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General enquiry on Green Card application process

Published Jun 26,2013 By GCforPhD



I have a query about my GC processing. I want to know whether in the given stipulated time my GC processing can be a success or doubtful.

I have to yet file for GC. I have completed my first postdoc and joined for my second postdoc 2 months back. I have 2 years of H1B visa out of the 6 years. My previous employer was not keen enough in GC processing. My current employer is interested for GC processing(self petition). At first they said that they were ready to give other support except financial support. Now they are rethinking to extend 50% financial support.

I have 8 publications. Also, I have reviewed 6-8 journal-manuscripts. I can get 12 recommendation letters (8 from whom I have closely worked with and 4 from whom I haven’t worked with).

My question are

1) In which category can I file (E11 or E21-NIW or any other)? And which one could most probably be successful?

2) How much would it approximately cost for the entire GC processing?

3) How much time would it take for GC processing?

4) (If the GC cost is affordable for me.) Should I wait for the employers to decide whether they can extend financial support or should I say that we can take it on us? (I know that GC processing costs in thousands(?), and it would really help if the employer takes a part of it. But at the same time we really want to have a GC)

5) Under these circumstances if applied for GC would it be successful given that there are 2 years of H1B left and my given professional background?


1. NIW is usually a better option. However everything depends on the details of your situation and how all the evidence coherently conveys the key claims in the petition. Some times EB1A may also be possible depending on the nature of your work and your contribution. Best is to look carefully at the USCIS criteria for the two categories. See some example petitions for to understand which is best for you.

2. With a lawyer, it is the lawyer cost plus the application fee. You can find the fee from the USCIS forms. You will need to fill i140 initially, followed by i-485. Both of these have a filing fee ($580+985 as of June 2013). In addition 485 requires a biometric fee of $85 (for ages 14-79). Doctors also charge health check fee for 485. Each member of your family (dependent) need to fill 485.  If you self petition you have no lawyer fee.

3. This is usually the time required  process I-140 and the I-485 applications. If the visa numbers are not available for your nationality, thre would be an additional wait time. You can find processing times, which are country, category, and processing center dependent, on the USCIS site.

4. You can decide this based on the cost mentioned above and your need
5. Once you apply for I-485, you are eligible to simultaneously apply for EAD and Advanced parole which allow you to work and travel outside the country without a visa. For EB1A you can concurrently apply ( same for NIW also depending on the priority dates for your nationality). If priority dates are not current, you can do get this after I-140 approval, which usually does not take long.
You can also read the free ebook at for FAQ on self-petition
Best of luck

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