What Does the USCIS Case Status “Case Transferred” Mean for My Marriage 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 marriage green card case for several reasons, including staffing shortages or processing delays. Cases may also get transferred if you move and are now in 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
Updated February 6, 2023

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

If you receive notice that USCIS has transferred your marriage green card application, it means a new USCIS field office or service center will now process your case. It might feel unsettling to see this case status update, but it’s nothing to worry about. Nothing notable about your case has changed, and this doesn’t indicate that something is wrong with your marriage green card case.

The receipt number you received after filing your green card application stays the same, and the transfer doesn’t delay the processing of your green card request. Depending on why your case got transferred, USCIS may process it more quickly at the new office, though this isn’t guaranteed.

If USCIS transfers your marriage green card case, you will get the notification online through your USCIS Account, as well as by mail when the agency sends out a transfer notice. The transfer notice you receive in the mail will explain why your case got transferred and where it is now.

Why Did USCIS Transfer My Marriage Green Card Application?

Some green card case transfers are the result of USCIS exercising its discretion to move your application forward. Other transfers take place as a required part of the green card process. Below are some of the most common reasons USCIS sends your marriage green card application to a different service center or field office. 

Staffing Shortages or Backlog Issues

USCIS has a lot of applications to process. According to “A Day in the Life of USCIS,” the agency processes 3,700 sponsorship applications each day. Most of these get processed at one of the five USCIS service centers. Sometimes, one or more service centers fall behind with their processing, so USCIS redistributes its processing workload to other locations. Unfortunately, just because one service center gets overloaded doesn’t automatically mean some of its applications will get sent to a service center with a lighter workload.

You Moved

If you (the applicant) move, USCIS may transfer your case to the service center that matches your new jurisdiction. This can occur after you inform USCIS or the National Visa Center (NVC) of your new address. Providing your new address is important because even if you didn’t move into a new jurisdiction, you still want USCIS or NVC to continue mailing your case status notifications to the correct address.

You Need To Complete an Interview

You’ll need to complete an interview to obtain your green card. These interviews must occur in person, so USCIS will try to schedule your interview at the closest field office to you. If your marriage green card case gets transferred to complete an interview, this is good news. It means your application is progressing through the green card process and you’re one step closer to getting your marriage green card.

You Sent Your Application to the Wrong Direct Filing Address

The address you mail your green card application form to depends on where you live. To be sure you’re sending your form to the correct address, you need to look up the USCIS direct filing address for the form you’re trying to mail, either Form I-130: Petition for Alien Relative or Form I-485: Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. Before mailing off your form, double-check that you’re using the correct address. 

If you mail your application to the wrong filing address, USCIS may reject yur application. The agency isn’t obligated to transfer applications that are improperly filed (although they sometimes will). If your marriage green card application gets rejected for this reason, don’t panic. You’ll most likely just need to refile it to the correct address.

Can I Request a Case Transfer From USCIS?

No, you can’t. Even if you can confirm that the processing times are shorter at a different USCIS processing location, there’s no method for requesting a case transfer.

If you feel the processing of your marriage green card application falls outside normal USCIS processing times, the best thing to do is contact USCIS.

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

The good news is there’s nothing you need to do. Having your case transferred is just an administrative change, and there’s no need to panic or take action. If you received the case transfer notification online, be on the lookout for the transfer notice that should arrive in the mail and any other case status notifications you might see during the marriage green card process.

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

This case status update could appear at almost any time after you get a receipt notice. USCIS typically sends out receipt notices within 30 days of receiving an application for immigration benefits like a green card.

For those applying for a marriage green card for a spouse located outside the United States (through consular processing), USCIS will eventually transfer the case to the NVC for additional processing. This is normal and part of the marriage green card process for spouses living in another country.

If you’re already in the United States, you may still see the case transferred case status. As mentioned earlier, this is likely due to USCIS sending your case to a field office closest to your location to make it easier for you to attend the interview. In addition to a case transfer update for the interview, you should also see a case status update indicating your interview is being scheduled.

How Can I Track USCIS Case Status Changes?

It’s a good idea to stay on top of case status changes for your marriage green card case. A case transfer may signal an upcoming change to your case where you need to do something. For instance, if your case got transferred to a field office closest to you, you can expect your interview to be coming up soon. Keep in mind that you’ll receive case status updates online, and USCIS will mail an official notice with additional information.

The easiest and fastest way to check your case status is to use the USCIS Case Status Online tracker tool. To use it, just provide your receipt number and press the “CHECK STATUS” button.