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

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Applying for a Green Card while a phd student


I am currently a PHD student in US  in F-1 status from Nepal and I am currently in my 4th year of my PHD. I am looking into the possibility of filing for NIW EB-2. Here is my background, I completed my undergraduate from US in physics and minor in mathematics, then I joined PHD in theoretical physics.


Here is some summary of my work:
As a Undergraduate, I have 4 conference paper, 3 book chapters and 1 published paper as a co-author. I presented at 10 conferences during this time.

As a PHD student, I have 7 papers, 5 as a co-author, 1 as a equally contributing author and 1 as a conference paper. One of my paper was underscored as the paper of the week by the publishing journal.  I have a total citation of 24 with 10 independent citations. I am currently working on 2 first author paper which will be completed by the end of the year. I have reviewed two journal paper. I have helped my advisor write grant proposal and also have taught undergraduate class on his behalf.  For two summers, I have worked as a intern researcher outside US (one in China and the other one in Japan)

My main concern is I don’t have a first author paper yet. I will have 2 first author paper in about a year and I wanted to seek your advice on if it is a better idea for me to wait about a year and file. My recent co-authored has been receiving some attention and I believe I will have about 30-40 more independent citation by the end of the year.

Thank you for the help and looking forward for your advise.

One Response to Applying for a Green Card while a phd student

  • Tigran Kalaydzhyan says:

    Hi Samir,

    If you did the undergraduate studies in the U.S., I will assume that you have a Bachelor’s degree. Even though it is possible to obtain EB2-NIW in this case, the chances are slim and I would encourage you to obtain PhD degree first, especially if you plan to do it yourself, without hiring a lawyer. You seem to be able to obtain necessary credentials by then. In addition, please have in mind that your work should be shown as being of a substantial intrinsic merit, please see the link below. If you do theoretical physics, it might be a little nontrivial, however, it should be doable. You can have a look at the prospects of some of the government agencies that do similar research. For example, if your field is related to high-energy or nuclear physics, you can read brochures of the Department of Energy, explaining the intrinsic merit of your research. Please feel free to ask further questions in this thread.

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