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.

Postdoc from Scotland interested in applying for green card


I just came across your website and am so pleased that I did, this is such a great resource for foreign PhDs! I have my PhD from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and have been a postdoc in the US for 3 years now. I would really like to apply for the green card myself but I was wondering if the application itself would jeopardize my J1 status?

Any help would be much appreciated.


J1 is a non-immigrant visa, meaning the visa holder has no intent to immigrate. Applying for i-140 expresses an intent to immigrate. After application of i-140, you may not be able to extend your J1 status if you need to. However your existing J1 status would remain valid its validity date.
You would also need a J1 wavier from your home country if your country ha a residency requirement.

Thank you very much for getting back to me. Fortunately I don’t think I have the residency requirement and my J1 is valid for another 18 months which gives me time to apply for the green card. If I do apply and it is rejected would that affect my chances of switching from J1 to H1B at the end of my J1 term? Also, if a company wanted to hire me and the H1B is not available (due to the cap), can that company apply directly for the green card for me? I’m sorry for all of the questions, it’s such a complicated procedure. I really appreciate your help.

If your application is rejected it wont affect your chances of switching from J1 to H1B, since H1B holder can have dual intent (intent to or not to immigrate).

Usually companies only sponsor green cards for their employees. So first they would want to hire you before applying for a GC. We have not heard of companies applying for GC for hiring purpose and are not sure if it is possible.

Thank you again for your help. I read online that companies can apply for a GC for a future employee but I guess they don’t do it very often as it’s a bigger commitment for the company. The problem I’m having is that I’ve recently been successful in getting several medical writing positions but they have all fallen through at the last minute due to H1B caps and rules, I think applying for the GC directly myself might be the best option.

We were  not aware of this. Thanks for letting us know.

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