Chapter 3 - Jurisdiction

A. Coordination in Cases Involving Removal Proceedings

In some cases, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) may notify USCIS of an application or petition pending with USCIS for a person in removal proceedings that must be timely adjudicated. In these cases, USCIS attempts to issue a decision on the relevant petition or application within 30 calendar days of receiving the necessary file(s) if the person is detained. If the person is not detained, USCIS attempts to issue a decision within 45 calendar days of receiving the file(s). If the next hearing in the removal case is scheduled within the 30- or 45-day time frame, USCIS typically works with ICE, to the extent possible, to complete action on the petition or application before the hearing date. USCIS maintains communication with ICE regarding the progress and status of the case. 

USCIS adjudicates all immigration benefit requests according to existing laws, regulations, and USCIS policies and procedures. If acting on ICE's request to adjudicate an application or petition might compromise those responsibilities or adherence to any law, regulation, policy or procedure, USCIS notifies ICE that the adjudication cannot be completed within the 30- or 45-day timeframe. USCIS continues to communicate with ICE about the status of the case. 

To the extent ICE currently coordinates directly with USCIS service centers with respect to benefit requests pending at the service centers, this guidance does not supersede or amend those arrangements. 

B. Transferring Jurisdiction

A pending application or petition may be transferred to a different office or jurisdiction for several reasons, including but not limited to:

  • The application or petition was not filed in the proper jurisdiction;

  • The benefit requestor now resides within another jurisdiction;

  • An application or petition pending at a service center appears to warrant an in-person interview at a field office; or

  • Regulations require transfer of an application or petition to another office for specific action.

For certain applications, such as an Application for Naturalization (Form N-400), the applicant must meet certain jurisdictional requirements relating to residency as of the date of filing; transferring jurisdiction alone may not adequately address such filing deficiency.[1]


[^ 1] See Volume 12, Citizenship and Naturalization, Part D, General Naturalization Requirements, Chapter 6, Jurisdiction, Place of Residence, and Early Filing [12 USCIS-PM D.6].

Current as of October 01, 2021