Expect Transfer Notices on Certain Individual and Family-Based Cases

by Sheela Murthy et al.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on October 1, 2012 that some case processing work will be transferred from USCIS service centers to local USCIS field offices and the National Benefits Center (NBC). As a result, foreign nationals with pending applications and petitions may receive transfer notices and other, similar correspondence as part of this process. Details, including the specific case types affected, are described here for MurthyDotCom readers.

Applications / Petitions Affected

The USCIS indicates that these transfers are limited to the following applications and petitions:

  • Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card (Form I-90) filed with the Nebraska Service Center on or after 15.Aug.2012
    These will be transferred to the NBC.
  • Stand-Alone Immediate Relative (IR) I-130 Petitions filed with any USCIS service center on or after 15.Aug.2012
    Stand-alone I-130 petitions are those that are filed without an associated application for adjustment of status (I-485). These will be transferred to the USCIS field office having jurisdiction over the petitioner's place of residence.
  • Interview-Waivable, Family-Based I-485 Applications filed with the California Service Center on or after 01.Aug.2012
    Interview-waivable, family-based applications for adjustment of status (I-485) are those that the USCIS has determined, under internal policy, to be eligible for adjudication without an in-person interview. These cases will be transferred to the NBC.

Applications and petitions filed with USCIS prior to the effective dates, as noted above, will remain with the original service center for processing.

No Change in Filing Locations / Internal Transfers Based on Workload

The USCIS has emphasized that the filing locations for the above-mentioned applications and petitions will not change. These applications and petitions must be filed at the proper address noted in the instructions for the particular form found on the USCIS WebSite. The transferring of files is purely an internal matter, based upon a need to distribute workload. Cases that are filed at an incorrect address will be rejected.


The USCIS has a longstanding practice of transferring caseload internally whenever called for to balance overall workload with processing capacity. The Murthy Law Firm can confirm that the USCIS is actively carrying out the transfer policy, as we have received a many transfer notices in affected cases. It is also important to understand that case transfers under this policy are routine, and there is no cause for alarm. Although most individuals will not be affected by this change, it is nonetheless important to know where one's case is being processed in order to effectively communicate with the USCIS regarding questions or concerns that may arise while a case is pending.

Copyright © 2012, MURTHY LAW FIRM. All Rights Reserved

About The Author

Attorneys from the Murthy Law Firm. Sheela Murthy is the founder of the Murthy Law Firm, which consists of approximately 85 full time attorneys, paralegals, and support staff, who provide excellent service in the area of U.S. Immigration Law to clients worldwide. The Murthy Law Firm handles cases ranging from Fortune 500 companies, mid-sized and small companies, to individuals who are undergoing the U.S. immigration process. A graduate of Harvard Law School with an LL.M degree and herself an immigrant, Attorney Murthy understands the complexities of immigration and empathizes with those faced with its challenges

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.