How do I move my immigration application to a different state for quicker processing?

Question: I am preparing to apply for adjustment of status through marriage to my spouse, a U.S. citizen. We live in California. I’ve heard that USCIS processes applications in California very slowly. Can I submit my application in another state to speed up the application process?

Answer: No. When you submit any application to USCIS, you must provide your actual physical address. You must submit your application to the office required by the USCIS instructions. During the application process, you may not move your application from one state to another just to increase the processing speed of your application.

Every USCIS form asks for your actual physical address. This is the address where you sleep every night (or most nights in a year). You can also provide a separate mailing address, but you cannot avoid providing your actual physical address. If you move during your application process, you must complete a Form AR-11 notifying USCIS of your new address. 

If another state seems to process cases faster than your state, it might be tempting to claim an address in that state as a way to expedite the process. However, during your application process, you may have to provide copies of your tax returns, bank statements, and driver’s license. These documents should also reflect your actual physical address. USCIS might also conduct a background search to learn more about you. If a USCIS officer discovers that you have lied about your address, your application might be delayed or denied. Lying to USCIS is an easy way to ensure that your application is denied and that any future applications are more difficult.

How Can I Speed Up My Case?

You cannot control how fast USCIS processes your case. All you can do is ensure that your application forms are filled out correctly and you have provided all the required documents. If your application forms are incomplete or if you have not submitted all required documents, USCIS will send you a Request for Evidence (RFE). This will slow down your case. You should also avoid rescheduling your fingerprint appointment or interview.

Hiring a Lawyer to Help Your Immigration Case

Your attorney can help look over your documents and ensure that you send the correct information to the USCIS. Getting things right can save time and stress and help you move through the process more smoothly. 

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