Update 11/11/2009: USCIS did release pending I-485 data, but in a pdf document. We have turned it into an immigration tracker. Check it out!
USCIS is getting ready to launch its immigration tracker, maybe as soon as late September!
Aneesh Chopra, the first U.S. chief technology officer, mentioned it during a speech in Silicon Valley today:
‘Customer-friendly may not be at the top of your list of words to express how this agency [USCIS] operates,’ Mr. Chopra said. Still, he argued that the immigrant workers were ‘hungry’ to do better and should soon have tools to help them provide people with better information like how far along they are in the green-card process.
We discussed the tool in an April 27th post. And we are glad that USCIS is actually pulling it together already (vs. two years from now).
Regardless of what USCIS would name it, the “tracker” supposedly will provide real status information about I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. According to Mr. Aytes, USCIS Acting Deputy Director, it will be much better than the existing status checking system which mostly display one status: “your case is still pending.” Instead, the much anticipated web-based tool is capable of showing “how many people are waiting in line with pending adjustment applications or how long it may be before USCIS can process and approve his application.”
And according to President Obama, immigrants will not only get to check their case status online, but through email and text messaging as well.
Well over 500,000 people are now waiting for their green cards, and even more are waiting to get in line. They can certainly use a status tracker once in a while. Although it doesn’t fix visa retrogression, which is the reason why the line is so long, it hopefully can provide at least an insider’s view on when their ordeal may be over.
Now we just have to wait for the tracker, and see if it actually works.
Here is a sneak peak of the new “vastly improved” USCIS website, to be launched September 22, 2009: