How to Decode Your Alien Registration Number on Your Visa

The Alien Registration Number or A-Number is a unique identifier assigned to non-immigrants or temporary residents by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If you have a visa, understanding your A-Number is crucial. In this article, we’ll discuss how to decode your A-Number, its significance, and any restrictions it may impose.

What is an Alien Registration Number (A-Number)?

The A-Number is a seven, eight, or nine-digit number assigned to non-citizens who have been admitted to the United States for a temporary stay. It serves as a unique identifier for immigration purposes and can be found on official immigration documents, such as visas and green cards.

How is the A-Number Assigned?

When a person applies for a visa or status adjustment, the USCIS assigns an A-Number. The number remains the same throughout the individual’s immigration journey, even if they apply for a different visa or adjustment of status.

How to Decode Your A-Number?

The format for A-Numbers may vary, but they generally follow the format of “A” plus eight digits, with a hyphen between the first and second digits. However, some A-Numbers may have nine digits. It’s important to note that the format of the A-Number does not represent an individual’s status or the type of visa they hold.

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Significance of the A-Number

The A-Number is a unique identifier that is essential to an individual’s immigration journey. It helps USCIS officers and other government agencies to easily access and track all of the applicant’s immigration records, including their biographical and biometric data. Moreover, it helps in processing visa applications faster, as well as enforcing immigration laws and policies.

Restrictions and Requirements Associated with the A-Number

An incorrect or fraudulent A-Number can result in various consequences, such as being barred from entering the United States, being detained at the border, or being deported. Additionally, candidates may require their A-Numbers to register for employment or apply for a driver’s license.


In conclusion, the Alien Registration Number (A-Number) is a unique identifier assigned to non-citizens that have been admitted to the United States. It serves as a crucial identifier in the immigration journey, and understanding it can have significant implications. Make sure to check your visa or official immigration documents to locate your A-Number and ensure it is valid.

Useful FAQ

What if I forgot my A-Number?

You can locate your A-Number on the visa stamp in your passport or on your green card. If you’re unable to locate your A-Number, you can contact USCIS for assistance.

Can I use my A-Number to apply for a Social Security Number?

Yes, your A-Number is required when applying for a Social Security Number or card. Make sure to have your A-Number handy when applying for any government benefits or programs.

About the Author

Latasha W. Bolt

Latasha is a travel writer based in Atlanta, Georgia. She has a degree in journalism and has been traveling the world since she was a teenager. Latasha is experienced in navigating the visa and passport application process and shares her knowledge and experiences on the blog. Her articles are personal and engaging, providing readers with a unique perspective on the joys and challenges of international travel.

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