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“Case was Transferred and a New Office has Jurisdiction”: What to Do
Now and again, people expecting their H1B visa might come across a notification saying that their case was transferred and that another office now has jurisdiction. This notification, particularly since it is so out of the blue, might cause anyone’s heart to skip a beat, thinking that something is wrong.
The only way to prevent the mini heart attack from taking over you is to be as informed as possible. Certain actions might occur in the USCIS office, and sometimes, it is not something that you have any power over. You just need to understand whatever it is that you are reading so that you know how to proceed.
What Is an H1B Visa?
The H1B is a nonimmigrant visa that allows certain people that have college degrees or skills to work and live in the United States. An H1B visa that is valid and in order will allow those non-citizens to get a Social Security Number (SSN), along with an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). The H1B visa will also allow them to get all the documentation that they need.
USCIS issues a limited number of H1B visas every year – meaning that between hundreds of thousands of people that apply, only 85,000 are selected in the lottery. A successful applicant that had their status accepted will receive an H1B visa valid for three years – this can be renewed for three more after that. If the applicant wishes to remain more in the United States, they will need to opt for an adjustment of status instead.
H1B Processing Time
The H1B visa processing time depends on a variety of factors. It can be influenced by the state backlog at USCIS, the service center, or the selected processing speed. It also depends on whether you go for H1B regular applications or H1B premium. The regular application might take anything from 3 months to one year, whereas the premium may be processed in 1 to 15 days. However, this does not affect your case H1B visa status result, and going for premium will not guarantee that your application will get accepted.
Case Was Transferred and a New Office Has Jurisdiction
Now and again, USCIS will have to transfer your status to a new office – which means that the old office will no longer have jurisdiction. This is all because the backlog might end up being quite lengthy due to the high demand – prompting some of the cases to be moved from one service center to another.
When your case gets moved to another jurisdiction by USCIS, you will receive a message in that regard once you check your case status. Plus, you will receive a notice as to why exactly your case was transferred.
There are quite a few reasons why your case might have been transferred, among which are the following:
- The petition/application had not been filed in the correct jurisdiction.
- The petitioner/applicant has changed his or her place of residence and is now living in a different jurisdiction.
- The pending petition or application from the service center seems to require an interview at the new field office.
- A supervisory officer has transferred the workload to a different officer within the jurisdiction.
- The regulations require that the case is transferred to another office in order to take a specific action.
There are various reasons for your case being transferred to another jurisdiction, and not only limited to the cases mentioned above. That being said, transferring officers should generally be given sufficient time to complete the adjudication of a petition in particular
H1B Case Statuses
When applying for an H1B visa, USCIS will keep you updated on the status of your case. Your application status page has to be checked regularly, in the event that you will need to add further supporting documents – or just find out where you are standing. Here are the case status messages that you might receive:
- Case was received: You will receive a notification when your case is received.
- Case was received and the receipt notice was sent to email: If you go for premium processing, you will also get a receipt notice in the email.
- Requesting for additional evidence: While it might cause delays, sometimes applicants might be required to provide extra evidence when it is considered incomplete.
- Response to RFE has been approved: If applicants or petitioners receive an RFE from USCIS, they will have to provide additional documentation. Once the documents have been received, you will get a notice.
- Case has been approved and the decision was emailed: This message suggests that your petition was processed and approved by USCIS. Only those that go for premium processing will receive this message.
- Notice for acknowledgment of withdrawal was sent: Applications may sometimes be withdrawn on behalf of the non-citizen. This can happen if the employee changes their mind about working in that country or decides to go with a different employer.
- A decision notice has been mailed: Sadly, when you see a notice only saying that a decision notice was mailed, it usually means that your H1B visa application was not accepted. The reasons for the denial are usually found within the email.
- Case was approved: When an applicant receives this message, it generally means that their approval notice is in the mail and they may go further with their H1B visa application process.
- Name was updated: This notice is generally sent when there is a change in your application – most of the time, USCIS correcting one of their clerical errors. If you see this message, you might want to see your employer or any authorized legal representative to give you some clarification.
- Fees will get a refund: Some fees might get refunded, depending on the case, although it won’t affect your application decision.
- Case was transferred and a new office has jurisdiction: If you see this message, then it means your case was transferred to another office – details of which you may read in the mail.
What to Do If Your Case Is Transferred
There is nothing much that you can do if your case is transferred, other than the fact that you should keep track of your H1B case status. Sometimes, in the email, you may receive further instructions based on the reason why it was transferred – but if it is due to relocation or other clerical issues, there is nothing much for you to do.
Processing Time after Case Transfer
Once your case gets transferred, everything falls once more under routine processing. There is no actual deadline regarding the regular process, and it can take weeks or even months until you get a response. However, you may track your case status from that point as well, to receive updates on your case in particular.
- How Do I Speak to a Live Person at USCIS?
- How Many Citizenships Can You Have?
- How Do I Know Which USCIS Service Center?
- How Do I Know If USCIS Received My Application?
- What “Country of Residence” and How to Know Yours When on a Visa
- How to Check Dropbox Eligibility with the App
There is no reason to panic if your case gets transferred and another office has jurisdiction. In most cases, it is a response to the petitioner or applicant’s relocation, or it may be simply because there was too much demand – causing the particular office to delegate. In this case, all you have to do is keep checking your status and keep an eye on the notification box.