We constantly tweak the Green Card Tracker to make it easier to use, and to more accurately calculate the total number of pending I-485 cases ahead of a certain priority date (PD).
One recent change is about selecting your PD. We used to only ask for the month and year, but now you can provide the full date (month/day/year) to get a better estimate. To make it easier to input your priority date, we implemented an instant calendar. The benefit of having an actual PD is that we can now count the cases that fall in the same month as yours, but may have an earlier date. These cases are in fact ahead of you due to the fact that the visa bulletin sets cutoff dates on the 1st, 8th, 15th and 22nd of each month. To see how the new algorithm works, go to this page and check out the example at the bottom.
This change is necessary because in some months, the total number of pending cases for a given month is substantial. By counting the people who filed their applications in the same month as you, but may be ahead of you due to the way visa cutoff dates are determined, you will get a more realistic estimate of your place in line.
If you simply select the first day on the calendar, the result will be exactly the same as when you submit only your PD’s month and year.
We’re also working on some features such as synchronizing the pending I-485 inventory with other government released data. This is a work-in-progress, but your full priority date will come in handy when those functions are implemented.
Just a reminder, the green card tracker is only accurate if the USCIS’ pending I-485 inventory is accurate. Since USCIS is the sole authority for such data, their release has to be the only official source. There isn’t a better alternative at this moment.
Below is the change I just discussed: