What is I-797 Notice of Action?

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) uses Form I-797 to communicate with its customers who apply for immigration benefits. There are seven different types of Form I-797. USCIS uses one of the seven different types of forms to communicate with its customers or to provide an immigration benefit.

Following are the purposes that the seven different I-797 forms serve.

Form I-797, Notice of Action: USCIS issues this form when it approves an application or a petition that it received. This is commonly known as the application approval notice. This form serves as proof of certain immigration benefits. Applicants must retain this notice as it is an important document.

Form I-797A, Notice of Action: USCIS issues Form I-797A as a replacement for Form I-94. This form is issued to applicants whose applications for a change of status have been approved. This form is issued to show that they can continue to remain in the U.S. legally. The bottom of this form will serve as Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record. Form I-94 includes the date and class of admission and the date on which their legal stay in the U.S. will expire. Applicants who receive this form can continue their stay in the U.S. through the date specified on the Form I-94.

Form I-797B, Notice of Action: This form is issued to applicants for the approval of Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. This applies to immigrants who submit the form while in the U.S. or abroad.

Form I-797C, Notice of Action: USCIS will send this form to inform applicants that their payment has been received, to notify that their applications have been rejected or when it transfers their files from one service center to another. This form is also issued when USCIS re-opens previously denied cases or to inform applicants of a scheduled or re-scheduled interview or biometrics appointment.

Form I-797D: Form I-797D is usually sent along with a benefit card, which may be a green card or an employment authorization document.

Form I-797E, Notice of Action: Form I-797E is issued to request evidence. This form is known as a Request for Evidence (RFE). USCIS issues this form when it needs additional evidence to decide on a case. USICS will give the applicants a certain period of time to respond to the RFE. Applicants must make sure they collect the required additional evidence and send it to the USCIS before the date mentioned in the RFE. This is an important form as the applications will be denied if the RFEs are unanswered.

Form I-797F, Transportation Letter: Form I-797F is also known as a transportation letter, which is issued overseas to allow applicants to travel to the U.S. This letter is generally issued to green card holders to enable them to travel to the U.S. if they lose their green cards while abroad. Legal permanent residents who have been outside the U.S. for less than one year will need to file Form I-131A, Application for Travel Document to get a transportation letter.