A pending application/petition may be transferred to a different officer or jurisdiction for several reasons, such as (but not limited to):
When USCIS has written policy guidance or when internal components enter into agreements that govern the transfer of cases between and among USCIS components (e.g., centralization or bulk transfer agreements to facilitate workload sharing between field offices and service centers), then those transfers are governed by those documents and not by this chapter.
While a supervisor retains authority to assign and transfer work, potential consequences of transferring an application/petition, such as additional workload for the receiving office/officer and delay of adjudication, should be carefully considered before action. Jurisdictional issues should, if possible, be settled by the supervisory chain of command before an officer spends significant time and resources preparing an application/petition for adjudication. There are certain applications, e.g., N-400s, for which certain jurisdictional issues relating to residency must be met on the date of filing and for which a transfer of jurisdiction alone may not adequately address any filing deficiency. Cases being transferred from a service center to a local office for interview or investigation based on existing relocation criteria should be reviewed by a supervisory officer before the transfer is initiated to ensure that the matter cannot be readily resolved through correspondence or in-house research (such as referral to the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate, review of existing files, or use of readily available research tools.) An interview does not serve a purpose if an individual is statutorily ineligible for the requested benefit. Such a transfer results in a significant and unnecessary additional workload for USCIS. While this may be a very valuable and effective tool in certain circumstances it should only be used in cases where the local office's assistance is essential to the adjudication of the case.
To the extent possible, an officer transferring to another position, assignment, or office should be allowed sufficient time before his or her departure to complete adjudication of assigned pending applications/petitions.
Where there is disagreement over the proper adjudication of a case, the procedures described in chapter 10.14 of the AFM should be followed.