What is an Alien Registration Number (A-Number)?
The A-number is a seven to nine-digit number assigned by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to most immigrants seeking permission to live in the United States. USCIS is a unit of the Department of Homeland Security. It uses your A-number to track your immigration files (“alien files” or “a-files”). They also require you to provide your A-number on most immigration documents you submit to them. Your A-number is very important, so you must know how to identify it. Luckily, it’s easy to find! Your A-number will appear on a few different documents, such as the permanent resident’s green card, work permit document, and immigration visa.
How do I get an Alien Registration Number (A-Number)?
If you want to live in the US permanently, you will need to apply for a green card or other type of immigrant visa. When you do this, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will give you an alien registration number (A-number). Most people who are only visiting the US temporarily (known as non-immigrants) will not get an A-number, but there is one exception. If you come to the US on an F-1 student visa with a work permit, you will get an A-number. A-number is important for immigration applications such as the I-130 applications.
Where can I find my Alien Registration Number?
The A-number is a number given to you by the US government. It is used to track your information and can be found on many of the documents that USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) sends you. You can find your A-number marked “A#” on most documents near the top of the page.
On your Employment Authorization Document (“EAD,” “Work Permit”)
You can find your A number on your work permit document (“EAD”, “work permit”, “work authorization”). In the example below, the A number is the nine-digit number below the “USCIS#” number:
On your Permanent Resident Green Card
If you are Green Card-holder with a card issued by USCIS after May 10, 2010, then your Alien Registration Number (A-Number) is the same as your nine-digit USCIS# marked in this example:
On your Immigrant Visa
If you do not have any other ID cards from USCIS, you may find your Alien Registration Number (A-Number) on an Immigrant Visa Stamp in your passport. Your A-Number is the nine-digit number underneath “Registration Number”:
On your Request of Evidence(RFE)
USCIS may reject an immigration application if the applicant does not provide all of the required original evidence or if the evidence does not show that the applicant is eligible for benefits. USCIS will send the applicant a notice specifying the required evidence and the deadline for submitting it. USCIS will give the applicant up to 12 weeks to provide the required evidence.
You can find your A-number on your RFE.
On your Notice of Action
Your Notice of Action from USCIS, Form I-797C, often contains your A-Number. If your I-797C contains your A-Number, the number will be under “USCIS#” on the notice:
Alien Registration Numbers FAQs
Is a USCIS Case Number the same thing as an A-Number?
No. USCIS uses your alien registration number (A-number) to track you in its systems and across multiple applications, while your USCIS case number refers to one specific application. Since they are not the same, you need to be able to distinguish between them. Your A-number is a nine-digit number, while your USCIS case number consists of 13 characters, three letters (usually “EAD” or “MSC”), and ten digits.
Is a Social Security Number the same thing as an A-Number?
No. The government will issue a Social Security number to eligible immigrant workers residing in the United States who apply for it. USCIS issues an A-number to immigrants who apply for permanent residence in the United States. Many immigrant workers have both a Social Security number and an A-number.
Is an EAD-Number the same thing as an A-Number?
Yes. There are two important numbers on an Employment Authorization Document card (“EAD” or “Work Permit”):
- Work permit number. This is the nine-digit number below the “USCIS#”. The work permit number is the same as your alien registration number (A number).
- EAD card number. This number is under the heading “Card#” and consists of three letters followed by ten digits. The EAD card number is not the same as your A number.
Is a USCIS Online Account Number the same thing as an A-Number?
No. The A-number is a nine-digit number used by USCIS to track all immigrants seeking permanent status in the United States. The USCIS online account number is only assigned if you choose to create an online account, and it also allows USCIS to track your application.
What should I do if I can’t find my A-Number?
If you can’t find your A-Number on any of the documents listed above, don’t worry! The U.S. government has a simple process that will allow you to request your number from USCIS. To do this, you will need to file a FOIA request (Freedom of Information Act) with USCIS. This process is free, and you can learn about it on the USCIS website.