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“Case was Transferred and a New Office has Jurisdiction”: What to Do

Updated on April 10, 2024

At a Glance

  • The H1B visa allows non-citizens with college degrees or specialized skills to work and live in the United States.
  • USCIS issues a limited number of H1B visas each year, and applicants go through a lottery system.
  • Processing time varies based on factors, and case status messages can include receipt confirmation, additional evidence requests, approval, denial, or case transfer to another office.
  • Once a case is transferred, routine processing resumes, and there is no specific timeline for a response.

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.

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Final Thoughts

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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. What Does It Mean When a Case Is Transferred to a New Office with Jurisdiction?

When a case is transferred to a new office with jurisdiction, it means that the responsibility for processing and handling the case has been transferred from one government agency or office to another. This can occur for various reasons, including changes in the applicant’s location or the need for specialized processing.

2. Why Would My Case Be Transferred to a Different Office?

Cases can be transferred for several reasons, such as changes in the applicant’s address, the need for specific expertise in processing, or workload balancing among government offices. It is typically done to ensure that cases are processed efficiently and effectively.

3. How Will I Be Notified If My Case Is Transferred?

You will typically be notified of the case transfer through official communication from the relevant government agency. This notification may be in the form of a notice or letter sent to your mailing address or through an online portal if you have an account with the agency.

4. Can I Request or Appeal a Case Transfer?

In most cases, you cannot request or appeal a case transfer, as it is a decision made by the government agency for administrative reasons. However, you can contact the agency’s customer service or inquire about the specific reasons for the transfer.

5. How Does a Change in Jurisdiction Affect the Processing Time of My Case?

A change in jurisdiction can affect the processing time of your case. Different offices may have varying processing times, and your case may experience delays if it is transferred to an office with a higher workload. It’s essential to monitor the status of your case and follow any instructions provided in the transfer notification.

6. Can I Track the Progress of My Transferred Case?

Yes, you can typically track the progress of your transferred case online through the government agency’s tracking system. You will need the case number or receipt number provided in the transfer notification to access your case status.

7. What Should I Do If I Have Questions About My Transferred Case?

If you have questions or concerns about your transferred case, it is advisable to contact the relevant government agency’s customer service or the office that now has jurisdiction over your case. They can provide you with specific information and guidance related to your case.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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