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Question on Phd in Engg Management and Green card

Published Apr 11,2009 By GCforPhD



My name is S. ——–. I am currently pursuing my Phd in Engineering Management @ Eastern Michigan University. I have few questions for you regarding green card processing

1.       Firstly, Am I eligible to apply for GC under EB1 with a Phd in Engg Management? Can I apply my GC once I complete my degree?

2.       How long does it take to my GC?

3.       Who is eligible to get GC once they complete their Phd[ Can anyone with a Phd degree  any disciplne??], I heard the topic of study should be of “national interest”. What research needs to be done to satisfy this, etc.

Thank you very much,



Your questions are answered below:

  1. USCIS generally has a set of criteria for permanent residency petition in each of the employment based application categories. Among these you will find that Phd is neither an eligibility nor a requirement for green card application. However most Phds or postdoc (sometimes Phd students also) tend to satisfy the USCIS requirements of EB1A (extraordinary ability under employment based category 1)  or EB2-NIW (national interest wavier under employment based category 2). This is because of the nature of their work, publication record, importance of their research etc. Therefore, we suggest that they can apply in these categories. For USCIS requirements, you can find them on the USCIS page or else where on our website.
  2. How long it takes depends mostly on you country of citizenship, the processing center you send your application, and the category of application, among other factors. You can generally make an estimate based on current processing times. Here is an example. Nebraska service center is currently approving  the first stage of GC applications, I-140 (permanent residency petition), that were applied on or before April 1, 2008 for EB2 category (as of today, April 8, 2009). The estimate for I-485 (change of status to permanent resident after the I-140 approval) can also be found on the same USCIS web page. For example USCIS is approving applications applied on or before August 2007. However, it does not mean that anyone who applied for their I-140 before Aug 2007 could have applied for their I-485 before Aug 2007. I-485 applications are accepted based on priority dates (the date of your original I-140 filing). Priority dates for different categories and countries are usually listed in the current visa bulletin released by department of state every month. For example, current priority date for EB2 for Indian citizens is Feb 15, 2004. Meaning applicants who applied for I-140 before this date are eligible to apply for their I-485 now. And if they apply now, according to the current processing times, their application is likely to be processed soon. If we were to use EB1A category (priority dates are current, meaning I-485 applications are accepted anytime without wait) in the example, applicants who applied on or before Aug 2007 should get their GC now. With that said, these estimates do not imply that there is always a 5 year wait to get GC in EB2. This is what the estimates imply now. We know EB2 applicants who applied in 2005 already have their Green cards. This is because the priority dates keep changing depending on various factors from USCIS and DOS. So this should give you an idea of generally how long the process takes.
  3. Please refer to 1. We just think that EB1A and EB2-NIW are appropriate categories for Phd’s (postdocs or even phd students) to apply since they can satisfy most of USCIS requirements and they can apply on their own with out an employer sponsorship. Applicant from any discipline should be able to apply as long as he/she satisfies the USCIS requirements. National interest is of of the criteria in NIW application. There is no hard and fast rule to say that applicants work in of national interest. But typically if the applicant can justify with supporting evidence that his work can improve 1) the U.S. economy, or 2) wages and working conditions of U.S. workers, or 3) educational and training programs for U.S. children and under qualified workers, or 4). and provide more affordable housing for young, aged, or poor U.S. residents, or 5). the U.S. environment and lead to more productive use of the national resources, or 6). national security, or 7). a key / strategic technology area identified by government agency, or 8). an important technology area that is likely to make profound national impact, or 9). defense research, or 10). fundamental research with wide range of national applications.

Best of luck…


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Kelly Brown
Kelly Brown
15 years ago

The article is ver good. Write please more

Green card for Postdocs / Phds » Blog Archive » DBA and Green card
14 years ago

[…] Most people apply while on a H1. The following link has more information on how long it takes. Please check back on the following page, where we will post an ebook with frequently asked […]

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