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.

IT teacher and Green card self-petition


I am a certified high school math teacher, working in a public school in USA for the past eight years. I have a Bachelors’ in Education and a Master degree in Mathematics. My school has been sponsoring for H1-B for the past eight years but refused to sponsor for green card. So I took a part time job in an IT Company which is sponsoring for green card(category EB-3). Recently, I learned that, my green card process via this IT company might take several years. I friend of mine suggested me to enroll in PhD program related my profession and my school needs.( I work in an inner city public school).
My question is, would this route (PhD) entitle me to apply in EB-2 NIW category. I am tired and frustrated with the amount of time and expenses, I am enduring in this processes.
I would like you to suggest the right process I can proceed.
Thank you in advance


There are two categories that allow self-petitioning, EB2-NIW and EB1A. None of these require phd as a requirement, at least at this time (there is a bill in congress aimed at green card for phd). However, a phd has a better chance in these categories because the various tasks  that are performed during the phd process generally add up as evidence towards uscis criteria for a i-140 petition. This is provided phd topic is well planned. We suggest you familiarize uscis criteria and look at some example petitions to understand what is usually involved in the process.
How long it takes for a green card depends on the country of origin and the current processing dates published in”visa bulletin”. You can look at the current bullietin to understand where the category of your interest and the country of your origin stands. For example for someone from UK applying in either eb1a or eb2-niw, they would get a green card with in a year. For someone from china/india applying in eb2-niw it is likely to take 5 yrs. These are just estimate. In the past, such wait times have sped up also.
I guess with the information above you will be able to make a decision. The self petitioning process is explained in a free ebook on our web page.
Green card for Phd Team
Helping NIW and EB1A applications
with our DIY packages

2 Responses to IT teacher and Green card self-petition

  • Andrei says:


    I hold an O-1 extraordinary ability visa, humanities field, expiring in 2012. I plan to apply for adjustment to permanent status (alien of extraordinary ability) as soon as I obtain the last details.
    Here are my questions: do I have to fill out 1-140 and 1-485? I will include my wife (O-3 status) in the application file. I already have the file my lawyer made while applying for O-1 and I was informed that I have to add three additional letters of rec. (OK), full-time employment letter (OK), and additional academic contributions (OK).
    In short, I am trying to identify what forms do I have to fill out for me and my wife (both EU citizens) and if possible a sample of petition letter to adjust my status.
    Thank you very much.

    • admin says:

      I-140 is the permanent residency petition and the purpose of 485 is change of status from O-1 to PR. Depending on your situation, you may also want to fill advanced parole and ead application along with 485 which allow you to travel abroad and work respectively.
      You can read the free ebook which has details of which forms are necessary and appropriate.

      Best of luck

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