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.

Eligibility for EB1A and EB2 NIW and processing duration of the application


I am Hungarian, got my PhD last year. I am currently post-doc with J-1 visa. Our Professor just told me, I got 3 more months and no more, after, I have to leave. I have to find another job, which is very difficult … you know well, or I have to find any other way to stay here legally. I decided to go for a green card, I think this is the key of my future, but we don’t have 10000 dollars for the lawyer fee…. I have the following qualifications,

PhD in chemistry and additional BSc degree in computer engineering

I have 5 papers, 1 additional submitted

17 conferences abstract with posters or oral presentations

1 New York Times article with my group (my name is not in it, but they can confirm that it is my project)

1 Nat Geo video (Finally they cut the video and I am not visible, but they can confirm that it is my project – same as in NY Times))

1 European poster prize and 1-2 additional prizes in Hungary

Do you think, I can qualify to any category? Which one?

Do I have any chance?

How much time does it take to get any answer from the immigration? From when, I can be here legally, if my visa expires?


As you are probably aware EB1A and EB2 NIW are two self-petition categories which do not require employer sponsorship. From our experience, a lot depends on how the entire situation is narrated coherently in the petition. Depending on your research area and how important it is (it seems pretty important from your email) and if it is of national interest/your work is exceptional, one of the two categories could be more appropriate. Your resume looks strong and you stand a good chance. However you still need to present a coherent and compelling narration of your contributions in the petition. As far as the NY article and Nat geo show, you can ask your recommendations to mention about these in the reference letters. You can also present these articles and videos as evidence where you had a significant contribution.

If you do concurrent filing of i-140 and i-485, you will be eligible to stay in the US (you are legal even before any approvals). Your legal status would remain “pending 485” as long as i-140 is under review or approved. In this status you can also apply for an EAD (which allows you to work) and an advanced parole (allows you to travel abroad, if  needed).

You can find the current processing times for i-140 and 485 on the USCIS websites. 485 approval times depends on green card visa number availability for your country which is usually listed in monthly “visa bulletin”.

Our website has example petitions which may be helpful to you.

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

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