What Does the USCIS Case Status “Case Transferred” Mean for My Citizenship 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 citizenship case for several reasons, including staffing shortages or processing delays. Cases may also be transferred if you, the applicant, move and are now in a new jurisdiction. If USCIS transfers your case, it will 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 January 19, 2023

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

USCIS issues the “Case Transferred” status when it has assigned a different office to process or review your citizenship application. You should note that receiving this status does not change or affect your USCIS receipt number, the 13-character code USCIS provides on its Form I-797C: Notice of Action. You’ll still be able to use the same receipt number to track your case status online.

There’s no need to worry about a transferred case. The “Case Transferred” status does not signify that there was something wrong with your N-400 application. This status also doesn’t mean you’ll face major delays in the processing of your citizenship application. Your application may even undergo faster processing through your new field office or service center. If a new center processes your application, you may avoid delays you would have otherwise experienced.

If USCIS transfers your case, you should see this status update on your online USCIS Account. USCIS will also send you an official notice by mail, known as a transfer notice. This notice will contain more information about why USCIS transferred your case and your newly assigned office.

Why Did USCIS Transfer My Citizenship Application?

USCIS may transfer your case at its discretion. Typically, you won’t be able to control whether USCIS decides to transfer your case. You shouldn’t worry if USCIS does decide to move your case to a different office. This likely isn’t a reflection on the quality of your application.

USCIS usually transfers applications in the following circumstances:

  • Staffing shortages and/or backlogs at certain service centers. Sometimes, when your original service center faces longer-than-normal application processing times, USCIS may decide to transfer some applications to another center. However, even if there is a backlog at your service center, USCIS does not always redistribute applications to a new center.

  • You (the applicant) move to a new jurisdiction. If you move to a different jurisdiction, USCIS will transfer your case to your local service center. If you’re planning on moving at all while you apply for citizenship, you should inform USCIS. Be sure to notify USCIS about your change of address as soon as possible to ensure a smooth application process and transition to a new service center.

  • You applied for a benefit that requires an interview. When you apply for U.S. citizenship, you’ll need to complete an interview with a USCIS case officer. Interviews typically take place at local field offices. USCIS may transfer your case to accommodate your interview. This is usually great news, as it signals that your application is being processed. You should now be one step closer to receiving citizenship.

  • You sent your initial application to the wrong service center. Sometimes, applicants accidentally file their initial citizenship application with the incorrect USCIS service center. When you’re first submitting your citizenship application, be sure to double-check your filing address. Although USCIS can sometimes transfer files to the correct service center, it may not always do so. Instead, it may reject your application.

Can I Request a Case Transfer From USCIS?

There is no way to request that USCIS transfers your case. Even if you notice that another service center has shorter processing times for citizenship applications, you can’t ask USCIS to switch your office. USCIS will only reach out about a case transfer if it decides to move your application to another center or if you move jurisdictions.

If you’re facing unusually long processing times, you may be worried about your citizenship application. In cases like these, you can contact USCIS for more information on your case. USCIS publicly updates current processing time estimates. If your case falls outside normal processing times, you may also submit an e-Request to USCIS inquiring about your situation.

What Should I Do if My Citizenship Case Gets Transferred to a New Office?

Remember that a case transfer is usually just for administrative purposes. If USCIS transfers your N-400 application to a new office, there’s not much you need to do besides wait for your next case status update. In the meantime, keep an eye on your case progress and any official USCIS notices you receive. Be sure to carefully follow any of USCIS’ instructions.

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

You may see this updated case status at any time after submitting your case and getting your receipt notice. If you move while USCIS is processing your case or you filed at the incorrect office, USCIS may transfer your case once it becomes aware of the change. 

If you’re applying for citizenship from inside the United States, you’ll need to complete an interview with an immigration officer. USCIS will likely transfer your case to a field office ahead of the interview. You should see a status update when USCIS begins scheduling your interview.

How Can I Track USCIS Case Status Changes?

Throughout the citizenship application process, you’ll want to remain aware of your application progress. Look out for any important requests from USCIS and to complete all necessary steps in the process. You’ll also want to pay attention to all mailings and updates from USCIS. USCIS mailings tend to give more specific information on your next steps than what you see online.

If USCIS is transferring your case, your next status update may contain actionable information or require something from you. Your initial transfer status update may not indicate any immediate action items, so it’s important to keep up with all of USCIS’ communications.

You may use USCIS’ Case Status Checker to view your current status online. To see your status, you’ll need to input the 13-character receipt number that USCIS provided you with on its initial Form I-797.