What Does the USCIS Case Status “Case Transferred” Mean for My Work Permit 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 work permit application 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 ImmigrationHelp Team
Written December 13, 2022

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

Your work permit application, also called an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), must be processed at a USCIS service center before it can be approved. Sometimes, USCIS may transfer your application from one service center to another. If this happens, USCIS will change your case status to “Case Transferred” or “Case Was Transferred and a New Office Has Jurisdiction.” 

The new status will appear in your online USCIS account. USCIS will also mail you an official transfer notice. This notice tells you which service center is handling your application now and the reason your case was transferred. 

Having your case transferred is usually no reason to worry! A transfer doesn’t mean anything is wrong with your application or that your application has been delayed. In some cases, a transfer could even speed up your processing time, especially if your old service center had a significant case backlog. Of course, a faster processing time isn’t guaranteed.

You’re not required to take any action when your case is transferred. Your application should continue moving forward at the new service center. Your receipt number (the number you use to check your case status) won’t change. But if you have questions about your case or need to submit additional documents, you should use the contact information for your new service center. You can find this in your transfer notice.

Why Did USCIS Transfer My Work Permit Application?

USCIS can transfer your case for many reasons, and most of them are no cause for concern. These are some of the most common reasons for USCIS transfers:

You Moved Into a New Jurisdiction

If you move while your work permit application is being processed, USCIS might transfer your case to the service center that has jurisdiction over your new address. Even if you don’t move very far, always notify USCIS if your address changes to avoid delays in your case.

Your Application Requires an Interview

Sometimes, USCIS may require you to appear for an interview before approving your work permit application. These interviews typically happen at a local field office or Application Support Center. If your application requires an interview, USCIS may transfer your application to the closest office or center to you. (This is another good reason to keep your address updated!) 

If your case is transferred for an interview, that’s usually great news! It means your application is one step closer to being approved.

You Filed Your Application In the Wrong Jurisdiction

If you mailed your Form I-765 and supporting documents to the wrong USCIS service center, USCIS may transfer your application to the correct location. Keep in mind, though, that USCIS doesn’t have to transfer your case if you file it in the wrong place. The agency can also just reject your application. That’s why it’s extremely important to carefully review the USCIS direct filing address information and be sure to send your work permit application to the correct address.

Your Original Service Center Is Overloaded

Sometimes, if a service center is experiencing delays, staffing shortages, or large case backlogs, USCIS may transfer cases to other service centers to help balance the workload and speed up processing times. Even if your service center is taking longer than another center to process EAD applications, there’s no guarantee that USCIS will transfer your application to speed things up. 

Can I Request a Case Transfer From USCIS?

Lengthy processing times are frustrating, especially if another service center has shorter processing times. Unfortunately, there’s currently no way to request that USCIS transfer your case to a faster service center. 

Historically, mean processing times for EAD applications have ranged from less than a month to more than nine months. But these processing times vary substantially depending on the service center and on the applicant’s basis for being in the U.S. (e.g., a pending asylum application). 

You can check the normal processing times for your service center and application type on the USCIS website. If your application has been pending for longer than your service center’s normal processing times as shown on the USCIS site, you can request that USCIS look into what’s holding up your application. You may also consider contacting an attorney to see if they can help speed up your case.

What Should I Do if My Work Permit Application Gets Transferred to a New Office?

If USCIS transfers your case, don’t panic — you usually don’t need to do anything. When you receive your official transfer notice, though, review it carefully. It may contain further instructions depending on the reason for the transfer. Otherwise, there’s not much for you to do but wait for your next case status update. In the meantime, continue to watch for any official USCIS notices and follow any instructions they contain.

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

Depending on the reason for the transfer, USCIS could transfer your application at any time after you get your Form I-797C Notice of Action, also called your receipt notice. You’ll usually receive this notice, which contains your receipt number, within 2-3 weeks after you submit your application. If your application requires an interview, your case will usually be transferred to a field office after USCIS determines your application is otherwise complete. Then, you’ll get another status update that the interview is being scheduled.

How Can I Track USCIS Case Status Changes?

Keeping up with changes in your USCIS case status is critical to avoid problems or delays in your case. A “Case Transferred” status usually doesn’t require any action, but your next status update could include a notice to schedule an interview, a request for additional information, or something else that needs your attention. 

A status change also alerts you to watch your mail. USCIS usually sends you a notice when your case status changes. These notices contain more detailed information about what’s happening in your case and what you need to do next. 

The easiest way to track your status is online, either through your USCIS account or by using the USCIS status tracker tool. You can also sign up to receive status update notifications by email or text message. There are also other ways to check your status in addition to the online platform.