The I-797 Notice of Action form is used to contact applicants and petitioners to inform an individual about whether their application or petition has been received, approved, rejected, or re-opened. This form cannot be filled out but is used to communicate with an individual about their particular immigration case and, in some cases, used as a Letter of Transportation (Form I-797F). There are seven variations of Form I-797. Each variation of Form I-797 has a specific meaning, and it is imperative that you become well-versed with each variation to understand how this form impacts your immigration process.

I-797 Notice Of Action Form

Form I-797 notifies an individual that an immigration officer has approved their application or petition. This form is not to be used as an official document but rather as a notification or receipt of the approval. You can find this receipt number at the top of the document and can use this number to track the status of your case via the USCIS website.

Form I-797A - Replacement for Form I-94

It is mandatory for all foreigners entering the United States to carry Form I-94, which documents an individual's arrival and departure. In the absence of Form I-94, an individual can request a replacement and will receive Form I-797A. 

Form I-797A will serve as the official document in lieu of the original, and will provide further instructions on how to proceed.

Form I-797B - Approval of Petition

Regarding employment visas, you must file Form I-40, Immigration Petition for Alien Workers. Once Form I-40 has been approved by an immigration officer, USCIS will present you with Form I-797B, a Notice of Action used to document the approval of a noncitizen worker petition.

Alongside the approval of your petition you will still have to acquire Form I-94, documenting your arrival and departure in the United States.

Form I-797C - Further Information

Form I-797C, Notice of Action, can notify an individual of whether their application or petition is received, denied, re-opened or transferred. Furthermore, Form I-797C is used to notify an individual about an upcoming appointment for biometrics, fingerprinting, or an interview. 

Form I-797C does not grant any immigration status or benefits. However, Form I-797C can be used as evidence proving that an individual is eligible for other benefits from a public, private, state or local entity. 

Form I-797D - Benefits Letter

Form I-797D, is a letter sent in conjunction with either a work permit or green card. Form I-797D is not a benefit itself but instead is used to inform an individual about the benefits of receiving their work permit or green card. It is encouraged to save Form I-797D as proof of obtaining these benefits as an immigrant.

Form I-797E - Request for Evidence

Form I-797E, Notice of Action, is a letter sent by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services seeking a Request for Evidence (RFE). Form I-797E will clearly state why they are seeking additional evidence and give you further instructions on submitting the evidence.

Once an individual has sent back the requested evidence in a timely manner, this evidence can help an immigration officer finalize their decision. Having all necessary documents recorded and submitted can help you avoid a Request for Evidence (RFE) and help expedite the process.

Form I-797F - Transportation Letter 

Form I-797F, otherwise known as the Transportation Letter, allows applicants or petitioners to travel abroad to the United States. Form I-797F is the only I-797 form that is not considered a Notice of Action. 

Although this form permits travel, legal experts recommend carrying a secondary form of identification, such as a valid identification card or birth certificate, in addition to Form I-797F. 

I-797 Notice Of Action Form FAQs:

Where can I find my I-797?

If you have recently applied for a green card or work permit, you will receive Form I-797, Notice of Action from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office via the U.S Postal Service. Each Notice of Action can have a different meaning depending on your particular case.

What is Form I-797?

Form I-797, generally known as a Notice of Action, can be sent to notify an individual for various reasons, including pending approval, transfer, or rejection, and can be documented as evidence while seeking a work permit or green card in the United States. The only I-797 form not considered a Notice of Action is Form I-797F, the Transportation Letter, which can be used as a document to travel overseas to the United States.

How To Get A Copy Of The I-797 Approval Notice?

You can acquire a copy of your I-797 Approval Notice by filing Form I-824, Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition. You cannot file Form I-824 online and must mail your application ( to the appropriate direct filing address.

Conclusion For The I-797 Notice Of Action Form

The I-797 Notice of Action form is used to contact individuals about the status of their application. So, this form is important and may need you to take action after receiving the form. This form communicates if your application has been received, rejected, or approved. So, If you need help interpreting the I-797 Notice of Action form, contact an immigration attorney at Shoreline Immigration.