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

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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 you with a sense of uncertainty and anticipation. However, understanding what it means when your case is being “actively reviewed” by USCIS can help alleviate some of that anxiety.

Key Takeaways

  • “Actively reviewed” means USCIS is closely examining your I-130 petition details to ensure they meet their criteria.
  • You can track your case online with your receipt number or call the USCIS Contact Center for updates.
  • If you receive a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID), respond promptly and correctly to avoid delays.
  • Keep all documents and communication from USCIS in case 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 ‘Actively Reviewed’ by USCIS

When your I-130 petition status changes to “actively reviewed,” it indicates that USCIS officers are meticulously examining all the details you provided. This includes verifying names, dates, and other critical information, and assessing the legitimacy and authenticity of the submitted documentation. This phase is crucial for ensuring the accuracy and validity of your case.

If USCIS needs more information, they will contact you, usually through an RFE or NOID. Responding quickly and correctly to these requests is essential to avoid further delays in processing your case.

Stages of a USCIS I-130 Case

Understanding the stages of a USCIS I-130 case can help you navigate the complex immigration process from submission to the final decision.

Initial Application and Receipt Notice

First, you must fill out and submit Form I-130 to USCIS. Each family member requires a separate Form I-130. After USCIS receives your form, they will send you a receipt notice, which is proof they have your application. Keep this notice safe as you will need the receipt number to check your case status online.

Pending Status

Once USCIS receives your application, your I-130 case enters the “pending status” stage. During this time, your documents are in queue for review, but no active examination is taking place. It’s normal for cases to remain pending for a while due to the high volume of applications. Make sure all your information is correct and complete to avoid delays.

Actively Reviewed Status

When your case is being actively reviewed, USCIS officers are closely examining your I-130 petition. They check for accuracy and ensure all requirements for bringing a family member to the U.S. are met. This stage can take some time as USCIS conducts thorough background checks and reviews all submitted information.

Final Decisions

After reviewing your case, USCIS will make a final decision, which could be an approval, an RFE, or a NOID. If your petition meets all requirements, it will be approved. However, if there are issues, you might receive an RFE or NOID, requiring a prompt and accurate response to keep your case moving forward. If denied, you may have the option to appeal or reapply.

I-130 Case Is Actively Reviewed by USCIS

How to Check Your USCIS I-130 Case Status

Online Tracking

You can track your I-130 case status online using the USCIS website. Enter your receipt number in the ‘Check Status’ tool. The website updates monthly with processing times, helping you set realistic expectations for your case timeline. Always use a secure internet connection when accessing personal information online.

USCIS Contact Center

The USCIS Contact Center is another resource for case updates. They provide current processing times and assistance with your immigration case. If you need more detailed information, live agents can help answer your questions.

Live Assistance

For more detailed assistance, you can speak directly with a USCIS representative by calling the USCIS Contact Center. Have your receipt number ready for quicker service. Calling early or late in the day can reduce wait times.

Common Issues and Delays in USCIS Case Processing

USCIS case processing can face delays due to several reasons. If you receive an RFE or NOID, responding quickly and accurately is crucial. Failing to meet deadlines can result in denial. Additionally, federal holidays or weekends can impact filing deadlines, so be aware of USCIS policies regarding these dates.

Keeping in touch with an experienced immigration attorney can help ensure you receive the best legal assistance during this process.


When your I-130 case is actively reviewed by USCIS, it means they are diligently examining your petition to ensure it meets all requirements. This thorough review process includes verifying the details provided, conducting background checks, and potentially requesting additional information. Staying informed and responding promptly to any requests from USCIS can help ensure a smoother process.

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