Work and Employment

A Simple Guide: Where to Find Your Alien Registration Number

Your Alien Registration Number (A-number) is a special 7-9 number given to you by USCIS that serves as your identification throughout the visa process. In this guide, we'll show you where to find your Alien Registration Number, explain its significance, and answer common questions about the A-number.

Chelsea Spinos, Writer
Simon Craven, Manifest Immigration Lawyer

By:

Chelsea Spinos

Chelsea Spinos is a contributing writer for Manifest Law. She covers all topics related to U.S. visas and green cards. She is passionate about helping people navigate their immigration journey with clarity and confidence.

Reviewer:

Simon Craven, Esq.

Simon Craven is an immigration attorney with 11+ years of experience working on thousands of successful immigration cases. Simon is passionate about US immigration and helping people.

6 min read • April 11, 2024

Alien Registration Number
Alien Registration Number
Alien Registration Number

Key takeaways

Your Alien Registration Number (A-number) is given to you by USCIS and serves as your unique ID within the immigration system, helping to identify you.

You can find your A-number on multiple documents including your work permit, immigrant visa, and green card, plus any approval notices, a notice of action, and your immigrant data summary.

Any noncitizen who is in the process of applying for, or receiving immigration benefits in the US, gets an Alien Registration Number.

The A-number is used throughout the immigration process and for when you apply for benefits within the U.S.

The Alien Registration Number, also known as the A-Number, is a unique identifier assigned to you by USCIS, acting as your personal identification within the immigration system.


This number is essential for managing your documents and applying for immigration benefits. In this article, we'll guide you on where to locate your Alien Registration Number, its purposes, and provide answers to common questions.

What is Alien Registration Number?

What is Alien Registration Number?

US Green Card
US Green Card
US Green Card

The Alien Registration Number, often referred to as the A-Number, is like your personal ID within the U.S. immigration system.


It's a unique number assigned to noncitizens by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You'll find this number on important immigration documents, like your green card or work permit.


Think of it as your key to accessing various immigration services and benefits while you're in the United States. It helps keep track of your immigration history and interactions with USCIS, making it an essential piece of information to have handy for any immigration-related activities.

Types of Alien Numbers

While most Alien Registration Numbers (A-Numbers) consist of nine digits, there are instances where they may have fewer digits. If your A-Number is shorter than nine digits, simply add a zero (0) between the "A" and the first digit to ensure it is a complete nine-digit number.


For example, the number “11223344” would become A011223344.

Where can I find my Alien Registration Number?

Where can I find my Alien Registration Number?

Find A-Number USCIS on your work permit (EAD)


If you have a work permit or Employment Authorization Document (EAD), your A-Number is likely printed on the front of the card.

USCIS EAD
USCIS EAD
USCIS EAD

Find A-Number USCIS on your immigrant visa

You can find your A-number on your immigrant visa. It's often called the "Registration Number," and you'll spot it in the top right part of your visa stamp.

USCIS Immirgant Visa
USCIS Immirgant Visa
USCIS Immirgant Visa

Note: The visa you see in the image above is an immigrant visa. It's not the same as a nonimmigrant visa, which doesn't have an Alien Registration Number.

Find A-Number USCIS on your green card


Your A-Number is usually right on the front of your green card, also known as Form I-551.

USCIS Green Card
USCIS Green Card
USCIS Green Card

Find A-Number USCIS on your approval notices


Whenever USCIS approves one of your immigration applications, they usually include your A-Number in the approval notice.

Find A-Number USCIS on your Notice of Action (Form I-797)


These notices (Form I-797) from USCIS regarding your immigration case often mention your A-Number. Unsure what a Form i-797 is? Check out our guide explaining the form i-797 in detail.

Form I-797
Form I-797
Form I-797
Form I-797C Notice of Action
Form I-797C Notice of Action
Form I-797C Notice of Action

Find A-Number USCIS on your immigrant data summary


If you pursued your green card through consular processing, meaning you applied for it at a U.S. embassy or consulate, you likely received an Immigrant Data Summary along with your visa package.


Your A-Number is located at the top of the Immigrant Data Summary, as illustrated in the image below.

Immigrant Data Summary
Immigrant Data Summary
Immigrant Data Summary

Who is eligible for an Alien Registration Number?

Who is eligible for an Alien Registration Number?

An Alien Registration Number (A-Number) is assigned to any noncitizen who is in the process of applying for or receiving immigration benefits in the US.


This includes anyone applying for a green card, asylum and certain nonimmigrant visa types who are authorized to work in the U.S. for an extended period.


In short, anyone involved in the U.S. immigration system, whether for temporary or permanent residency, may be eligible for an A-Number.

An Alien Registration Number (A-Number) is assigned to any noncitizen who is in the process of applying for or receiving immigration benefits in the US.


This includes anyone applying for a green card, asylum and certain nonimmigrant visa types who are authorized to work in the U.S. for an extended period.


In short, anyone involved in the U.S. immigration system, whether for temporary or permanent residency, may be eligible for an A-Number.

If you have been asked to assess the work of other people in your field, this might help you qualify for one of the O1 visa criteria. Judging can be in a competitive setting, such as a contest, awards panel, or grants committee. Or, it can be an evaluation of someone’s work, like a scientific paper or presentation, or even a grant application.


The key here is that some organization thought you were the go-to person with ample expertise to assess the work of others. This shows USCIS that you are seen as someone who stands out from others in your work.


If you think you can meet the “judge of others” criteria and at least two other criteria on the list of O1 visa evidence, you could be ready to apply! Reach out to Manifest Law and we can help you put your best case forward.

What do I use my Alien Registration Number for?

What do I use my Alien Registration Number for?

For applying for immigration benefits


Your Alien Registration Number (A-Number) plays a crucial role in various aspects of your interaction with the U.S. immigration system.


First and foremost, it serves as your unique identifier, linking you to your immigration records and history. Whenever you apply for immigration benefits, such as a green card or asylum, you'll include your A-Number on the application forms.


For tracking the status of your case


Your A-Number from USCIS is also essential for checking the status of your immigration case online.


Whether you're waiting to hear back about your application or tracking the progress of your immigration journey, your Alien Registration Number allows you to access information about your case through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website or by contacting USCIS directly.


For accessing other services and benefits in the US


Additionally, your A-Number is key when you're dealing with other government agencies or trying to access certain services and benefits.


Think of it as your official proof that you're allowed to be in the U.S.


It might be required when you're getting things like a driver's license, a social security number, or any other important documents you need to handle your business here smoothly.

In case if you loose your passport, green card or visa


Keeping a photo of your visa, green card and Alien registration number is always a good idea in case you lose the originals. Knowing your US alien registration number will significantly streamline the process of recovering your documents and proving your eligibility.

When will I receive my Alien Registration Number?

When will I receive my Alien Registration Number?

Handing visa application across a desk
Handing visa application across a desk
Handing visa application across a desk

You'll usually get your Alien Registration Number (A-Number) once your immigration application is processed and approved. After you've applied for the benefit or status change you're seeking, keep an eye out for your A-Number from USCIS in the mail.

Alien Registration Number Green Card

Alien Registration Number Green Card

When you apply for a green card, whether through family sponsorship, employment, refugee or asylum status, diversity visa lottery, or other means, you will likely be assigned an Alien Registration Number as part of the application process.


If you're applying for a green card from within the United States, you'll receive your A-Number on the receipt notice (Form I-797) after filing your application (Form I-485).


On the other hand, if you're applying from outside the United States through consular processing, you'll receive your A-Number during your consular interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate.

Alien Registration Number Marriage-Based Green Card

Alien Registration Number Marriage-Based Green Card

When applying for a marriage green card from within the United States, you'll get your A-Number on the receipt notice sent by USCIS after submitting your green card application form (I-485).


If your spouse is a U.S. citizen, expect to receive your A-Number about 30 days after kicking off the application process.


But if your spouse is a green card holder, you'll have to wait until your I-130 petition gets approved and an immigrant visa becomes available. This usually happens later in the process, usually about one year in.


If you're applying for a marriage-based green card from outside the United States, your A-Number will be given to you during your consular interview at the U.S. consulate.


Whether your spouse is a U.S. citizen or a green card holder, you'll receive paperwork with your A-Number during the interview.

And don't worry, you'll also find your A-Number stamped on the visa the consulate places in your passport.

Alien Registration Number H1B

Alien Registration Number H1B

H1B visa
H1B visa
H1B visa

For those with an H-1B work visa, you won't usually get an Alien Registration Number (A-Number) during the visa process. That's because the H-1B visa is temporary and doesn't automatically lead to permanent residency. A-Numbers are for visa applicants seeking permanent residency or other benefits that lead to it.


But, if you decide later on to transition from an H1B visa to green card, then you might get an A-Number as part of that process. It's something you'd typically deal with if you're changing your status from temporary to permanent residency while already in the U.S.

Alien Registration Number F1

Alien Registration Number F1

If you’re on an F-1 student visa, the process for obtaining an Alien Registration Number (A-Number) follows a similar pattern to the H-1B visa. Like the H-1B visa, the F-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa, meaning it's temporary and doesn't automatically lead to permanent residency.


Typically, F-1 visa holders don’t get an Alien Registration Number during the visa application process or upon approval because their status is temporary and geared toward studying in the US.


However, if you later decide to pursue permanent residency by going from an F1 visa to green card, you may be assigned an A-Number as part of that process.

Is an A-Number the same as a Social Security Number (SSN)?

Is an A-Number the same as a Social Security Number (SSN)?

Social security cards
Social security cards
Social security cards

No, they're not the same.


An Alien Registration Number (A-Number) is like your ID in the U.S. immigration system. It's given to noncitizens who are applying for or receiving immigration benefits, like getting a green card or asylum.


On the other hand, a Social Security Number (SSN) is what you use for things like getting a job, paying taxes, and accessing government services. It's given to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and some authorized noncitizens who can work in the U.S.


So, while both are unique numbers, they serve different purposes and come from different government agencies.

Is an A-number the same as my USCIS case number?

Is an A-number the same as my USCIS case number?

No. They're not the same either.


While both the A-Number USCIS and USCIS case number are used to track immigration-related matters, they serve different purposes and are assigned by USCIS for different aspects of the immigration process.


Your A-Number is a unique identifier assigned to individuals by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for tracking their immigration cases. It is primarily used to track your immigration history and application status.


On the other hand, your USCIS case number is specific to each application or petition you submit to USCIS. It is assigned to your case when you file an application or petition and is used by USCIS to track and manage the processing of your specific case.

Your USCIS case number will be included on all official USCIS correspondence related to your application, such as receipt notices, approval notices, and requests for additional evidence.

Is an A-number the same as EAD-number?

Is an A-number the same as EAD-number?

No, it is not.


While the A-Number is typically found on the EAD, it's important to note that they are not the same thing. The A-Number is a broader identifier used for tracking immigration cases, while the EAD is a specific document granting authorization to work in the United States.

Will my Alien Registration Number expire?

Will my Alien Registration Number expire?

Woman holding US passpor and COVID card
Woman holding US passpor and COVID card
Woman holding US passpor and COVID card

No, your Alien Registration Number (A-Number) doesn't have an expiration date!


Once you're assigned an A-Number by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), it's yours for life. It's like your personal ID in the U.S. immigration system, regardless of changes in your immigration status or circumstances.


However, it's important to keep an eye on the expiration dates of other immigration documents, like visas or green cards, that you might have. These documents can expire, and you'll need to renew them to maintain your legal status in the US.

What should I do if I lose my Alien Registration Number?

What should I do if I lose my Alien Registration Number?

If you lose your Alien Registration Number (A-Number), don't panic!


Here's what you can do to find your Alien Registration Number:


  1. Check Your Documents: First, take a look through any paperwork you have related to your immigration status. Your A-Number might be listed on documents like your green card, Employment Authorization Document (EAD), or previous USCIS notices.

  2. Contact USCIS: If you can't find your A-Number, don't worry. You can contact USCIS for assistance. You may need to provide personal information and details about your immigration history to help them locate your A-Number.

  3. Request a Replacement: USCIS can issue a replacement A-Number if necessary. They'll guide you through the process and may require you to complete a form or provide supporting documents to verify your identity.


You can also hire an attorney to assist you with sending a letter to USCIS and assisting you in restoring your alien registration number.

Once you have your Alien Registration Number again, make sure to keep it in a safe place. You'll need it for any future interactions with USCIS or other government agencies regarding your immigration status.

The importance of your Alien Registration Number

The importance of your Alien Registration Number

Your Alien Registration Number (A-Number) is more than just a set of digits – it's your gateway to accessing vital immigration services and benefits while in the US.


From tracking your immigration history to supporting interactions with government agencies, the A-Number is a fundamental component of your journey toward achieving your immigration goals.


So, whether you're applying for a green card, seeking asylum, or simply navigating life in the U.S., having your A-Number at hand helps you confidently navigate the immigration landscape with ease and clarity.

Take the First Step:

Schedule your free consultation!

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Avi Goldenberg

Principal attorney at Manifest Law

Take the First Step:

Schedule your free consultation!

Check mark in a circle icon

Review of visa options available for you

Check mark in a circle icon

General information about timelines, fees, requirements for various visa options

Check mark in a circle icon

Information on Manifest fees, terms and process

Check mark in a circle icon

Full clarity and transparency every step along the way

Picture of Avi Goldenburg, principal attorney at Manifest law, smiling in eye glasses and a blue button up shirt in his office.

Avi Goldenberg

Principal attorney at Manifest Law

Take the First Step:

Schedule your free consultation!

Check mark in a circle icon

Review of visa options available for you

Check mark in a circle icon

General information about timelines, fees, requirements for various visa options

Check mark in a circle icon

Information on Manifest fees, terms and process

Check mark in a circle icon

Full clarity and transparency every step along the way

Picture of Avi Goldenburg, principal attorney at Manifest law, smiling in eye glasses and a blue button up shirt in his office.

Avi Goldenberg

Principal attorney at Manifest Law

Attorney Advertising. This website is intended for general informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and is no substitute for consulting a licensed attorney. Only an attorney can provide you with legal advice, and only after considering your specific facts and circumstances. You should not act on any information on this website without first seeking the advice of an attorney. manifestlaw.com is a product of Manifest Law PLLC. Manifest Law PLLC is a law firm operating as a New York Professional Corporation. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

2024 Manifest Copyright. All Rights Reserved.

Attorney Advertising. This website is intended for general informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and is no substitute for consulting a licensed attorney. Only an attorney can provide you with legal advice, and only after considering your specific facts and circumstances. You should not act on any information on this website without first seeking the advice of an attorney. manifestlaw.com is a product of Manifest Law PLLC. Manifest Law PLLC is a law firm operating as a New York Professional Corporation. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

2024 Manifest Copyright. All Rights Reserved.

Attorney Advertising. This website is intended for general informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and is no substitute for consulting a licensed attorney. Only an attorney can provide you with legal advice, and only after considering your specific facts and circumstances. You should not act on any information on this website without first seeking the advice of an attorney. manifestlaw.com is a product of Manifest Law PLLC. Manifest Law PLLC is a law firm operating as a New York Professional Corporation. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

2024 Manifest Copyright. All Rights Reserved.