanent resident of the United States! You have sent in your information in order to get approval to begin the process of becoming a permanent resident. You wait patiently to receive your approval. A few days later you receive a form that looks like this:

I797 form

What does it mean and how does it help you with your permanent residency?

The Forms

The following forms are not forms that the recipient has to fill out. They are Notice of Action forms that are sent to the recipient, in response to a petition or application that the recipient sent to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

I -797 This Notice of Action form is sent to the recipient when his or her application or petition has been reviewed and approved by USCIS. The form above is the form I-797. You had requested permanent residency in the United States. The USCIS reviewed your application and decided to approve you. The I-797 was sent to inform you of your new residency status.

I-797A This Notice of Action form is sent to a recipient as a replacement for form I-94, which is a record of arrivals and departures of the recipient. USCIS sends this form to recipients when their request for residency status has been approved. The form will allow them to stay in the United States until the date specified on the I-94 form, which is represented at the bottom of the I-797A form.

I-797B This Notice of Action form is sent to recipients who had requested the ability to work in the United States. It can be sent to recipients already residing in the U.S., or to those still living in their home country. In order for those living outside of the U.S. to enter, they have to receive a visa stamp on the form in their home country.

I-797C This Notice of Action form is sent by the USCIS for multiple reasons. Recipients may receive this form if they are receiving a receipt for a payment made, their application had been rejected, their files have been transferred, their case has been re-opened, or their appointment or interview has been rescheduled.

I-797D This form is sent with benefit cards issued by the USCIS. These cards could be green cards or employment authorization.

I-797E This Notice of Action form is sent by USCIS as a request for evidence. This form is very important because it will specify a time that the evidence needs to be submitted. The evidence is needed for approval of residency application. If ignored, USCIS will reject the residency application.

I-797F This is a transportation letter that allows the recipient to be able to travel to and from the United States.

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