What Does the USCIS Case Status “Case Transferred” Mean for My Employment-Based 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 employment green card 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 Peter Fargo
Written December 26, 2022

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

A USCIS service center will review your Form I-140 application for an employment-based green card. Though there are five USCIS service centers, usually only two — the Nebraska Service Center and the Texas Service Center — review Form I-140.

If one of these service centers has a backlog, USCIS may decide to transfer applications to another service center for processing. If USCIS decides to transfer your case, it will notify you by updating your case status to “Case Transferred.” 

There is no reason to panic if your case status changes to “Case Transferred.” It shouldn’t increase the processing time for your case. Processing may even occur more quickly if USCIS is transfers your case to address a backlog, but that is not guaranteed. Having your case transferred doesn’t mean that something is wrong with your green card application, and it doesn’t change how you track your case. You use the same receipt number and the same USCIS account.

In addition to a “Case Transferred” status appearing on your online account, USCIS will also mail you a transfer notice. This official notice will tell you which service center is now processing your case. It will also give you more information about why USCIS transferred your case. 

Why Did USCIS Transfer My Employment-Based Green Card Application?

USCIS can transfer your application between service centers at its discretion. The following are some of the common reasons that USCIS transfers employment green card applications.

  • The USCIS service center is overburdened: If the service center processing your application can’t process cases quickly enough, USCIS might transfer your case. 

  • You moved to a new location: If you move to a new location, USCIS may transfer your case to an office that services your new location. If you move while USCIS is processing your application, contact them as soon as possible to let them know your address has changed.

  • USCIS transferred the application for an interview: If USCIS has scheduled an interview for you, it will transfer your application to the local field office conducting the interview. This usually indicates that USCIS is moving forward with processing your case, which means your application is getting closer to approval. 

  • You submitted the application to the wrong service center: You must submit your application to the proper direct filing address for Form I-140. If you submit your application to the wrong address, USCIS may transfer your application to the office serving your new address. However, USCIS does not have to do this. It often chooses instead to reject your application.

Can I Request a Case Transfer From USCIS?

Employment green card applicants can’t make a request to have their application processed at a specific service center or transferred. This is true even if you learn that processing times are shorter at a certain location. 

However, if USCIS is taking longer than the normal processing time for your form type, you can contact USCIS to see if they can tell you why.

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

Since a case transfer means nothing more than USCIS moving your case to another service center for processing, you can only wait for your next case status update. A case transfer does not mean that USCIS is going to deny your application.

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

It is difficult to predict when a USCIS service center will experience case processing delays that require USCIS to transfer cases to another service center. USCIS can transfer your case at any time after you submit your Form I-140 application and receive your receipt notice. You can subscribe to alerts that notify you when your case is transferred. 

If you’re applying for an employment-based green card from outside the U.S., USCIS will transfer your case to the National Visa Center to complete processing. If you’re applying from inside the U.S., USCIS will likely transfer your case to a field office before your interview. You’ll usually get a status update that the interview is being scheduled.

How Can I Track USCIS Case Status Changes?

It’s easy to check your case status online using your receipt number. You can also sign up to receive automatic case status updates by email if you have a USCIS account. Though it takes longer, you will also receive case status updates by mail. USCIS will mail an official notice for important case status changes that include more information about what the status means and what, if anything, you need to do in response.