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.

Publications and eligibility



I recently graduated with a PhD in Mechanical Engineering. I am currently on OPT. I don’t have any paper publications as of now. But I am working on them and they are under preparation. Also, like most PhD, I did not get a chance to present my work at conferences. To keep things simple, I don’t have any current published papers or conference papers, but I do have the degree certificate. Do you think I would have a strong case to file for EB2-NIW by myself without any employer sponsorship?

I appreciate your time and help. Any other suggestions for my case would be very valuable.



EB2 is eligibility is judged based on a number of criteria. Not having publications should not mean it is not possible. Similarly just having a degree does not mean it is possible either. We suggest you look at USCIS criteria (please see the ebook on our site) for EB2 and make a list of your strengths to evaluate your case.

Best of luck
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5 Responses to Publications and eligibility

  • Leonardo says:

    I am going to apply for the green card as a scientist for national interest. I have a PhD and currently I am in J1 visa. My question is about the J1 waiver, in fact I do not have the waiver (the two years rules applied to my visa), so I was wondering if I can still apply to the green card even if I do not have the waiver. Could you please tell me that, before I start all the application?


    • admin says:

      Anyone with legal status or residing abroad can apply for i-140 self-petition. You have to satisfy USCIS requirements for these categories. However for immigration status change application (485), you can only apply if you are not subject to the HRR rule. So to answer your question, you apply for i-140 while you wait for your J1 HRR waiver. You can look at some example petitions to understand the i-140 application process.

      Best of luck

  • Leonardo says:

    Thanks for your replay, but I have one more question. I will apply to the I-140 on my name, paying one fee, but what about the I-485, since I am married and in that case I will ask the adjust status also for my wife? Should I apply for both of us independently, presenting two different I-485 and paying two fees?



  • Michael says:


    I have a PhD in Biomedical Science and I am applying for green card (NIW EB2 self-petition).

    For my green card application, is it ok if it is based on my PhD work (I had several publications, awards, media coverage based on PhD work)?

    I am currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate, but working on a research area that is different from PhD work, and no publication yet from my current work.

    I was wondering if would affect my application, if it is based primarily on my PhD work (Recommendation letters will be from people who can comment on my previous PhD research and not on my current work)? Or should I also include my current research (but no achievements yet on this area)?

    Please advise.

    Thanks you


    • GCforPhD says:

      The situation that you face is not uncommon. Several people typically face a similar situation.

      In general USCIS requires the applicant to be working in the area of proposed employment during the i-140 application and i-485 approval times. The evidence that is presented for i-140 would be evidence for this work area.

      When people are faced with a situation like yours, we suggest the following. We suggest you find a broader area of work that includes the current work. For example if your PhD was on Organic chemistry applied to pharmaceuticals and now you are working on inorganic nanotubes applied to solar cells. These may sound like very different research areas. But they can be grouped under applied organic/inorganic chemistry. So you would have to find a general broader research area that encompasses both the current research and previous research.

      Sometimes it may not be possible to do so. For example Phd is in Cardiology. Current research in Neurology. Some people have presented their work in the interdisciplinary area of cardiology-neurology. Similar example would be PhD in optics and current work in Bio-medicine. Then the applicant would present themselves as an expert in the area of Bio-medical optics. In such cases background of both the research areas can be included as evidence and does not conflict with USCIS requirements.

      We hope this helps you.

      Best wishes

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