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Applying for greencard while on OPT

Published Oct 21,2012 By GCforPhD

Question:

Hi Team,

I have a question. I think I read a similar question from someone else also. But I had a difference in my degree and certain other things.

I completed my PhD and I am on OPT. I want to know if I can apply for green card while on OPT, or should I go for H1 and then for OPT. Just to let you know my F1 (student visa) already expired. PLs let me know.

Thanks a lot.

Answer:

Just a clarification. OPT is part of F1 status. Your F1 visa stamp may have expired but your F1 status is active since your I-20 would still be current.

Coming back to your main question, you can apply for green card while on F1 but it may not be possible to renew your F1 status (i.e. extend your OPT if needed). This is because F1 is granted on the basis that there is no intent to immigrate. So if you do not need F1/OPT renewal you can choose to apply while on F1.

Hope this answers your question.

Best of luck

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pSINGH
pSINGH
11 years ago

P
LEASE TELL ME FOR PHD MATHEMATICS. WHAT ARE THE CHANCES OF GETTING GREEN CARD?????

admin
admin
11 years ago
Reply to  pSINGH

Hi

We are aware of Phds in mathematics who are successful in obtaining their Green card by self-petitioning. So it is possible. The chances are no different than other fields. Just like others, the applicant needs to show that they satisfy the USCIS criteria for the category they are applying.

Best of luck
GC for Phd team

admin
admin
11 years ago
Reply to  pSINGH

Hi

We are aware of Phds in mathematics who are successful in obtaining their Green card by self-petitioning. So it is possible. The chances are no different than other fields. Just like others, the applicant needs to show that they satisfy the USCIS criteria for the category they are applying.

Best of luck
GC for Phd team

Alex
Alex
9 years ago

Hi GC for Phd team,
I am now a post-doc on my OPT extension, can I apply EB1a during this time? If EB1a is denied before OPT expires, can I apply H1b to maintain my status?

Dino123
Dino123
9 years ago

Hi GCforPHD

I am PhD in Organic Chemistry from US university with three first author publication Impact factor 13, 6.8 , 5.8 two currently under review (one with Nature chemistry IF 23.3) I have total citation of 20 so far. I have two year of postdoc experience in the field of Medicinal Chemistry (1 publication and 1 patent pending from this work) 1 national conference, 2 outstanding poster awards at University symposia. I have started 2nd postdoc in the field medicinal chemistry with strong implication in drug discovery. my OPT extension is ending in Nov 2015. Can I start green card application in EB 1A category? And will it help me to secure my status before my OPT expires? Or should I try in EB 1B category? I will really appreciate what I should to secure my immigration status in US. My current employer (University) is ready to transfer me on J1 after my OPT expires. Is there a way I can work on my GC pitition and avoid J-1 route! I will really appreciate advice on my situation.

Thank you

Hossein
Hossein
7 years ago

Hi,

I just finished my Ph.D. and started working for a company. I am on F1/OPT. I have nine publications in the high impact acceptable journals, around 10 conferences, and 3 patents (the patents are not US patent). My citation is around 10 but it is getting better. I have been invited a few times for giving talks at conferences nationally and internationally. I have received several fellowships and awards since I have been in the US. I am thinking of filing an NIW application, but I am concerned about not being able to extend my OPT due to filing for a green card. I am thinking of asking the company to help me with that but I don’t know what I need to ask them to do for me. I appreciate it you would point me in the right direction.

Regards,
Hossein

Birtos
Birtos
6 years ago

Greetings!
I’ve completed Master Degree in Nano technology in the US and I’m currently on my OPT/F1. Can I apply for PHD in OPT extention? Can I get an OPT even after the completion of PHD? Because I’ve already got OPT once, will there be a second OPT? What if there is no OPT after PHD?
Thank you.

Tigran Kalaydzhyan
Tigran Kalaydzhyan
6 years ago
Reply to  Birtos

Yes, you can apply for PhD while in OPT extension. OPT is available for a maximum of 12 months per educational level. A one-time extension of 24 months is available to certain STEM degree recipients, see details by the link below
https://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/students-and-exchange-visitors/students-and-employment/stem-opt
Please consult with the international office of your prospective university to learn more about your options.

Hamed
Hamed
6 years ago

Hi
I got my master`s degree in US. I am working on (12 months)OPT for a big company, and I will get my OPT extension in coming summer(2018). my question is: if my employer apply for my green card while I am on OPT extension, and for any reason if my green card process will be rejected or take too much time, may I apply for PHD and continue my studies in USA while I`m on OPT extension ?
Thanks,

Tigran Kalaydzhyan
Tigran Kalaydzhyan
6 years ago
Reply to  Hamed

Hi Hamed,

Yes, if your application is denied or delayed, you still can continue your studies. Please keep in mind that once you file I-140, you may not be able to obtain F1 extension or apply for J1 because of conflict of intents. So, it makes sense to get all the extensions before filing I-140

KunCG
KunCG
6 years ago

Hi Team,

I am about to finish my PhD studies and am currently applying to jobs within the US. My OPT application will be approved soon (hopefully). I intend to apply for a green card after my OPT extension about 2 years from now. Is it okay to tell prospective employers that I will not require sponsorship in the future, since I hope to get a green card and not H1B?

Thanks for your assistance.

Tigran Kalaydzhyan
Tigran Kalaydzhyan
6 years ago
Reply to  KunCG

Hello,

There is no clear advise one could give you in this situation. Please keep in mind that once you apply for the green card, you may not be able to obtain non-immigrant visas, such as J1, so having an option of obtaining (dual intent) H1B in the future may simplify your life. Also, if you decide to go for EB2-NIW, you may have to wait for the I-140 response for a year or more. If you have some additional details (such as the category of the green card, country of birth an so on), I can give a more concrete answer.

KunCG
KunCG
6 years ago

Hi Tigran,

Thank you for your prompt reply. The EB2-NIW seems like the best option for me. My country of birth is Nigeria and my PhD is in mechanical engineering. I see your point about the H1B option, but I have noticed that many jobs in my area of expertise prefer not to sponsor work visas, even when it is not explicitly stated in the job requirements.

Tigran Kalaydzhyan
Tigran Kalaydzhyan
6 years ago
Reply to  KunCG

I see. Yes, then it would make sense to apply for EB2-NIW immediately after you graduate and extend the F1, because the NIW takes longer times now. By doing this you have a risk of not being able to obtain J1/F1 in the future, however, if I understand correctly, it’s not an option for you anyway, since you will take the maximum duration of F1-OPT and the extension of your future contract may require H1B or the permanent residency, not J1. Let me know if you have further questions.

Pranush
Pranush
5 years ago

Hi Tigran, I could not understand this – “it would make sense to apply for EB2-NIW immediately after you graduate and extend the F1”. First off, many times you have said that extension of F1 is difficult after filing NIW. Did I miss something obvious? Also, later you are saying “since you will take the maximum duration of F1-OPT”. If one applies NIW immediately after graduation in STEM field, doesn’t it mean he/she is ignoring the maximum (3 years) duration of OPT possibility because it extension after 1 year of OPT is not an option? Is there a window period that one can apply NIW immediately after graduation but USCIS somehow extends the OPT after a year?

Tigran Kalaydzhyan
Tigran Kalaydzhyan
5 years ago
Reply to  Pranush

Hi Pranush,

The phrase should be read in the following way: “it would make sense to apply for EB2-NIW immediately after you [do both:] graduate and extend the F1”.

Regarding the second question, if I understood that question correctly, one should get OPT before applying for NIW to avoid the conflict of intents. It is the applicant’s choice, what strategy to choose (max out the OPT period and then apply for the permanent residence or get the first OPT extension and apply for the permanent residence right after that). The moment of graduation doesn’t matter, what matters is the moments of time one applies for OPT and NIW.

KunCG
KunCG
6 years ago

Thanks a lot Tigran!

Sara
Sara
6 years ago

As an F1 undergrad in biology. What are the chances of getting a green card with a Dental Assistant license? Also, is it possible to apply for green card while on CPT?

Thank you,

Tigran Kalaydzhyan
Tigran Kalaydzhyan
6 years ago
Reply to  Sara

I assume you are asking about the self-petition categories of green cards, since it is the main topic of this forum. It is possible to apply while in CPT, as well as in other circumstances. Please keep in mind that having the license does not make you qualified for the green card. Please familiarize yourself with the requirements for EB1A and EB2-NIW green cards from our website.

McMC
McMC
5 years ago

Hi. I am from Chile. I am currently a postdoctoral scholar at the US for already one year and I also did my PhD studies here at the US. Actually I am under an F1OPT visa. My first year of OPT ends Sept 19, 2018 and I will renew for 2 more years (from Sept 20, 2018 to Sept 19, 2020). I have 3 questions:
1) If I want to self-sponsor my GC under the EB1A or EB2 visa status: the recommendation would be to apply after I get the approved extension of my OPT right? Then, I would have two years to complete the process.
2) Do you think that in 2 years I can get the GC processing done? Is it realistic?
3) As an F1OPT visa holder, do I need to get a waiver from my home country (Chile) to apply for GC? Or will USCIS contact at all my home country during the GC process under my F1OPT status?

Thanks and hope you can help me!

Tigran Kalaydzhyan
Tigran Kalaydzhyan
5 years ago
Reply to  McMC

1) If you apply for the green card before extending F1, you may not be able to extend F1 due to the conflict of intents (immigration vs non-immigration), so it is usually advised to get the F1 extension first.
2) It is realistic to have GC processing done in this time interval, especially if you opt for the EB1A premium processing (your I-140 petition will be considered within 15 calendar days). The processing time for I-485 is about a year right now. You do not have to have it done before your F1-OPT expires. Once you file I-485 and it is pending, you can stay in the country legally even if F1 expires.
3) No, you do not need to get a waiver.

McMC
McMC
5 years ago

Thanks a ton for your answers!
Regarding question 2; two more questions:
a) During the period that my I-485 is pending and let’s say I’m still with valid OPT….can I work under the OPT rules (limited only to e-verified institutions) or can I work anywhere (related with my expertise of course), as if I had a green card already?
b) During the period that my I-485 is pending and let’s say that may OPT expired…. can I work anywhere (related with my expertise of course), as if I had a green card already?

Thanks again for your help!

Tigran Kalaydzhyan
Tigran Kalaydzhyan
5 years ago
Reply to  McMC

To answer both of the questions, this depends on whether or not you filed I-765 form, Application for Employment Authorization, together with I-485. If you did, and it got approved, you can work everywhere. If you did not or it is pending, you can still work under terms of the OPT. Normally, I-765 is approved faster than I-485.

Taha
Taha
5 years ago

I am finishing my PhD in chemistry and applying for OPT for a postdoc position. I am planning to apply for EB2 NIW directly in my first year as a postdoc and I think I have a strong case. I will apply for I-140, I-485 and I-765 at the same time. Most likely my 12 month OPT will expire before I-485 is approved but I will be relying on I-765 and pending I-485 to legally stay and work in US. Is that a reasonable plan or should I wait to get OPT extension for 24 months then do this plan. It is more likely that the process will be approved in 24 months OPT extension rather than initial 12 month OPT???
The academic postdoc position is not giving me the H visa option that’s why I need to go through one of the 2 options described above

Tigran Kalaydzhyan
Tigran Kalaydzhyan
5 years ago
Reply to  Taha

Hi Taha,

Before answering your question, let me ask about your country of birth, because the outcome may depend on that.

Taha
Taha
5 years ago

Yes sure it makes a big difference. I am from Egypt, that’s why I think this plan is reasonable. My only concern would be to stay in the US out of status and only depending on my pending I-485. Can this be a reason for denial of my I-485 or it is acceptable

Tigran Kalaydzhyan
Tigran Kalaydzhyan
5 years ago
Reply to  Taha

Indeed, this plan can work if you are from Egypt. Usually, it makes sense to extend the non-immigrant visa (e.g., F1, J1) to the maximum duration, because, once you file I-485, you won’t be able to do that extension. Current waiting time for EB2-NIW is 3.5 to 7.5 months for I-140 and 10 to 24.5 months for I-485, so it is reasonable to assume that the entire process would take you two years or so and the 12-months extension will expire in the process, and you would need to rely on the pending I-485 status.

Taha
Taha
5 years ago

Thanks a lot for your reply. The risk I know for relying on pending I-485 is that if it is denied, I will be asked to depart US immediately. Are there other risks I should be aware of ?

Tigran Kalaydzhyan
Tigran Kalaydzhyan
5 years ago
Reply to  Taha

Another risk is that you won’t be able to switch to a non-immigrant visa (such as J1) if I-485 is filed. Otherwise, besides the fees, I do not see additional risks.

Tina
Tina
5 years ago

Hello! I graduated with an Ed.D in 2018 and currently on OPT which expires in less than a month. I would like to apply for my green card, however I cannot afford it right now. I do not have a STEM degree so can I still get an extension for my OPT? My DSO is new and sevis refuses to answer her questions but I did notice on the extend option in sevis it says STEM opt for 24months… I’m a little lost on what to do as I do not want to stop working next month.

Tigran Kalaydzhyan
Tigran Kalaydzhyan
5 years ago
Reply to  Tina

As it seems that there are many details in this case, the best solution would be to immediately consult with your employer and give a call to an immigration attorney (the first consultation is usually free).

Vin
Vin
5 years ago

Hi,

I have Master degree and currently on F1 STEM OPT expiring Dec 2020. I understand F1 candidates can get Green card without being on H1.

I have below options and questions:

1) AM I elgibile for EB1 Green Card ? If so, does it needs go through my employer or self petition. Please confirm
2) Can I Apply EB2 green card through employer? is realistic to get before above dates?
3) Which visa best fits my situation- EB1,EB2 or EB3?
4) Along with applying either of EB1,2 and 3, it’s recommended to apply H1 too?

Please confirm.

Tigran Kalaydzhyan
Tigran Kalaydzhyan
5 years ago
Reply to  Vin

Hi Vin,

1) EB1 has several categories (see link). First of them is being self-petitioned and two others need an employer. Based on the information you provided, I cannot say if you are eligible to either of them.
2) You can apply for EB2 through an employer if they decide that you can get it. If you are not a national of India or China, the process may take about 2 years, otherwise the waiting time is not well-defined (for the green cards in the progress of being issued, waiting time for Chinese nationals is about 5 years and for Indian – about 12 years, but there is no guarantee they will not grow in the future).
3) The information you provided is insufficient to make any judgement, please have a look at the USCIS criteria for these categories
4) It depends on your situation. It is often recommended to get H1B, because you may not be able to extend J1 or F1 once you file for the green card.

Pranush
Pranush
5 years ago

I am a PhD candidate in Chemistry (all but dissertation) in a US university and have a 3 good impact journals with around 25 citations. My country of citizenship is Nepal. I also have a masters degree from India. From all the discussions in the forum I think I have 2 major options for EB2/NIW .

Option 1. Apply for NIW now based on my master’s degree and the aforementioned research metrics plus good recommendations. I have a luxury to remain in my PhD program for 1.5-2 years from now and I will apply for I-140, I-485, and I-765 all together so in the worst case I will still have work authorization (no need of OPT filing) if everything goes well.
Option 2. Finish my PhD in about a year (can’t do earlier), start OPT, wait till one more extension after about a year and start the whole process of filing NIW. It merely gives me the leverage of maybe 1 more paper and few more citations plus a completed PhD but that’s a really long time to wait.

What is the best approach weighing the pros and cons of time, risk, and probability? Or is there any other way better than the options I concluded? Please let me know the realistic suggestions though I know that there is no absolutism in some answers.

Tigran Kalaydzhyan
Tigran Kalaydzhyan
5 years ago
Reply to  Pranush

Hi Pranush,

It is, indeed, hard to estimate probabilities, since each case is individual. To me, the most natural way to go is to graduate, start OPT and file I-140/I-485/I-765 right after that. This way, you will have the degree, making your case more solid and can stay/work in the country legally even after your F1 expires.

Bj Park
Bj Park
5 years ago

Hi,
I’m wondering if you can help answer my questions as well. My case is a little different than others… I just finished my PhD last December and I applied for Opt around February of this year. My application is currently on process and I’m expecting to receive my Opt in 1-3 months hopefully by end of May 2019 (according to my University that’s how long it will take to process) However, I recently just got married and my wife wants to file a petition for me so I can get my greencard. I’m wondering if my wife can file the petition while I have a pending case with USCIS? Do you think this will affect the petition process? Or it’s better to wait to receive my Opt before applying for petition? Thank you for your time. I really appreciate your help.

Tigran Kalaydzhyan
Tigran Kalaydzhyan
5 years ago
Reply to  Bj Park

To my understanding, there is no conflict in filing I-485 while OPT is pending. However, if you plan to do this through a lawyer, please notify them of the pending OPT case and (if you traveled abroad 90 days before getting married) consult with them regarding the 90 day waiting period.

Kim
Kim
5 years ago

Hello, I would really appreciate if you can give me answers by 4/8 because your answer will influence my decision to accept the job offer. I am a PhD candidate major in pharmaceutical analysis and plan to graduate in May. I have applied my OPT on March 07. And the effective start date is on Jun 03. Actually, I got an offer from FDA postdoc but they said I can use only 1 year OPT (I cannot use STEM- extension OPT) and then they can provide J1. In that case, even I will apply for my green card when I start to work as a postdoc at FDA, if the process will be delayed, I cannot apply for OPT extension and J1 after 1 year. Do you think, these days how long we can get a green card for South Korean? And I am not sure if I am qualified enough to apply for NIW. I have 61 citations in google scholar, now 7 papers (2 first author) + 3 more papers (2 first author) will be published before June / and 1 research award from pharmacy conference. So I am not sure the possibility of my application for NIW. And I am not sure how much FDA postdoc position can help me insist my qualified?

Tigran Kalaydzhyan
Tigran Kalaydzhyan
5 years ago
Reply to  Kim

Hi Jaeah,

With your credentials and the field of work, it seems you should be able to prepare a successful EB2-NIW case (you can also use the first free consultation with immigration attorneys to make sure you are eligible). It currently takes about 2 years to get the green card in this category. However, keep in mind that the procedure consists of two steps: filing I-140 and I-485 forms. After you file I-485 (can be done separately or together with I-140), it does not really matter when your F1/J1 expires, because you can stay in the U.S. legally with “I-485 pending” status even if F1/J1 isn’t valid anymore. Please take this into account and feel free to ask any further questions.

Olga
Olga
5 years ago

Hi there!

First of, I’m so happy that I found your site – the most useful repository of information on post-OPT options for PhD students that I found. Thank you! My questions are somewhat unrelated and different from other cases, and I would appreciate any help you can provide.

I’m a PhD student from Belarus. My I-20 expired in December and I applied for OPT in February. I didn’t extend my I-20 because I was planning to graduate in Dec (passed my defense), but due to some delays with my dissertation, I will be graduating in June instead.

1. You referred to the expiration of F1 visa. The F1 sticker in my passport indicates expiry date of 2022. My current I-20 recommending me for OPT is set to expire in Feb 2020. Which date is the “official” expiration of my F-1 status?

2. Would you recommend I apply for an OPT extension (provided I can prove that Consumer Behavior is a STEM field??) before I apply for NIW? Or, should I apply for NIW as soon as I receive my OPT/EAD card?

3. If my NIW is denied, do you recommend applying again? How soon after? Can I file under a different EB category right after (or perhaps even during processing)?

4. Now for a real pickle… I started a business and there is a chance that I may qualify to file under EB-5. I understand that this category may not be your expertise, but based on what you know – would you recommend I file NIW or as EB5… Also, would having a business help my NIW case, even though it’s not directly tied to my PhD?

5. Do you have any idea re the processing times for NIW and EB5 cases?

Thank you SO MUCH for all your help!!

Tigran Kalaydzhyan
Tigran Kalaydzhyan
5 years ago
Reply to  Olga

Hello Olga,

Thank you very much for the kind words, it’s important for us to know we’re bringing value to people’s lives.

1. The F1 status is regulated by I-20 (meaning you can stay in the country legally as long as I-20 is valid and you are following the eligibility requirements for F1). The visa stamp in the passport regulates your ability to enter the U.S. (as long as both I-20 and the F1 stamp are valid, you can enter the country).

2. It is usually recommended to obtain OPT extension before applying for NIW, because applying in the opposite order may create a conflict in intents (immigrant vs non-immigrant). It is better to apply for OPT first, if you plan to do this in any case. Please keep in mind that, since you are from Belarus, you can stay in the country legally after filing I-485 even if your F1 expires. The downside is that you will need to leave the country if I-485 is denied (it almost never happens, if I-140 is approved).

3. You can file petitions for any category in any sequence or even at the same time. I would especially encourage to reapply for EB1A after a denial, because the decision making on the USCIS side is becoming more random.

4. I cannot say if EB5 or NIW could be more suitable for you, because there are many details one has to study for each case to make a judgement, especially because the requirements are so different. I do not think the business side would help NIW, unless the advances you make there are directly related to your field of endeavor that you plan to use for NIW.

5. You can have a look at the processing times by the link below. It is reasonable to expect your I-140 being considered in about 6 months and the I-485 in 1-2 years. Please keep in mind that NIW assumes that you work in your field for at least half a year after getting the green card. Avoiding this rule is a gray area and is not being directly punished, but can create problems when you decide to get the U.S. citizenship.
https://egov.uscis.gov/processing-times/

Tayo Ajayi
Tayo Ajayi
4 years ago

Hi,

I just finished my masters degree. I also have a PhD offer, hoping to start in Fall. However, I just got a job offer and want to apply for opt so that I can work for the company while I differ the PhD admission. While working with the company, I intend to start my GC process.

My question is, can i continue with my when my opt expires and I have GC application pending? You response would really help my decision. (Note: I’m from Nigeria)

My question is, can I continue with my study

Tigran Kalaydzhyan
Tigran Kalaydzhyan
4 years ago
Reply to  Tayo Ajayi

Hi Tayo,

I was trying to understand your question and I need to clarify two points:
[*] What category of the green card are you applying for? Is it self-sponsored or sponsored by your future employer?
[*] Do you plan to study and work at the same time?

Deiby Molina Villan
Deiby Molina Villan
4 years ago

Hello,

I got my Bachelor of S in Accounting and hold a Enrolled agent credentianl by the IRS, in New York while being an International student. I got my EAD and my SSN. My DSO later on terminated my status saying I work under non Employment Authorization. It was not true but I cannot do anything. I contacted a lawyer and he told me there is not way out of this. Question, what would be better to do, To find an H1B visa a GC or there is not chances to resolve my situation?

Thank you in advance.

BlogSupport
BlogSupport
4 years ago

Hi Deiby,

If you contacted only one lawyer, you should contact more to have a more complete picture – not all lawyers are the same. It seems, it’s not just the GC info you need, but a qualified attorney.

Naina
Naina
4 years ago

Hi Tigran,

I am an Indian citizen who completed Phd and currently on OPT. I have a job offer where my employer is willing to sponsor my H1B and GC. I have about 7 months of OPT remaining + 24 months of STEM extension (employer is e-verified);

– Is it OK to directly apply for my GC in EB1A category instead of going through H1B first?
– Can i apply for GC when I am in the 24 month OPT-STEM extension period and continue working on F1-OPT during that?

BlogSupport
BlogSupport
4 years ago
Reply to  Naina

Yes, it is ok to apply for the green card while on F1. Usually, people prefer to get H1B first, because it allows them to travel more easily while waiting for the USCIS decision. However, it is not required.

Nancy
Nancy
4 years ago

Hi,

I am a Chinese citizen who plans to complete PhD in December 2020. I currently have an offer for a research analyst position from a university. We agree to start the job officially in December, when I OPT starts. However, the university does not sponsor H1B for the research analyst position. They are able to sponsor H1B if I later make transition to a more advanced staff position or post doc or faculty. But I think they would prefer me to work for 2-3 years as a research analyst before making that transition. I am not from a STEM program so I only have one year OPT. Now I’m a little bit worried that they might withdraw the offer if the 1 year OPT is a deal breaker. So I’m thinking whether it is possible for me to apply for EB2 NIW immediately when I start my OPT. I have two questions:

1. I’m not sure about this, but is it correct that if I can get I-140 approved and submit I-485 before my OPT expires, it is possible to work in the US after my 1 year OPT expires? But I might have to wait several years before I can submit I-485 because the waiting time for Chinese is usually longer? which means there is no way for me to continue working there unless they figure out they can sponsor H1B for me after 1 year?

2. a little bit background for EB2 NIW qualification (I am from social sciences field):
— I currently only have one published paper, but I’m working on the other two now and hopefully they can be published at the time I graduate.
— I received several research award (conference, dissertation fellowship, etc)
— I have about 3 years experiences of research and teaching.
— I am a member of several professional associations, editorial board member of a pretty good journal, and reviewer for several journals

It would be great if you can suggest a possible solution to my situation. I really appreciate that!

BlogSupport
BlogSupport
4 years ago
Reply to  Nancy

Hello Nancy,

Yes, it is correct that if I-140 is approved and you file I-485, then you can stay and work in the U.S. You are also correct that you may not be able to file I-485 for several years, even if I-140 is approved (currently, the applicants born in the mainland China have to wait for 4-5 years). The only reasonable way for your employer would be to offer you H1B or O-1 if they want you to work beyond the F1 expiration.

Speaking of the second questions, the most important criterion is the national importance of your work. Please have a look at our free ebook by the link below:
https://www.greencardforphd.com/free-ebook

Rajesh
Rajesh
4 years ago

Hi,

I am a medical graduate with an MBBS/MD degree from Pakistan. I also graduated from the top US university last year with a Master of Public Health degree and currently working on F-1 OPT visa at the same university in clinical and public health research. My OPT period is going to expire in June 2020 and I am not eligible for the STEM extension due to my MPH degree. Even though my employer wants me to continue at the same position but they don’t sponsor visa. I want to know about my options since I am unable to secure any H1-B or J-1 research job due to the COVID-19 situation where hiring is frozen at most of the institutes. I don’t have previous publications, but during my current job I have worked on multiple projects and we are submitting our work in peer-reviewed journals (4-5 papers).
May I apply for EB-2 NIW in this situation? Do you think it will make a good case citing my qualifications and upcoming publications (its high impact research work)? If yes, may I continue to work on OPT-EAD during the waiting process for approval or denial?

Thank you!

BlogSupport
BlogSupport
4 years ago
Reply to  Rajesh

You would have a better chance with EB2-NIW application after your papers are published. Everyone can submit papers to a high impact journal, but not everyone will be accepted. Public health is one of the areas of intrinsic merit. However, I do not have data points showing the levels of degrees of medical professionals that lead to better chances of success.

If you decide to file I-485, you would also file an EAD application, so you could work while waiting for the results.

Rajesh
Rajesh
4 years ago

Thank you so much for your response!

Dr.Z
Dr.Z
3 years ago

Hello,
This is a great forum, thank you for keeping up!!!
Following the previous case to continue working while waiting for EB1a approval/denial and OPT is expired. Which form should be filed to get permission (EAD) to work while processing GC? I-765? If yes, which category should be placed there? C09 ? As I understand there is no fee if “adjust of status” fee is paid. Am I correct?

Thanks

BlogSupport
BlogSupport
3 years ago
Reply to  Dr.Z

Yes, it is (c)(9). And yes, the fee is waived if I-485 is pending, see page 27 of the instructions:
https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/document/forms/i-765instr.pdf

Dr.Z
Dr.Z
3 years ago
Reply to  BlogSupport

Thank you for your reply. I just want to confirm that if I apply for EB visa, EAD card is giving right away after USCIS receives the package of documents? or there is some waiting time? Regards

BlogSupport
BlogSupport
3 years ago
Reply to  Dr.Z

I am not sure I understand the question. It usually takes a couple of months to get EAD after filing I-765. We live in special times, so it can be longer.

Aamar
Aamar
10 months ago

I have done my masters in electrical engineering. My STEM OPT is approved and EAD is issued.
I have 7 publications with 16 citations.
I have 4 Independent recommendations from world top scientists.
Am I eligible to file NIW ? Or
should I find any sooner or e-verify company for H1B?
I do not have any job yet.
If I’m eligible then is it good decision to go with premium processing?
Thank You so much.

BlogSupport
BlogSupport
10 months ago
Reply to  Aamar

To better understand your situation, could you please let us know your country of birth?

EB2-NIW premium processing was introduced this year and I do not have any opinion on it so far. EB1A premium processing, for instance, is beneficial for people who need a decision quickly and I do not recollect any substantial discrepancy in the outcomes for the regular and premium processing.

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