Category Archives: Immigration Road

Redesign of ImmigrationRoad.com

If you’re a returned visitor to our website today, you’ll see a completely different layout and design. With weeks of hard work, we’ve now made immigrationroad.com fully responsive. What it means is that whether you’re using a smartphone, a tablet or a desktop/laptop computer, you will have the same viewing experience because the website automatically adapts to your screen’s size: No more need to zoom and drag just to read the entire page. It is also compatible with all modern browsers including Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox and IE 9+, and will display beautifully on Windows, iOS or Android devices.

Other than its look and feel, the new website should also load faster thanks to page speed improvements. CSS, Javascript and images are optimized to provide a better surfing experience. Navigation menu is also redesigned to provide a more touch-friendly interface.

Your favorite tools all remain intact. The green card tracker, visa bulletin toolbox and immigration flow chart all function exactly the same as before.

Having said all this, I personally will miss our old website. After all, I designed it from the ground up and wrote every line of code to make it beautiful, clean and functional. But things have changed. Nowadays a significant portion of our visitors come through a phone or pad, so we have to adapt too. I hope you like the new design, especially if you’re a mobile user. And if you do see a glitch or have a suggestion, please don’t hesitate to let us know.

new immigrationroad website

Save Janet

Her time is running out, but there is still hope:

Janet’s personal blog: http://janetliang.wordpress.com/
Save Janet Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/events/236450299768633/

In short, here’s how you can help.

1) Register in the National Bone Marrow Registry.

2) Spread the word to your friends via social media, word of mouth, whatever means you can think of. We really need to spread the word!

3) Start a Bone Marrow Drive! Depending on where you live, there are excellent resources of people and organizations that can help and through your personal connections, we can continue to spread the word and get others to register too! – Janet Liang

Google+ (Plus) Invitations Available

ImmigrationRoad.com is now on Google Plus! If you’re interested in yet another social network, drop me a line for an invitation. I don’t have many to begin with so I can’t guarantee that you’ll definitely get one. Also, please use our secure contact form to request an invite, not the comment section below, for privacy reasons since you’ll have to provide your email address.

My intention is to use the circles feature on Google+ to publish immigration news and updates, effectively making it a more personalized twitter service. Hope it works.

Now I wish I did have a bunch of visa numbers to give out; well, maybe next time 🙂

Google Mega Sitelinks for ImmigrationRoad.com

Google officially launched its new and expanded sitelinks yesterday, often referred to as mega sitelinks by Webmasters:

That brings us to today’s launch. Sitelinks will now be full-size links with a URL and one line of snippet text—similar to regular results—making it even easier to find the section of the site you want. We’re also increasing the maximum number of sitelinks per query from eight to 12. – Google

In case you’re not familiar with the term, sitelinks are the small links to sub-pages of a website after you do a search on Google. They don’t always show up, and are usually located under the first search result. This is done automatically by Google to help users nagvigate the website.

I was able to see the new sitelinks for immigrationroad.com yesterday and was quite pleased with the results. Google certainly picked the right links – they captured the essence of what our website is all about. Take a look:

The new sitelinks are being rolled out in phases so you may not have seen it. Also the individual links are picked by Google, and may vary from time to time.

Social Network Sharing Buttons

Today I finally added a few social buttons to some of our pages at immigrationroad.com. Although I’m not a heavy user of social networks myself, I believe many of our visitors are. These buttons should make it easier if they wish to share our website with friends.

We don’t advertise, so word of mouth has been a major force that drives traffic to our site (in addition to search engines). Since I founded immigrationroad.com in 2007, site visits have increased from just a few pages to now over 10,000 hits a day. It tells me that the efforts we put in are not wasted, and a large number of people find them useful. It has been a rewarding experience.

With the addition of Facebook Like, Google +1 and Twitter buttons, I hope it is now more convenient if you do feel like recommending immigrationroad to your friends and contacts. Every bit counts and thanks in advance!

Better Green Card Tracker

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:

Old interface:

New interface:

Share Your Knowledge, Experience and Stories

ImmigrationRoad.com was founded in 2007, as a hobby Website to share the stuff I learned while pursuing a green card. Never did I imagine it would grow so fast, so big, in just three years. With some help along the way, we now publish articles on nearly every aspect of the immigration process, in addition to providing tools, guides and anything that may help the immigrant community. Our I-485 tracker, for example, is being used by thousands of people, everyday! More importantly, everything is free.

All of this started because when I looked back on my own journey, the most helpful information I gained was from my peers – those who were struggling just like I was. At the most frustrating or confusing moments, there were always people who had been there and were willing to share. Government and law firm Websites were helpful too, but they tend to be more accurate than practical.

So, we would like to extend an invitation to all of our readers: You are welcome to publish on ImmigrationRoad.com as well! If you have a tip to share, a story to tell, or even something to vent about, you will have an opportunity to share it with a large audience. Both the blog and the main Site are available, not to mention the always-open community forum.

This is meant to be a way for immigrants or would-be immigrants to share their knowledge and stories. So self-promotional material will not be accepted. In addition, any offensive, insulting or discriminatory remarks are strictly prohibited. We do have quality guidelines for publication, but we understand the fact that English is probably not the first language for most, so we will focus more on the content of your submission rather than your writing skills.

Any information you provide to ImmigrationRoad.com will be kept confidential. You may choose to post anonymously, or have your name displayed (Initials, full name, or even contact information). In any case we will clearly mark such content as user-generated.

Interested? Questions? Already have something to share? Please let us know. We’ll be in touch soon.