In an attempt to provide applicants for immigration benefits with better information about the status of their applications, USCIS launched a new feature for online accounts. Called “myProgress,” the aim is to provide more customized and accurate information about an application through the filing, pre-processing, review, and decision stages. The fine print, however, also clearly explains that all cases are unique and might take more or less time to complete. Indeed. That’s the story we’ve heard for years now.

In theory, myProgress is a good idea. In practice, it’s just another pacifier to limit the number of times applicants call or write to USCIS to ask about the status of their cases. Processing times continue to be a mystery. USCIS has been approving many green card applications in record time lately. And yet other cases languish as they have over the last decade or two.

This is not to say that myProgress is a complete failure. Rather, when reviewing the information it provides, one simply needs to recognize that it’s still just a guess about when USCIS will complete its review and reach a decision.