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Can a master student apply for a Green Card

Published Aug 6,2011 By GCforPhD

Question:

I am  a graduate student in electrical engineering. I was going
over the blog related to green card and it was pretty much confusing
since i have 0 knowledge in this field. I have a gun shot question:

I have 2 IEEE international conference papers and 1 ordinary journal
paper and i have filed a U.S. Patent based on my master’s thesis. Now,

1) Can a master’s student apply for a green card on his own?
2) If so, what are the forms or other materials required to be filled
up in order to get an EAD (Work authorization) before getting green
card ?
3) How much time does it take to fill up every form and how much time
does it take to get an EAD approved?

I would really appreciate if you can please be kind enough to reply my
questions.

Answer:

1)

We assume you are on an F1 visa. Yes, anyone with credentials satisfying uscis criteria can self-petition in EB1A or EB2-niw. Some people have applied while on on an F1 it in the past.  But there are risks involved.
Filing I-140 (permanent residency petition) implies an intent to immigrate, you will not be able to renew your F1 visa. This is a problem if green card petition is rejected (either i-140 or i-485) or significantly delayed and in the meantime you still want to continue on an F1. So you should only apply if you are sure of i-140 approval and if you are sure that you do not need a F1 renewal before your 485 is approved.
2)

If you are concurrently filing i-140, and 485, you can also apply for i-131 (ead) at the same time. All the documents needed with these forms should be filed. I-140 is the green card petition and can be a involved process (collecting evidence, recommendation letters etc) and can take few weeks of focussed effort.
3)

3 mo according to uscis. But can be typically less.
Best of luck

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angelica
angelica
12 years ago

I have a Master’s degree and an active H-1B visa (got it a couple months ago). Work for a state agency, have 2 papers published. Should I do a self-petition. And, if for some reason it is denied, can I re-apply later through my employer? Applying through my state agency would take more than 7 years before I get the green card.

Thanks for your advice.

admin
admin
12 years ago
Reply to  angelica

A self-petition requires a strong case as a person with extraordinary ability or a petitioner in the “national interest” circumstance. Please review the uscis criteria for EB1a and EB2-NIW to see if your evidence supports one of these categories. For most nationalities, obtaining a GC via EB1A can be less than a year. While EB2-NIW is also quick, for some nationalities it can take several years (sometimes 5 or more years for Indian and Chinese nationalities). You can see typical processing times on USCIS website.

Best of luck

Dimitrios
Dimitrios
12 years ago

Hi. I am currently in H1b working in the US, hve 6 publications couple more underreview, expecting my phd degree early 2012, and have over 60 presentations in meetings. Can I apply? If yes what are my chances? Thanks

admin
admin
12 years ago
Reply to  Dimitrios

While petitioners with similar experience have been successful, much depends on how the entire petition is presented and what the supporting evidence is included. Please review USCIS EB1a and EB2-NIW criteria and some example petitions to see how to prepare a successful petition.

Shaz
Shaz
12 years ago

Hi there, My wife is Australian Citizen and has just completed PHD from Monash University in Melbourne and currently living in Australia. What are her options to apply for permanent residence in USA.

admin
admin
12 years ago
Reply to  Shaz

Anyone eligible in EB1A and EB2-NIW(national interest wavier) can self-petition for a green card without sponsorship. You can find more details in our pdf FAQ booklet.

Please see the EB1A and EB2-NIW criteria set by USCIS. Many Phds due to the nature of their work can meet these criteria.

Best of luck

Mel
Mel
11 years ago

Hello,
I did my undergrad in the U.S and am currently doing a Masters in a U.S based college, though I am on foreign exchange in Asia. I would need a new F-1 visa to re-enter the U.S. Do you think I am eligible to apply for the G.C? So is it better for me to apply for before my return to the u.s? Say I get into a PhD program,(am almost done with my masters) and my F-1 Visa expires, even though I would still be legal in the U.S coz of my I20, can I still use that to apply?
So if it gets turned down while I am still studying on my F-1 status does it void my F-1 status?

admin
admin
10 years ago
Reply to  Mel

Hi

As mentioned in the post, if you wish to apply while on an F1, you need to be sure that you do not need F1 extensions. If your application gets turned down, it wont void your F1 status.

GC for Phd team

kh
kh
6 years ago

Hello,
I have master degree from USA, currently I hold F1 Visa, and I am doing DBA (doctor business administration) full time student in USA
Can I apply for green card (EB2-NIW??

Tigran Kalaydzhyan
Tigran Kalaydzhyan
6 years ago
Reply to  kh

Formally, you can apply in any status. Please familiarize yourself with the NIW criteria:
http://greencardforphd.com/eb2niw/eb2-national-interest-wavier-niw

Bhagwati
Bhagwati
6 years ago

Hi

I have double masters one from India and one from USA. I have approx 10 years of experience. Currently on H1B, can i self petition in EB1-A or EB2 NIW category? If yes, then what are the risks involved. Like if it gets denied can I extend my H1?

Tigran Kalaydzhyan
Tigran Kalaydzhyan
6 years ago
Reply to  Bhagwati

Yes, you can self-petition for either/both categories. If it gets denied, you still will be able to extend H1B (you may not be able to switch to J1 though). If you were born in India, then it, practically, makes sense to focus only on EB1A, because EB2-NIW has a several years backlog for India. Besides that the only risks are lost state fees and time to prepare the case.

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