What Does the USCIS Case Status “Case Transferred” Mean for My Parent 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 parent 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 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 December 29, 2022

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

Seeing a “Case Transferred” status update might make you feel a bit uncertain about your parent green card application, but it’s not something you need to worry about. It means that USCIS has sent your application to a different service center or field office for processing. Besides the new processing location, nothing about your case changes. For instance, you’ll continue using the same receipt number to check the status of your green card application. 

USCIS may choose to transfer your application to a new processing center if the original processing center is behind on processing applications. In this case, the transfer might shorten the processing time of your parent green card case, though there’s no guarantee of that. 

If USCIS decides to transfer your case, you’ll find out in two ways. First, you’ll see the notification online when you log into your USCIS account. You should also get a transfer notice in the mail, which will also explain why your case got transferred and tell you the new processing location.

Why Did USCIS Transfer My Parent Green Card Application?

A case transfer may occur because it’s required or because USCIS exercised its discretion. Save for one exception, getting a case transferred doesn’t mean you did anything wrong in preparing and filing your parent green card application.

Staffing Shortages or Backlog Issues

USCIS processes about 3,700 applications each day across multiple service centers. Each service center works as diligently and efficiently as possible, but unforeseen circumstances can result in delays at a particular location. The reasons for these delays can include a shortage of workers or an unexpected number of applications getting sent to a single service center.

One thing to keep in mind is that applications don’t automatically get transferred just because there’s a worker shortage or backlog. USCIS has the discretion to decide when and where to transfer applications.

You Moved

If you’re now living in a different part of the United States, USCIS may have to send your parent green card case to a different service center that coincides with your new location. Case transfers based on your new location will typically occur right after you provide a new address to USCIS.

You Need To Complete an Interview

Because green card interviews take place in person, USCIS tries to set the interview at a field office that’s closest to you. If you learn that your parent green card case got transferred because of an upcoming interview, it means USCIS is trying to accommodate you and that you’re one step closer to becoming a lawful permanent resident.

You Sent Your Application Using the Wrong Address

This is one of the rare cases where your green card application might be transferred because you made a mistake. When this happens, USCIS has the discretion to reject your green card application, but the agency sometimes transfers it to the correct service center instead.

To avoid this uncertainty, before filing your parent green card application, you should confirm you’re sending it to the correct address. One way to do this is to review the USCIS direct filing address page for the form you’re filing, such as Form I-485: Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status or Form I-130: Petition for Alien Relative.

Can I Request a Case Transfer From USCIS?

Because having a case transferred is sometimes a good thing, you might wonder if you can ask USCIS to transfer your parent green card application. For example, you might learn that the processing times are longer at your application’s current service center than other service centers that process green card applications.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to request a case transfer. If your parent green card application is experiencing delays that go beyond what’s normal for USCIS case processing, you can contact USCIS.

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

There’s little that you can do if your case gets transferred. If you learn about the case transfer online and don’t understand the reason for it, be sure to check for the transfer notice in the mail. It should have additional information as to why your parent green card case has a new processing location.

Stay current with your case status notifications, as you might see a notification that requires you to do something. One prominent example is a request for evidence.

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

The moment you get a receipt notice from USCIS, it’s possible for the agency to transfer your parent green card application. USCIS should send you a receipt notice within 30 days of receiving your parent green card application.

If you’re applying for a parent green card through consular processing because you’re currently outside the United States, keep in mind that USCIS will eventually transfer your case to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing.

If you’re already in the United States, then a case transfer isn’t a guaranteed part of the green card process. But if one of the situations discussed above occurs, then you could see a case status reflecting the case transfer.

How Can I Track USCIS Case Status Changes?

You can monitor case status changes with USCIS’s Case Status Online tracker tool. Using it requires you to input your receipt number and then press the “CHECK STATUS” button.

It’s important to be aware of these case status changes because they might require you to do something, like send in documents or schedule a biometrics appointment. Also, be on the lookout for the official notice USCIS mails you. These notices contain additional, specific information explaining what you need to do.