Whatever your reason is for moving to the US, this guide aims to help you figure out the most important costs you'll face when you live there.
When you apply to live in the US permanently, or to study, the US government will create your very own “Alien File”. On top of this, they’ll give your “A-File” a unique number, called your “Alien Registration Number”. In this article, you’ll learn what your Alien Number really is, and where it can be found.
Additionally, when applying for an immigrant visa, there are usually some fees involved. If you have a non-USD bank account, then switching to a competitive online money service could save you a lot in extra fees.
This is where Wise can help you.
When you apply to live permanently in the US, the US government wants to keep a record of who you are. They do this by creating something called an “Alien File”. Unfortunately, this has nothing to do with UFOs - rather, your Alien File, or simply “A-File”, is a record of all your documentation and information.¹
When the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) creates your A-File, they’ll assign a number to it. This seven- to nine-digit number is known as your “Alien Registration Number”, “USCIS Number”, or simply “A-number”, and will stay with you throughout all future interactions with the USCIS.¹ ²
One thing to note - your Alien Registration Number is not the same as your I-94 Number. Your I-94 number is an eleven-digit number found on Form I-94, which you’ll have filled out when you first entered the US.³ ⁴
If you’ve been scratching your head trying to figure out where to find your Alien registration number, then scratch no longer!
You can find your Alien Registration Number on your green card where it says USCIS-Number, if it was issued after May 10, 2010. You can also find it on the back of these cards.⁴
Additionally, if you don’t have your green card to hand, then you can also find your Alien Registration Number on your Employment Authorization Document (EAD), immigrant data summary, USCIS Immigrant Fee handout, and your immigrant visa stamp.
You can find your Alien Registration Number:
- Where it says ‘USCIS#’ on your EAD
At the top of your immigrant data summary, which will have been stapled to your immigrant visa package at your US embassy or consulate appointment
At the top right-hand corner of your Immigrant Fee Handout, given to you at your US embassy or consulate interview
On the visa stamp in your passport, called the “Registration Number”⁵ ⁶
So, if for some reason you can’t find your alien number on your green card, then fear not - you have plenty of other options!
If you're in the process of getting your green card, then Wise may be just what you’re looking for. When applying for permanent residency, there are quite a few fees involved, and if you don’t have a US bank account, you could end up spending a lot in conversion fees.
You’ll convert your money at the real, mid-market exchange rate.
On top of this, there are no hidden fees - you’ll see all the costs involved upfront
If you’re looking to set up a US bank account, why not save yourself time and money by just opening a multi currency account with Wise?
- dhhr.wv.gov. - Aliens, Refugees and Citizenship pdf.
- USCIS - Glossary
- USCIS - Form I-94
- E-verify - Glossary
- USCIS - List A documents
- USCIS - Tips on finding your A-number
All sources checked 17 June 2021
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