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Phd for green card

Published Nov 2,2010 By GCforPhD
This is ——, a Master’s graduate with active H1B.  I came across your site while browsing and was quite impressed. My only goal is to secure the GREEN CARD. I tried sponsorship through employer but in the current situation none of the employers I approached are willing to sponsor me a EB2 with Labour certification.
Deep inside my mind I did have a wish to do Ph.D. If pursuing my Ph.D can help me achieve my goal I am more than ready to do that also. Can you please suggest me which area of Ph.D is qualified for NIW. My area of Interest is Computer Science/ Information Technology. Please suggest me if this field is qualified for NIW.
Looking forward to hear from you soon.
Thanks in Advance,

For NIW or EB1a, there is no particular field necessary. The main criteria is that you need to satisfy uscis requirements in any of the application areas.

In terms of the time it takes to obtain an green card, there would be no difference between employer sponsorship and applying on your own except for the additional labor certification process time in the former case. There are several things you need to consider if you plan to do a phd simply for the case of obtaining a green card. It usually takes 5 yrs of study. You may have to wait all this years or at least long enough to build a good evidence that supports your NIW self-petition. So this will be longer compared to your employer sponsorship.

However, if you intend to do a phd and for this reason not want to be stuck to your employer, then self-petition at a later stage of your phd is a useful approach.

If you wish to know more details on self-petition, you can read the free e-book on our web page.

Bst of luck

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13 years ago

I am a Master’s(from US) graduate with active H1-B… My work is IT and I completed my Master’s in Electrical Engineering. Am I eligible to apply on EB2 category for my GC since I hold a Master’s degree or will I not qualify for EB2 cos my field of work is different than my study. Please let me know and thsi will be very helpful for me. Lot of people are confusing and your site seems to help just with the most accurate information. Thanks and appreciate your help !

13 years ago
Reply to  Shruti

If you are referring to the general EB2 category, your employer usually decides which is an appropriate category based on your job offer letter and your qualifications.

Are you referring to self-sponsored category EB2 NIW? If your work is strongly in the US national interest then you may consider for NIW. While USCIS has not set specific criteria for this category, the following are considered as national interest situations: improvements to US economy, improvements to wages and working conditions of US workers, improvements to education and training programs for U.S. children and under-qualified workers or health care, improvements to the environment of the U.S, and a request from an interested U.S. government agency.

12 years ago

I am a PhD candidate and will graduate sometime in Summer. I am planning to apply for NIW (self-petition) and I am wondering about the risks. In case the I-140 application is rejected can I renew my F-1 visa? can I apply for OPT? should I wait till I graduate and then file I-140? Thanks.

11 years ago
Reply to  Nadi

Hi Nadi,

By filing a I-140, you are expressing an intent to immigrate. This is in conflict with the conditions under which F-1 visa is granted. So F1-visa renewal or OPT approval may pose a problem. If you are already on an OPT, do not require a F-1 visa renewal, and are confident that you can get your green card before the OPT expires then it is safe to apply while on F1. Otherwise it is better to apply while on an other visa like H1.

Best of luck

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