USCIS Moves Cases to Distribute Workloads

From time to time, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) internally reassigns pending cases by moving them from one USCIS service center to another. These case transfers are an effort to balance workloads between service centers. Such a shift was announced at the end of March 2015.

Transfers in Process

The USCIS has begun moving some relative petitions (form I-130) from the Vermont Service Center (VSC) to the California Service Center (CSC). The selected petitions are limited to those filed by lawful permanent residents (“green card” holders) on behalf of relatives. The USCIS is also moving other case types, including immigrant worker petitions (form I-140), and employment- and asylum-based adjustment of status applications (form I-485). The workload transfer also applies to petitions for alien fiancé/e (form I-129F), as well as certain applications related to the deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) program.

Follow Instructions: Filings, RFEs, and Communications

When a case is transferred to a new service center, the petitioner or applicant, as well as the attorney-of-record, are issued a receipt notice informing the affected party or parties of the change. The receipt number, which identifies the service center where the case was initially filed, does not change.

This type of internal transfer does not change where a new case should be filed. But, for a case that has been moved to a different service center location, it generally is necessary to submit correspondence related to the case to the new location. For instance, if a request for evidence (RFE) is issued by the USCIS, the proper address for submission of the response to the RFE will be clearly set out in the RFE notice.


It is common for the USCIS to reallocate cases to ensure a balanced workload. Stakeholders should not be alarmed if such a notice is received, but should read any instructions provided to ensure that future correspondence related to the case is sent to the correct location.


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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.