Case was transferred and a New Office has Jurisdiction

Bureaucracy at its finest

What does the status alert “case was transferred and a new office has jurisdiction” mean? 

When the application status changes to “The case was transferred and a new office has jurisdiction”, it means that your pending petition has been transferred to a new office within USCIS and that the previous office will not have any authority over it. This status update is sent to the applicant or the petitioner through a message along with the reason as to why the case has been transferred so that the applicant can take necessary actions if needed. This may happen due to several reasons which are listed below:

  1. One of the very common reasons as to why the case is transferred to a new jurisdiction or office is when an office has a lot of backlog or pending cases to be worked on, they transfer it to a new jurisdiction to avoid long delays in processing the application. 
  2. If the applicant has relocated or shifted to a different area that falls under different jurisdiction and is now living there, then he or she will come under a new jurisdiction and the case will be dealt with by the new office.
  3. Another reason might be if the visa application has been filed under the incorrect jurisdiction, then the case may be transferred to the correct jurisdiction internally and the applicant will be notified.
  4. The officer-in-charge has a lot of workloads that may affect the application processing time, he can transfer some of the cases to the new officer.
  5. If the application or the petition requires an interview at a new field office for several reasons, then your case will be transferred to that office.
  6. Some regulations or adjustments within the USCIS may need the case to be seen by a different office to run some specific action. 
  7. There are any changes in the policy guidelines or any other internal changes that may require the service center to transfer a high volume of applications or cases at a time.
C was transferred

The Supervisor takes notice…

In any of the above situations, before the case is transferred and the new jurisdiction takes over, the supervisory officer in charge of transferring the case should review the applications to check whether it is worth transferring to a new office or not. In case of a situation where the petitioner needs to be additionally interviewed or the application needs a specific action, the officer in charge should revisit the application and decide whether the petitioner is eligible for further course of action before sending it to the new jurisdiction to reduce unnecessary burden on the department.

Now, when you get a status update saying your case was transferred, there is nothing much you can do and there is nothing to panic or be worried about either. Here are a few instances to help you reduce your anxiety:

Person A got a notification about his case transfer from the California service center to a local office where he lives. The very next month he got a new status update that his ‘card is being produced’. In another incident, Person B received an I-797C Notice of case transfer. The notice stated: “We have completed a preliminary review of the application or petition (“your case”) listed above. As part of standard processing, we transferred your case to the USCIS office listed below that has jurisdiction for your case. That office will notify you in writing when they make a decision on your case or if they need additional information..“. In this situation, this person has to wait patiently for the next course of action by the USCIS.

Supervisor

What are the steps an applicant can take regarding their application when the status is updated to “case was transferred and a new office has jurisdiction”?

When you get this status update through email or message, a notice will also be provided on the reason as to why your case was transferred to a new office or jurisdiction. You will be sent a notice with details on what you need to do; you can just follow the instructions provided in the next steps. If you relocate to a new place, have a new address, or a new point of communication like a new email id or phone number, you need to provide the details to the USCIS without any delay so that you receive the notifications appropriately.

If you do not receive a notice within a couple of weeks, you can visit the e-request section on the USCIS website and request an online copy of the notice.

USCIS states that even though the case is transferred to a new field office, your biometric appointment will not be affected and you will still be assigned to your nearest visa application center for your biometrics. 

Processing Time

What is the usual processing time for applications that have this status update?

There is no particular processing time for the applications that receive the ‘case transferred’ status update. This is because once your case is transferred to a new office, it may have to undergo another set of the review or verification before they move forward with the next course of action. It may take a few weeks to a few months as well. However, you can keep a track of your application process. Here are a few quick steps to follow:

  • Make a note of your application receipt number.
  • Go to the ‘Case status tracker’ on the USCIS website. 
  • You will be directed to the case status online page where you need to enter the receipt number in the input box and click on “check status”.
  • The page will navigate you to the details of your application status where you can see the latest update of your case status

Apart from checking the status online, there are some other methods in which you can track your application status:

You can call the USCIS information center on 1-800-375-5283 however you may have to wait for a long time in the queue.

You can mail them to the various processing or service centers:

Some of the most common applications that this status has been displayed for:

Although this status update can be applied to any kind of petition or application form, some of the most common scenarios or applications when this status has been displayed for in 2020 are:

  1. I-129 or petition for nonimmigrant workers is filed when the employer wants to fill in a position with a foreign worker within the United States. Now, towards the end of the year 2020, when the United States had temporarily suspended the non-immigrant visa, the H1b cap-subject petitioners (applicant with advanced skills or education) had filed a petition requesting for an exemption to this suspension. All those cases have been transferred from California to the Vermont service center
  1. I-129 petitioners who are seeking the O and P visa classification.
  2. I-751 which is the application for petitions to ‘remove conditional residence’. This is for the people who have obtained a marriage-based green card which is valid for 2 years. They need to file I-751 requesting the USCIS to remove the conditions on their permanent residence and grant them a permanent green card which is valid for 10 years.  
  3. I-130 petitioners who are seeking immediate relative petition or green card for their family members. 
  4. I-485 petitioners who are in the US under the ‘U’ nonimmigrant visa category who are seeking adjustment of status.
  5. I-539 which is the application to request for extension or change in the nonimmigrant visa status.
Using your Passport

So with all the above information and situations that we have shared in this article, you now know what to expect when the status changes to “case was transferred and a new office has jurisdiction”. All you have to do is to keep a track of your application and follow the instructions provided in the notice sent by the USCIS.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

What does it mean when USCIS transfers your case to a new office?

USCIS can transfer your case to the new office, under several different circumstances. Please refer to the above article to know more about the various situations where your case can be transferred.

Will it affect my visa processing if my case is transferred to another field office? 

Well, the visa processing doesn’t get affected in any way if the case is transferred and gets delayed. A slight delay in the process may happen because the new field office may have to review your application again before the next course of action.

What do I do if I do not receive a notice from the USCIS about the reason for the ‘transfer of my case’? 

If you do not receive a notice from USCIS about the transfer of your case, you can visit the USCIS official website and request a copy of the e-notice by placing a request in the e-request section.   

Can I track my application process after my case is transferred to a new field office?

Yes, you can track your application after your case is transferred. You can visit the application tracker on the USCIS website to track your application status. The easy step by step method of tracing an application status is mentioned in one of the previous sections of this article. 

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