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.

F1 applying for greencard under EB2 NIW


I am interested in applying for green card under NIW EB2 category. I recently defended my PhD and I have applied for an OPT, it will be valid from  May 2012. Currently I am on F1 working as a research assistant. These days I am searching for postdoc opportunities.

I went through the GreenCardForPhd eBook, so I am very confident to apply for the green card. As I am still on F1 status, how about the possibility of making my case successful. Please advise me. Do you have heard of similar successful cases?


It is possible to successfully apply for green card while you are on F1 status. However you should be aware that after the GC application, you may not be able to renew your F1 status (or obtain F1 visa) if needed in May of 2013. This does not cause a problem if by then you are able to apply for I-485 (either concurrently with I-140 or after I-140 approval). If you have a nationality from India or China then it may not be possible to apply for I-485 before May of 2013 due to priority dates.

You can see the contents of item 1 at the following page

You can also find F1 related faq at


Thanks a lot for the information. I am from Sri Lanka, and I prefer to apply I-140 first and I-485 second. Does it make any difference, I meant approval time if I apply for I-485 after I-140?


You can see the current approval times on USCIS website. Concurrent filing may gain some time, probably not much.

Is it possible to apply for I-485 just after approving I-140? Or do I have to wait for some time?


Currently there is no wait for your Nationality. You can see the current priority dates in the visa bulletin

Now I have F1, and will be on OPT starting mid May (still F1), and if
1. My I-140 get rejected does it influence my OPT?


It won’t influence your I-140 but it may be harder to renew OPT or F1 visa after it expires.

2. If my I-140 gets approved, and I-485 get rejected what will happen to my OPT? If my OPT is influenced/ cancelled due to this rejection can I have my spouse’s dependent visa? (Either F2/ H4)


You can go on to a H4 visa. F2 may not be possible because you should have non-immigrant intent, which is in contradiction with your 485 application.

3. If my I-140 is approved will I-485 be always be approved.

From our experience I-485 is generally approved. It is rare that I-485 is rejected. If it is rejected it could be for reasons like status violation, fraud, misrepresentation etc.

Finally I would like to visit my country in fall for about one month vacation. Do I have to be in US after applying for I-140 of I-485?


Along with I-485 application, you can apply and obtain advance parole which will allow you to travel abroad.

Thanks a lot. I really appreciate your advice.

Green card for Phd Team
Helping NIW and EB1A applications
with our DIY packages

2 Responses to F1 applying for greencard under EB2 NIW

  • Rahman says:

    I have masters degree. I contacted with an attorney who has told me that I can apply for NIW. My question is, will I be able to apply for OPT if I get rejected I-140?
    My 2nd question is, if my I-140 gets approved, can I apply for OPT ? I will be graduating in 9 months? Then when should I apply for 485?

    • Tigran Kalaydzhyan says:

      Once you filed I-140, you demonstrated an immigration intent. So, regardless of the outcome, you may not get an OPT extension, unless you withdraw it while it is pending and/or make further steps with a lawyer.
      I am not sure I understand your last question, but if your I-140 is approved, you can apply for I-485 once your priority date becomes current (this date depends on the country of your citizenship), see below

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