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.

Can I self sponsor?


I have complete my PHD in Astrophysics from India. At present I am in US with my Husband on L2 visa.

Wanted to check with you if I can self sponsor my green card or what is the best way to proceed.

I would appreciate your help and guidance.


Self petitioning (no employer sponsorship is needed) is possible in EB1A or EB2-NIW. And you can apply on your own (by your self or using a lawyer) in these categories. From your short description, it is hard for to judge which category is best for you. Also we do not provide legal advice. So we generally let you decide on whether you should apply and what is the best suited category for you. In general we have found that if a phd collects all the publications, awards, various efforts along his/her phd and during his/her work experience, they may collectively be sufficient evidence for a NIW (most cases) or EB1A (some cases) self-petition. We suggest you look at the USCIS criteria and some example petitions (from us or else where).

Usually i-140 approvals are quick (generally few months and rarely a year). Processing time for I-485 depends on your country of origin and applied category (EB1 or EB2). If the priority dates are current it can be a few months otherwise longer. Please looks at the current visa bulletin to see the visa number availability.
Best of luck

Green card for phs team

Green card for Phd Team
Helping NIW and EB1A applications
with our DIY packages

One Response to Can I self sponsor?

  • GCforPhD says:


    Your credentials look good. Both EB1-EA or EB1-OR are possible if the application is prepared well.

    In general EB1-OR maybe a bit easier than EB1-EA. If you are willing to change to H1B and get university sponsorship that would be an easier option. However if you wish to pursue EB1-EA that should be possible once you have obtained your J1 wavier. You should also be aware of the limitations of filing while on J1, that is you may find it hard to renew/extend your J1 visa once you start the GC application process. These limitations do not exist while on a H1B. Please read information in the following J1 related link .

    Also applying while on H1b is a less risky. You will be able to renew your visa if need to.

    Best wishes

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