USCIS casework transfer to affect some H-1B and L petitions

30 Mar 16


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that it has begun transferring some petitions, including H-1B, L-1, and other petitions, from its Vermont Service Center to its California and Nebraska Service Centers to balance workloads.

The transfer of cases will not interrupt or change the filing of H-1B petitions during cap season. The filing location and filing instructions for initial petitions has not changed; the case load transfer is an internal USCIS procedure.

Some cases in the following categories may be transferred to the Nebraska Service Center:

  • H-1B petitions.
  • Applications to extend or change status by H-4 family members of H-1B workers.
  • Applications for employment authorization by H-4 family members.

Some cases in the following categories will be transferred to the California Service Center:

  • L-1 (intracompany transferee) petitions.
  • Applications to extend or change status by L-2 family members of L-1 workers.
  • Applications for employment authorization by L-2 family members.

If a case is transferred, USCIS will send the petitioner a notice. The agency has said that the transfers will not delay processing. Applicants may continue to check processing times on the USCIS webpage, but those who receive a notice that their case has been transferred should wait two weeks from the notice date before referring to the processing times.

BAL Analysis: The transfer of some cases will not affect the original receipt number of pending cases, or the filing of new cases. Employers may upgrade a previously filed H-1B or L-1 petition to the expedited premium-processing service. If the case was transferred, the premium processing request and additional USCIS fee will be filed at the service center to which the case was transferred. USCIS has published alerts with additional information regarding the Nebraska Service Center and California Service Center transfers.

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