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.

Postdoctoral Fellow


I just came across this amazing informative website. Thank you so much for the advice and help.

I am a postdoctoral fellow currently (only 3 months in) and I am in my OPT (STEM). My F1 visa has expired and my current employer, a pharma company, offered to sponsor for green card. They didn’t tell me the category or much details yet, so I am wondering how much time would the process take. I want to go to my home country, Sri Lanka, in April 2018, and I have heard that it is very risky to apply F-1 visa stamp again and there is a good chance that I will get rejected.

My questions are,

  1. Can I apply for the green card through the company, and get a travel document so that I can travel in April 2018? I plan to apply as soon as possible.
  2. If I traveled while the green card application is in process, is my application still valid?
  3. How do I determine which category I am going to apply, or is it the sponsor who decides that?

Thank you so much in advance!



One Response to Postdoctoral Fellow

  • GCforPhD says:


    It’s a pleasure for us to know that our materials are useful. To answer your questions:

    1. The green card procedure has two main steps: filing the I-140 form (employment-based petition) and filing the I-485 form (adjustment of status). If you were born in Sri Lanka, then you have a choice of filing them together or sequentially (I-485 after I-140 is approved). You can apply for the travel document, form I-131, while filing I-485. Now, if you only file I-140 and leave the country, then your F1 might be denied on the basis of the conflict of intents (immigrant vs. non-immigrant). You can discuss the possibility of getting H1B visa with your employer, because it’s a dual intent visa and does not conflict with the green card procedure. Speaking of the waiting times, consideration of the I-140 can last from few days (EB1A + premium processing) to more than a year (in some cases of EB2-NIW). I would also reserve two months after filing I-485 and receiving the travel document (advance parole). So, for you the only reasonable way to be able to leave the country in April and reenter would be to file EB1A + premium processing.

    2. If you obtain the travel document (advance parole) after filing I-485, then your travel will not affect the procedure. If you file I-485 and leave the country without advance parole and try to enter on another visa, then your I-485 will be denied as abandoned.

    3. Yes, basically, the sponsor should decide what category to choose. However, they may be open to suggestions.

    -Tigran K 

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