Understand H1 Case Receipt Number Meaning from USCIS

When you get your H1B petition picked in lottery or you have applied for a non cap subject H1B petition, you will get a long number that may start with EAC, WAC, etc and a long number. Each of that letter stands for something. Below is how to understand it.

H1B Case Receipt Number Format :

In general all the applications sent to USCIS receive a 13 alphanumeric number, that starts with 3 letters followed by numbers.


  • First 3 Letters  – Service Center : First three letter indicate the place of processing of your H1B petition. It can be either of the two locations California or Vermont.
    • EAC stands for Eastern Adjudication Center, which is nothing but Vermont Service Center
    • WAC stands for Western Adjudication Center, which is nothing but California Service Center.
    • So, it can look like EACXXXX , WACXXXX
  • Next 2 Characters indicate the Year : This is the actual year of the petition filed and NOT the fiscal year. If you are filing in year 2017, it will be 17. Usually fiscal year of USCIS start from October of a year to September of next year.   Sample : for year 2017 petitions, sample – EAC17XXXXX
  • Next 3 Characters  indicate computer Working Day :  This is the computer working day that starts from October 1st of the USCIS fiscal year.  Imagine you are filing on October 1st, then it will be 001. The tricky part is that, it is counted only on working days and does not include weekends and federal holidays.  It will not necessarily be the day you filed your petition with uscis, but it will be the date when they received your petition.  Example : if you are filing for April 11th, it could be 131…sample: WAC17131
  • Next 5 characters – Case number on a day : This is a running number that can start from 1 to 5 digits. For H1B, it will usually starts with number 5 and includes all sorts of cases processed in a day. Example : WAC1713151232

Is it just H1B case number that starts with EAC and this format ?

No, USCIS assigns this long EAC number and the above format for a variety of cases that are filed using I-129 form. Employer use this form to filed H-1B, H-2A, H-2B, H-3, L-1, O-1, O-2, P-1, P-1S, P-2, P-2S, P-3, P-3S, Q-1 or R-1 nonimmigrant workers petition, including extension of stay or change of status to E-1, E-2, E-3, H-1B1 or TN. So, just do not be mislead by looking at running numbers and many posting that USCIS has processing so many petitions on a particular day…