Can I request that my case go to a different service center? Hi, I'm Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States out of our offices in St. Louis, Missouri and San Diego, California.
Today's question comes right off our YouTube channel. One of the commentors, I think his name was Ali, asked "Jim, my case is at the Potomac Service Center. Can I get it sent to the California Service Center?" And in this situation, sometimes service centers, some appear faster than others, that the processing times at one service center are faster than another. Now, these fluctuate over time, and you'll sometimes get a notice that your case has been transferred from one service center to the other because of workload responsibilities, because some service centers are too busy and some are not busy enough.
Now, you can't ask USCIS to change your case to one service center over the other. Once you file your case and you'll file it at the lockbox that USCIS designates for the place where you live, you can't ask them afterwards to change it to a different service center. There's just no mechanism to do that. They won't do that, and you really are subject to the whims of USCIS. They'll send your case where they want to send it. You have no control over that process.
So I know that it's frustrating. I know that the delays are long and that everyone's wanting to expedite things and wanting to move things along and I totally get that. There's a huge backlog of USCIS, and it seems strange that some service center's processing times are so much faster than other service center's processing time.
So long and the short of it is, Ali, and everybody else who's wondering, you can't ask to have your service center changed. You're stuck with the one that is processing your case. All you can do is be ready to respond if they send you a request for evidence or that you submit the strongest case possible. That's really all you can do to make your case go faster. Of course, if your case gets stuck after years, you can file a lawsuit against them, but for the day-to-day operations of your case, you don't really have a lot of leverage or control over which service center is handling your case.
I hope this makes sense. If you have any questions about the processing times or about trying to make your case go faster, feel free to give us a call (314) 961-8200. You can email us at [email protected] You can join us in our Facebook group, which is called Immigrant Home. We'd love to see you there. Of course, we have our YouTube channel. We add one new video every single day. We haven't missed a day since January 1st of 2020, and then on Tuesdays and Thursdays, usually at noon central time, we are live in our Facebook group and our YouTube channel answering as many questions as possible. So we'd love to have you join us there. Thanks a lot. Have a great day.