What Does It Mean When Your Case Is Being Actively Reviewed By USCIS I-130?

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Picture of Shawn Sedaghat, Esq.

Shawn Sedaghat, Esq.

Waiting for updates on a submitted I-130 petition can be an anxiety-inducing and time-consuming process, often leaving one with a sense of uncertainty and anticipation.

It is important to note that once an application has transitioned to the “actively reviewed” phase, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is carefully reviewing all of the submitted requirements and the information that comes with them.

Furthermore, it is a sign that there is no significant progress regarding the application just yet. As an applicant, keeping in touch with an experienced immigration attorney could help you through such a process with professional legal guidance.

This article aims to simplify complex immigration jargon and provide valuable insights into the meaning of this status.

Read on!

Key Takeaways

  • “Actively reviewed” means the immigration services are closely checking your I-130 petition details and ensuring everything matches their criteria.

  • You can track your case online with your receipt number or call the USCIS Contact Center for updates.

  • If you get a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID), answer quickly and correctly to avoid delays in your case.

  • Keep all documents and communication from USCIS, as you may need them if issues arise later.

  • Educating yourself about processing times on the USCIS website helps you understand how long it might take for a decision on your I-130.

Understanding the Meaning of ‘Actively Reviewed’ by USCIS

The “actively reviewed” status carries a significant weight in the context of your USCIS case. It indicates that the immigration officers assigned to your application are carefully reviewing all the details you provided.

These may include names, dates, and other critical information. Additionally, the officers are thoroughly assessing the legitimacy and authenticity of every documentation submitted. The active review process is crucial in ensuring your case’s accuracy and validity.

They’ll contact you if they need more proof, such as additional documentation to support your USCIS case, or have questions.

It’s a sign that USCIS is working hard on your case to decide if it meets all the criteria for U.S. immigration benefits.

To understand this processing time better, it might be best for you to reach out to a highly experienced immigration lawyer to provide legal help.

Stages of a USCIS I-130 Case

The processing time of a USCIS I-130 case involves several vital stages that mark the progress of your effort to reunite with your family.

Understanding these stages can help you navigate through the complex immigration process, starting from the submission of your application to the final decision.

However, as mentioned above, if you find your I-130 case actively reviewed by the USCIS, then the documentation and other requirements you have submitted are currently undergoing verification and authentication by the adjudicators.

Initial Application and Receipt Notice

Like any visa application, first, you must fill out the Form I-130 and send it to USCIS.

It is important to remember that an individual Form I-130 is required for each family member— if you are applying for multiple relatives.

The USCIS will receive your form and notify you with a receipt. This paper is proof they have your application.

Make sure to keep this notice safe. You will need it to check on your case later. If you lose it, getting another copy can take time and slow things down.

Your receipt number is key for checking updates on the USCIS website about where your application stands in the processing times.

Pending Status

Next, once the USCIS receives the submission of your application, your I-130 case goes through a stage called “pending status.”

Think of it like waiting in line; you’re not at the front but definitely in the queue.

During this time, officers are not actively looking into your documents or deciding on your case.

It’s normal for cases to stay pending for a while. USCIS deals with many applications, and each takes time. While waiting, make sure all your information is correct and complete. They will send you a Request for Evidence (RFE) if they need more documentation or have any questions.

Respond quickly to any requests from USCIS to avoid delays with your immigration proceedings. Keep track of any new mail from them about your legal status or other important updates regarding permanent residency opportunities.

It would be wise to contact an experienced immigration attorney to assist you in responding to such a request.

Actively Reviewed Status

Your case moving into being actively reviewed by USCIS officials is a big deal. This means they are now closely looking into your I-130 petition.

They check for accuracy and ensure you meet all requirements for bringing a family member to the U.S.

During this time, patience is key. The processing time can take a while because USCIS does many background checks. It’s not just about reviewing forms; they look at every information you’ve submitted to approve or deny your application fairly.

Keep everything up-to-date with USCIS, especially if there are any changes in your info or any progress regarding your application during the process.

Final Decisions

After undergoing various procedures, such as your case being actively reviewed by USCIS officials, they finally make the last call on your I-130 after a thorough review.

This decision could be an approval, an RFE, or even a NOID if they find issues with the application.

If USCIS has all they need and everything checks out, they’ll approve the petition. But sometimes, they flag problems and send out NOIDs or RFEs. You must respond quickly and accurately to these requests to keep your case moving forward.

The final verdict from USCIS is pivotal for immigrants hoping to reunite with family in the U.S., as it sets the stage for what comes next in their journey toward permanent residency or citizenship.

If denied, there’s often a chance to appeal or reapply, as indicated by immigration law. A well-renowned immigration lawyer can help you through this process, especially if you need legal guidance on what to do next.

USCIS based green card

How to Check Your USCIS I-130 Case Status

It’s essential to stay informed of your USCIS I-130 case status during the immigration process. Fortunately, the USCIS offers several reliable methods to track the progress of your petition quickly and accurately.

Online Tracking via the USCIS Website

You can track your USCIS I-130 case status online with ease. Visit the USCIS website and find the ‘Check Status’ tool. You’ll need your receipt number and a unique 13-character identifier given to you by USCIS.

Enter this number without any dashes, but include all other characters, including asterisks (*), if they are part of your receipt number.

The site updates monthly with fresh data on processing times for different forms and locations. This lets you see how long similar cases are taking and helps set realistic expectations for your case timeline.

Always use secure internet connections when accessing personal information online to protect your privacy.

USCIS Contact Center

The USCIS Contact Center is your go-to resource for case updates. It offers details on how to check the status of your I-130 application. Call this center if you need more help or can’t find what you’re looking for online.

They will give you the latest figures on processing times, which are updated monthly.

Live agents at the contact center can assist with questions about your immigration case. They use specialized vocabulary to make sure they explain things clearly and correctly. The team aims to provide precise information without adding confusion, helping applicants understand exactly where their cases stand.

Live Assistance

Live assistance can help you track your I-130 case status as well. You might want to talk directly with a USCIS representative. Call the USCIS Contact Center for this service. They can give more details about your case over the phone.

If you’re having trouble reaching someone, try calling early or later in the day. These times often have shorter waits. Make sure to have your receipt number ready before you call.

This will help the agent find your information quickly.

Common Issues and Delays in USCIS Case Processing

USCIS case processing can face delays for several reasons. Sometimes, USCIS issues RFEs. They do this because they might need more information to decide on your application. If you get an RFE, answering quickly and correctly is important.

Failing to respond by the deadline can lead to a denied request. Also, USCIS may send out NOIDs. This notice means they might deny your case unless you provide extra proof.

There are cases where USCIS denies an application without an RFE or NOID. This is tough news for anyone waiting for a decision. On top of that, response times vary based on the type of immigration benefit you’re applying for.

It is vital to keep all documents updated and checked regularly. Another issue involves federal holidays or weekends impacting filing deadlines. USCIS has policies on what happens if a due date falls on one of these days – make sure you know them!

Keeping in touch with your expert immigration lawyer could also help ensure that you receive the best legal assistance for such instances.


When your case is actively reviewed by USCIS Form I-130, it means that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is in the process of examining the petition you submitted for a family member. The Form I-130, officially titled “Petition for Alien Relative,” is used to establish a qualifying family relationship between a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident petitioner and the intending immigrant beneficiary.

Here’s what it generally entails:

  1. Review of Petition Details: USCIS is examining the information provided in your Form I-130, including your relationship with the beneficiary, supporting documentation, and any additional evidence submitted to establish eligibility.

  2. Verification of Eligibility: USCIS will verify that you, as the petitioner, meet the requirements to sponsor a family member for immigration purposes and that the beneficiary qualifies as an eligible relative under the immigration laws.

  3. Request for Additional Information: If USCIS requires more evidence or clarification regarding your petition, they may issue a Request for Evidence (RFE) or a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID). It’s crucial to respond promptly and thoroughly to any such requests to avoid delays or potential denial of the petition.

  4. Background Checks: USCIS conducts background checks on both the petitioner and the beneficiary to ensure compliance with immigration laws and to assess any potential security concerns.

  5. Decision Making: Once USCIS completes its review and is satisfied that the petition meets all requirements, they will make a decision on the petition. This decision could result in approval, denial, or a request for an interview with the petitioner and beneficiary.

Overall, “actively reviewed” means that your case is undergoing thorough examination by USCIS, and it’s essential to stay informed of any updates or requests for additional information throughout the process.


1. What does “actively reviewed” mean for an I-130 case?

When USCIS indicates that your Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, is being actively reviewed, it signifies that they are diligently examining the details of your application and supporting documents to ascertain compliance with immigration laws and regulations.

2. Is the I-130 petition part of the immigration process for becoming a permanent resident?

Yes, the Form I-130 petition is an integral component of the immigration process for individuals seeking to obtain lawful permanent resident status in the United States. It serves to establish a familial relationship between the petitioner, who is typically a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, and the beneficiary seeking permanent residency.

3. Might USCIS request more information during their active review?

Certainly, USCIS reserves the right to request additional information or documentation during the active review process if deemed necessary to clarify or corroborate the information provided in the petition. Such requests typically take the form of a Request for Evidence (RFE), which the petitioner must respond to adequately and promptly to facilitate the adjudication process.

4. After USCIS reviews my case, what comes next in the immigration process?

Following USCIS’s review and potential approval of the Form I-130 petition, the case progresses to the National Visa Center (NVC) stage. The NVC is responsible for further processing the case, including scheduling visa interviews, collecting fees, and facilitating communication between the applicant and the U.S. embassy or consulate abroad, where the immigrant visa interview will be conducted.

5. Should I hire an immigration attorney if my case is actively reviewed by USCIS?

While not mandatory, seeking legal representation from qualified immigration attorneys can be advantageous, especially during complex immigration proceedings such as the Form I-130 petition process. Attorneys can provide valuable guidance, ensure compliance with immigration laws, and assist in navigating any challenges or obstacles that may arise during the review process.

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