What is an alien number (alien registration number)?
The alien number, also known as an “A-number,” is nine-digit number immigration assigns to a noncitizen. Immigration uses this number to create a file and keep track of any filings by the non-citizen. Importantly, however, it typically only appears on documents related to long-term processes, such as green card receipts or deportation proceedings. Your alien registration number is unique to you and only you.
An alien registration number (A-number) is probably the most important information you need when dealing with immigration. This is true regardless of the process in which you’re involved.
Here, we’ll tell you how to recognize your alien number and where to find it.
How to recognize your A-number?
First, A-numbers are normally nine-digits long. If immigration issued you a number in the last 15 years then expect yours to be nine-digits. But if issued before that, then the number could be eight or even seven digits.
But a shorter A-number isn’t really shorter. In reality, all alien numbers are nine-digits. If your number appears shorter, then you MUST place a (0) at the beginning to make it nine-digits. For example, if you’re A-number is 12345678, then your number is really 012345678.
Where can you find your alien number?
If you’re not interested in reading further, here is a short video on how to find your A-number.
You can find your alien registration number in one of the following documents:
- Green Card (Lawful Permanent Resident Card)
- Immigrant Visa found in Passport
- Approval Notices from USCIS.
- Notice to Appear from Immigration Court.
Find your alien number on a green card
If you have a green card obtained after 2010, it appears on the front middle of the card. It appears under “USCIS#”.
Find it on a work permit
If you have a work permit, the A-number appears after “USCIS#” in the middle of the card.
Find your alien number on an Immigrant Visa
The A-number is also available on your Immigrant Visa. You’ll have an immigrant visa if you processed your case outside the U.S. In other words, applied for your green card at a consulate or embassy aboard.
Find it on a USCIS receipt notice
If you filed for an immigration benefit in the U.S., then you’ll likely have a USCIS receipt. At the top of the page, there will be a box titled “USCIS#”. This is you’re A-number.
Find it on a Notice to Appear (Immigration Court).
If the government is trying to deport you, then you’ll have received a notice to appear (NTA). The NTA will have a section titled “File no.” This is you’re a-number
What can you use the A-number for?
There are two important things you can use you’re a-number to do. First, you can check the status of any case with USCIS. Second, you can obtain a copy of any documents immigration has on you.