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What is the difference between the National Benefits Center, Service Center, and District Office?

Discussion in 'Family Based Green Card -Through Marriage/Relative' started by USATnT, Apr 21, 2011.

  1. USATnT

    USATnT Registered Users (C)

    I am so confused about these different offices. I am a U.S. citizen who has filed for my husband (he overstayed his visa) after we married. The forms I-130, I-485, and I-765 were filed. I filed for him last September 2010. We reside in NYC. I think the National Benefits Center has always had our case, at least that's what I was told over the phone. And our receipt has MSC. Yet, I know there's a Vermont Service Center and a NYC district office.

    I once entered my zip code on the USCIS site and was directed to the Vermont Service Center. So which office is really helping us? National Benefit Center, Vermont Service Center, or NYC disrtict office. Which one should I rely on when trying to determine processing times?
  2. BigJoe5

    BigJoe5 Registered Users (C)

    USCIS has "Field Operations (FOPS)" and "Service Center Operations (SCOPS)".

    FOPS has Districts and they in turn have various Filed Offices. National Benefits Center (NBC) is located in Missouri and at one time was erroneously referred to a the Missouri Service Center (MSC). In the early days the computer programming tables were set up to accept data entry produce notices and for that facility under the office code MSC. The function of NBC is primarily to get files ready for transfer to local offices for interviews. NBC will eventually send yours to NYC if an interview is required. Some interviews can be waived, it depends on the particular type of case and the pertinent issues in that case. NBC also has primary jurisdiction in a few specific types of adjudications (Orphan petitions as well as, FOIA requests and their appeals).

    SCOPS has 4 Service Centers that specialize in certain types of adjudications that generally do not require an interview. (On a rare occasion, some special circumstance (usually fraud) will result in a SC case being transferred to a local office for an interview and/or investigation).

    Your wife's case may involve the separation or "de-coupling" of certain forms. The I-765 could be kept at NBC or transferred to a SC? Much of that depends on workloads and shuffling backlogs for faster overall processing. The I-130 and I-485 should be kept together and eventually transferred for interview.

    Check the I-485 IR processing time-frame for your local office as to when to expect the interview. If an interview is not scheduled within 30 days of the posted time, an inquiry would be the next step: either through the online case status' service request feature, the 800#, or Infopass.

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