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.

Does my phd need to be in STEM field?

I read info on your site and found  the same very useful. I have masters degree and wish to earn a Ph.D in USA. I am already in US since 2006, and currently working. My question is – can Ph.D in any subject sponsor himself under EB 1 researcher category ? for example someone who has done Ph.D in Business Management, Strategy, Mgt Information Systems etc ? or does the Ph.D need to be in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) subject ? Does every applicant for greencard need to apply for national interest waiver (NIA) ? is it necessary to prove that giving green card is in national interest ?
I will prepare my strategy accordingly, ie whether to do Ph.D in STEM subject or non-STEM subject.
Thanks in advance.
Best Regards,
According to USCIS, the EB1A category is for applicants with extra-ordinary ability and it is not limited to any particular field of study. In fact USCIS does not even stipulate that EB1A applicants have a Phd. However with a Phd, one is likely to satisfy the necessary requirements for this category (please review the uscis criteria for EB1A posted on USCIS website on on our website). So STEM degree is not a requirement for applying in the EB1A category. You can find more information at this link.
To answer your second question, NIW is a different category, namely EB2-NIW. If you are applying in the extraordinary category, it is not necessary to apply for EB2-NIW. If you plan to self-petition for a green card in this (EB2-NIW) category, you have to show that your application is in the national interest. USCIS has a set of criteria for EB2. In addition to these criteria, you have to show that you are applying in the national interest.
You can plan your phd so that various tasks you perform help you to satisfy either the EB1A or EB2-NIW criteria. We suggest you familiarize yourself with some example petitions and USCIS criteria.
We wish you best of luck with your pursuit.
Greencard for phd team
Green card for Phd Team
Helping NIW and EB1A applications
with our DIY packages

2 Responses to Does my phd need to be in STEM field?

  • HC says:

    Hi there,
    I came across your website recently and it proves to be very insightful. I’ve been thinking about self petitioning my GC via EB1A. I’m an architect and had worked for a famous firm winning a lot international and local competitions and I have letter of recommendation acknowledging my work with them. Since I’m only a Master degree holder….I’m unsure if I’m eligible to go this route.
    Any comments would be appreciated.

    • admin says:

      EB1a is also meant for aliens who have sustained national or international acclaim. Your work can certainly fall in this category. Please read uscis criteria for EB1a on this website or on the uscis web page.

      Best of luck

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