If you’ve ever completed a USCIS immigration form, you might have come across an entry asking you for your Alien Registration Number. So this might trigger you to ask the question, what exactly is this Alien Registration Number? Do I even have this Alien Registration Number? And if do, where can I locate or find this Alien Registration Number?
In this post, you will learn in detail, what the Alien Registration Number is, as well as the answers to some frequently asked questions that applicants completing USCIS immigration forms might have about the Alien Registration Number, such as who gets the A-Number, where to find it, and how to use the number.
What is Alien Registration Number or USCIS# or A-Number?
The Alien Registration Number is a unique 7 to 9 digit number beginning with the letter A. This number is also called the Alien Number (A-number) or the USCIS number (USCIS#).
This number is assigned by USCIS to track the immigration records of some non-U.S citizens. As a non U.S citizen leaving in the U.S, a very good comparison to your Alien Registration Number is your Social Security Number (SSN).
The exact same way your Social Security Number is used to track your tax records, your Alien Registration Number is used to track your immigration records. This Alien Registration Number or USCIS# is to your U.S. immigration record what a Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) is to your U.S. tax records.
Just like the Social Security Number, the Alien Registration Number never expires. USCIS only issues A-Numbers to non-U.S citizens who have applied for permanent residency in the U.S.
The only other class of people who get Alien Registration Numbers are nonimmigrants on an F1 status who have applied and been approved for Optional Practical Training (OPT). With the exception of F1 students who have applied and been approved for Optional Practical Training, no other nonimmigrant class in the U.S is assigned an A-Number by USCIS.
So now you know exactly what the Alien Registration Number is, the next question you might have then is, where can I locate my A-Number if I happen to be someone who has been approved for the OPT, or if I happen to be someone who has applied for permanent residence?
There are several documents issued by USCIS and the U.S Department of State that carry the A-Number. Some of these documents include;
- the Employment Authorization Document Card,
- the Permanent Residency or Green Card,
- the US immigrant Visa, and
- some approval notices issued by USCIS.
How to Find/Locate Your Alien Registration Number
If you have been assigned an Alien Registration Number, you can locate this number on the following types of government issued documents:
- It is the USCIS# on the front side of the Employment Authorization Document (EAD Card)
- It is the USCIS# on the front side of the Permanent Resident Card (Green Card)
- It is the same as the Registration Number on an Immigrant Visa
- It is written on the applicant section located at the top of Form I-797 Approval Notice for an F-1 student approved for OPT or STEM-OPT
- It will be in the USCIS Alien Number field located at the top of the Form I-797 Receipt Notice for someone who has applied for permanent residency
So once you’ve been assigned an Alien Registration Number every other time in the future when you complete the USCIS Immigration Form, you would have to enter this number.
As an example an F1 student who has been approved for OPT and has been assigned an A-Number, should make use of this A-Number when completing a subsequent immigration form such as the form I-765 for the STEM-OPT extension or when applying for a change of status from the F1 status to the H1B status.
Some people are assigned alien registration numbers that are seven or eight digits long. When completing the USCIS immigration form, you will find that you are required to enter a nine digit number. So if you happen to have a seven or an eight digit alien registration number you should add zeros before the digits to complete the nine digit requirements on the USCIS immigration form.
For example, let’s say you have an A-Number that’s given as A-1234567, this will be entered as A-001234567 on the USCIS immigration form. On the other hand, if you’ve never been assigned an A-Number by USCIS, then when completing the USCIS immigration form you can leave the entry for the A-Number blank.
The Alien Registration Number or USCIS# or A-Number is a unique 7 or 9-digit number assigned by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) to keep track of the immigration records of certain non-citizens in the United States.
Where can I find or locate my Alien Registration Number?
For example, the Alien Registration Number will be the USCIS number located on the front side of the Employment Authorization Document Card.
It will also be the USCIS number located on the front side of the Permanent Residency Card. You can also find the A-Number listed as the Registration Number on your immigrant visa to the U.S. And if you happen to be someone who has applied for an adjustment of status in the U.S, your Alien Registration Number will be shown on the top corner of the Form I-797 Receipt notice.
DISCLAIMER: This post and content is designed for general information only and is NOT legal advice. The information presented in this post should not be construed to be formal legal advice. If you need legal advice, you may contact a licensed attorney.