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Green card and PHD

Published Apr 18,2009 By GCforPhD


Can you please let me know the process to apply for green card with PHD


In general the process is not very much different from other GC application processes. Phd’s have an advantage that they have a strong background to satisfy the USCIS requirements in the EB1A or EB2-NIW categories which allows them to  self-petition for their green card. The key difference from the employer sponsored categories is that these categories can request an exception from labor certification requirement.

The actual process involves preparing a petition and applying an I-140 (petition for permanent residency) first. If the priority dates for your country and category are current, then you can simultaneously apply for I-485(adjustment of status). If not, you generally wait till they become current and apply for I-485. When you become eligible to apply for I-1485, you can also apply for an EAD (employment authorization) and advanced parole (for travel purposes), if needed.

I-140 petition is the key part of the GC application. Here the goal is to satisfy a sub-set of a requirements listed by USCIS (you can find these on their website). For this purpose you will have to build documents that provide the justification and supporting evidence. For example for EB2-NIW you have to satisfy at least three of the following;

  1. An official academic record showing that the alien has a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution of learning relating to the area of exceptional ability;
  2. Evidence in the form of letter(s) from current or former employer(s) showing that the alien has at least ten years of full-time experience in the occupation for which he or she is being sought;
  3. A license to practice the profession or certification for a particular profession or occupation;
  4. Evidence that the alien has commanded a salary, or other remuneration for services, which demonstrates exceptional ability;
  5. Evidence of membership in professional associations; or
  6. Evidence of recognition for achievements and significant contributions to the industry or field by peers, governmental entities, or professional or business organizations.

PS: On a side note, the example petition in the self-petition packets on our website will provide you with set-by-step information on the application process.

Best of luck

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