Navigating Case Transfers: What You Need to Know

2 min readFeb 19, 2024


Why Are Cases Transferred?
When filing a form with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), applicants often encounter a process involving case transfers. This transfer, indicated by a receipt number starting with 3 characters, typically occurs due to backlog issues and aims to facilitate timely processing. Upon transfer, applicants receive notices detailing the new service center and the rationale behind the move, while reassuring them that their receipt number remains unchanged.

Case transfers are commonplace and can result from various factors, including service center workload, jurisdictional considerations, interview requirements, or administrative reasons. Consequently, it’s important for applicants to understand that transfers are a normal part of the processing period, and typically, there’s little action required on their part unless USCIS provides further instructions.

When Will the Transferred Cases Be Processed?

Following a transfer, the processing time at the new service center is generally anticipated to be shorter compared to the previous one. However, the actual speed of processing is subject to several variables, such as workload and interview necessities. Notably, if an interview has already been conducted or is deemed unnecessary by USCIS, processing at the National Benefits Center (MSC) tends to be expedited.

The processing time distribution depicted below outlines the timeline for cases transferred to the National Benefits Center (MSC) or Potomac Service Center (YSC), typically resulting in decisions within 1 to 3 months. Conversely, processing times at other service centers may vary, with median durations around 3 to 4 months and the majority of cases processed within 1 to 8 months. For a more detailed breakdown of processing steps, interested individuals can refer to the Lawfully premium analysis page.

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