Blog for Postdocs / Phds, National Interest Waiver, Extraordinary Ability

Disclaimer: The contents in this web site are only for your information and are not intended to be legal advice. While many of our applicants successfully obtain their I-140 approvals, the information here should not be considered as a guarantee of your green card application outcome.

Joining PhD and Green card question


I am currently pursuing master in computer science and I will be graduating in December. I have few questions regarding green card which I can apply after PhD degree.

Question 1 . Is there any green card criteria that I have to do PhD from any specific university or can I do PhD from any university?

Question 2.  When can I apply for green card? Do I need to apply after I complete my PhD degree or can I apply while I am doing my PhD degree?

I would appreciate any of your help


We suggest you read the following related post for more details. Your questions are answered below.

  1. No. You can have PhD from any University. We like to make it clear that there is no USCIS criteria that requires a Phd for a green card. However, most Phds or postdoc (sometimes Phd students also) tend to satisfy the USCIS requirements of EB1A (extraordinary ability under employment based category 1)  or EB2-NIW (national interest wavier under employment based category 2). This makes them eligible to self-petition for a green card without the need for an employer.
  2. There is no hard and fast rule as to when you can apply. The answer is whenever you think that you have a strong case to support an EB1A or EB2-NIW case. USCIS has a set of criteria for permanent residency petition in each of the employment based application categories. You can find these criteria else where on the website.
Green card for Phd Team
Helping NIW and EB1A applications
with our DIY packages

2 Responses to Joining PhD and Green card question

  • Rajeev says:

    I have Master in Computer application from India in 2002 Bachelor in Computer Science in 1998 and working since than means I have total 13.5 years of Professional experience in all across the globe in IT. Now a days IT is not that green as it was 10 year back. So Can it be considered under NIB. Can I apply under EB1 or EB2 under self petition.
    Beside computer education I have two years course of Law. All my education from India.
    I am ERP product specialist; will that help in my case?
    I have all certifications from Oracle and this product is one of the top product in ERP area.

    Waiting to hear from you.

    • GCforPhD says:


      Generally EB1a self-petition is hard and so is EB2-NIW-exceptional ability self-petition. If your company is willing to sponsor you in the EB2 category that would be the best. However if you still like to self-petition you may be able to try the EB2-NIW-advanced degree category. From our experience, generally, USCIS prefers exceptional ability for NIW cases. Juts to compare you can try one of our example petition packets which shows how an NIW-exceptional ability petition is prepared.

      Best wishes

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