What Does the USCIS Case Status “Case Transferred” Mean for My EB-5 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 EB-5 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 EB-5 Green Card Application?

USCIS uses a “Case Transferred” notification when it transfers your case from one of its five service centers to another service center. This status update doesn’t mean that there is a problem with your application — only that USCIS has transferred your application to a different service center for processing. 

Nothing else changes. You still use the same receipt number to check for case status updates. A transfer shouldn’t delay your processing time. It may even expedite the processing of your application if the new location is working at a faster rate, but this isn’t guaranteed. 

If USCIS transfers your case, you’ll get a status update on your USCIS account online alerting you of the transfer. USCIS will also send an official notice known as a transfer notice by mail. It will contain information about why USCIS transferred your case and the new processing location.

Why Did USCIS Transfer My EB-5 Green Card Application?

USCIS can transfer your case at its discretion. The agency transfers cases between its five service centers for a few common reasons. While there isn’t anything you can do to prevent a case transfer, it’s not something to be concerned about. 

Here are some common reasons why USCIS may transfer your case:

  • The USCIS office processing your case is too busy: If the USCIS service center reviewing your EB-5 green card application has too many cases and not enough staff, it may transfer your case to a location with more time or staff.

  • You, the applicant, moved: If you move, USCIS may transfer your case to the office that processes cases for your new location. If you move while your green card application is under review, you should contact USCIS to update your address.

  • Your application was transferred to a local office for an interview: This is usually a good sign! If your application is transferred to a local field office, USCIS is preparing to interview you. This means you’re one step closer to the approval of your EB-5 green card. 

  • You sent your application to the wrong service center: USCIS will often reject your application if you send it to the wrong direct filing address, but sometimes it will choose to transfer your application instead. USCIS is not obligated to do this so it’s important to double-check that you send your application to the correct filing address.

Can I Request a Case Transfer From USCIS?

You cannot ask USCIS to transfer your case to a specific service center, even if you learn that processing times are shorter there. If your case is outside normal processing times, you may contact USCIS.

What Should I Do if My EB-5 Green Card Case Gets Transferred to a New Office?

When USCIS transfers your case, there is nothing you can do but wait for the next status update in your case. This case status is usually just an administrative action. It doesn’t indicate that USCIS might deny your application.

It’s a good idea to keep an eye on your case status online and on your mailbox for official notices from USCIS. As soon as you receive a notice, read it carefully and make sure you understand it. Some updates, like a case transfer, won’t require any action from you. Others, like a request for evidence, will. If you receive an update and don’t understand what it means, we can help you learn more about the case status.

Where in the EB-5 Green Card Application Process Might I See “Case Transferred” as My Status?

USCIS could transfer your case at any time after you submit your application and USCIS sends you a receipt notice. The application process looks a little different depending on whether you’re applying for an EB-5 green card from abroad (through consular processing) or from within the United States (through an adjustment of status). In both cases, USCIS will provide status updates about when and where your interview will occur.

  • If you’re applying from abroad: After USCIS approves your Form I-526 or Form I-526E petition, you and any dependent family members living outside the U.S. can apply for immigrant visas with Form DS-260. The National Visa Center (NVC) will then review your application and notify you of the time and place of your interview. Interviews are usually held at a U.S. embassy or consulate close to you. As this interview is pending, USCIS will transfer your case to the NVC for final processing.  

  • If you’re applying from the U.S.: If you submit an application for an EB-5 green card while living in the U.S., you’ll also submit Form I-485. USCIS will transfer your case to a field office prior to your interview. 

How Can I Track USCIS Case Status Changes?

Getting a green card is a major step in your life, so tracking the status of your EB-5 application is important. While USCIS will mail important case status updates, you can also check your case status online, which often gives you the case status more quickly. It’s easy to check your status online. You simply enter your 13-character receipt number and press “CHECK STATUS.”