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

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PhD candidate

Hi, I am currently a PhD candidate in chemistry from a recognized US university and planning to graduate in next fall. I am planning to join postdoc next in F1-OPT status. So far, I have 20 publications (8 first authors, all of them impact factor>8 ), 3 book chapters and around 150 citation. I also got 6 awards (best poster, best talk and travel award) in international and national conference. I did not get any chance of revewing papers, however planning to do so.

My question is: what is the best option for me? EB1A or NIW? and when is the best time to apply for that? and what are the things I need to improve my resume to have better chances? I am from India. 

2 Responses to PhD candidate

  • Tigran Kalaydzhyan says:

    If you have an Indian citizenship, then you should try EB1A first, because the NIW, even if approved, will require you many years of waiting time before you will be able to obtain the actual green card, check here
    With 8 first-author publications you have all chances to get EB1A. The only thing you should be careful about is the F1 status. Once you submit the permanent residence petition, you will demonstrate the immigration intent, that will be in conflict with your F1 and you may not be able to extend it. So, if you have time, it would make sense to obtain your PhD first, get F1-OPT, and then apply, if you plan to do this without a lawyer.
    Filing petition in this case will be alright, if you plan to switch to H-1B during your postdoc or you plan to go back to India at the end of the program, but will create problems if your future employer can provide J-1 only. It is also alright if you enter the process of the adjustment of status quickly and will get the work authorization document, so you do not have to extend your visa, but it is always good to have a backup solution, such as the H-1B status.

  • GCforPhD says:

    Hi Sourav

    Your description only mentions two criteria that meet the USCIS requirements; high impact journal publications with citations and awards. It is possible you can meet one or more of additional EB1a requirements since you would need at least three.

    In addition you would need to show (via references) that you are one of the top researcher in your field and your work has sustained interest. With your high impact publications and high citation count you would not have a problem in establishing sustained interest.

    If you can establish evidence for a third criteria you should have success in the EB1a category.

    Tigan summarized long wait time for Indians in NIW and the issues involved with F1/OPT nicely.

    Best wishes

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