What Does the USCIS Case Status “Case Transferred” Mean for My Child Green Card Application?

In a Nutshell

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) case status “Case Was Transferred And A New Office Has Jurisdiction” means that USCIS moved your case to a different service center or field office. The new office will continue processing your case from there. USCIS may choose to transfer your child green card case for several reasons, including staffing shortages or processing delays. Cases may also get transferred if you move to a new jurisdiction. If USCIS transfers your case, it’ll notify you via your online account and mail you a transfer notice. You don’t need to do anything, but take note that any future additional documentation for your case and any questions you have about your case will need to be directed to the new office.

Written by Attorney Curtis Lee
Written December 13, 2022

My USCIS Case Status Says “Case Transferred.” What Does That Mean for My Child Green Card Application?

A “Case Transferred” case status means that your child green card application is now at a different field office or service center than the one you filed it with. You don’t need to take any action, and it doesn’t change anything important about your case.

For instance, the receipt number you got after filing your green card application doesn’t change. Also, it’ll most likely take about the same amount of time for USCIS to process your child green card application. Although, if your case was transferred to address a backlog, there’s a chance it might take a little bit less time.

You’ll most likely learn about the case transfer when you sign in to your USCIS account. But because USCIS also mails out a transfer notice, you’ll get an official notice by mail, too. The good thing about the mailed transfer notice is that it’ll have an explanation as to why the agency decided to transfer your case.  

Why Did USCIS Transfer My Child Green Card Application?

There are multiple potential reasons why USCIS decides to transfer cases, and most of them have nothing to do with making mistakes on the applications.

Staffing Shortages or Backlog Issues

According to “A Day in the Life of USCIS,” the agency processes 3,700 applications each day. There are five main service centers, and the workload among these processing locations isn’t always balanced. When this happens, whether it’s because of an unexpected influx of applications or a shortage of workers, USCIS will sometimes (but not all the time) send backlogged applications to a less busy service center.

You Moved

If you change your address with USCIS or the National Visa Center (NVC) because you moved, your case could get transferred to a location that matches your new jurisdiction.

You Need To Complete an Interview 

Most green card applications require the person seeking a green card to attend an interview. But depending on where the child lives, their age, and the immigration status of their parents, USCIS might waive the interview requirement. In cases where you must attend an interview, your child green card application could be transferred so it gets sent to a field office that’s closer to you.

You Sent Your Application To the Wrong Filing Address

Green card application forms, such as Form I-130: Petition for Alien Relative and Form I-485: Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, have special filing addresses based on where you are. If you sent either form to the wrong address, USCIS may reject it, or as a courtesy, decide to transfer it to the correct processing location. To avoid having your child green card application rejected or transferred, double-check the filing address before filing the form.

Can I Request a Case Transfer From USCIS?

No, it’s not possible to ask for a case transfer. However, it’s understandable that you might wish to do so if you feel the processing times are too long at your application’s current location.

In situations where the processing times of your child green card application exceeds normal USCIS processing times, you should contact USCIS.

What Should I Do if My Child Green Card Case Gets Transferred to a New Office?

It might seem like you need to do something after a case transfer, but there’s not much you need to do. If you learned about the transfer online, you can await the transfer notification that USCIS mails out. If you have any questions about the transfer, this notification will explain why it took place.

Where in the Child Green Card Application Process Might I See “Case Transferred” as My Status?

USCIS can transfer a child green card case anytime after you get the receipt notice. And USCIS should send the receipt notice within 30 days after receiving your child green card application. So you can expect to wait about a month before seeing a transfer, if one even occurs.

If the child applicant is living outside the United States, USCIS sends the child green card case to the NVC when it is done processing the application. This is part of the child green card process only if the child applicant is located outside the United States.

If the child applicant is already in the United States, a case transfer may or may not occur. If it does, there could be multiple potential reasons, as discussed earlier in this article. This means the case transfer could occur soon after you file the child green card application (if you sent it to the wrong address) or might occur toward the end of the child green card processing timeline, when you need to attend an interview.

How Can I Track USCIS Case Status Changes?

After your case gets transferred, you’ll want to continue looking out for case status updates. One of the biggest reasons to do so is to be aware of things you might need to do soon. For example, if your case got transferred to a field office closer to you, it might indicate the need to attend a green card interview.

The most convenient way to check for case status changes is to use the USCIS Case Status Online tracking tool. This is the fastest method of getting case status updates, but don’t forget that USCIS mails many of the online case status notifications you see online.

Case transfers are usually administrative updates to your child green card case that you don’t need to worry about. If you think the case transfer indicates a problem or you receive a case status change that you don’t understand an immigration attorney can answer any of your immigration questions.