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.

F1 trying to self-petition


First of all, thank you for having one of the most useful blogs around about green card self-petitioning process. I just came across to your website a week ago since I have been stressing out about the whole process myself. I am currently a PhD student and I am going on my fifth year. I am at the dissertation stage and my F1 visa will expire in summer 2014, which makes me freak out about my next step as I really want to stay in The States and I am not sure how the market will look like by the time I am ready to graduate.  So my intention is to apply for the green card myself before my graduation. I believe EB2-NIW is more likely to be applicable to my case compared to EB1A. Since I am on F1 visa right now and there is a chance that I might not be eligible to extend it because of my GC application, what are the disadvantages associated with that? Will I be able to continue as a student during my application is being processed? If my application gets denied, can I still maintain my F1 status and can I apply again? Based on your experience, what is the good starting point?

Sorry if I sound like I am freaking out but I just need a clear idea of how to start and what to do. I’ve thought of stopping by USCIS office and ask someone there about the process but your website has been a great help so far.
Thanks for your time and support.
The main disadvantage is that you risk not being able to extend your F1 visa, if you need to, after the application of green card. You can continue on your F1 status as long you do not need extensions F1 or new OPT or OPT extensions. If you are confident you can get approved before your F1 runs out or if you think you can get a job on a visa that allows immigration intent (such as H1B) then you would be safe. You would also be safe if your i-140 is approved and i-485 is pending before F1 runs out.
Best of luck
Green card for Phd Team
Helping NIW and EB1A applications
with our DIY packages

4 Responses to F1 trying to self-petition

  • Meg says:

    i am f1 currently on opt. i am a resgistered nurse. my questionn is is it possible for me to self petition i-140 visa while still on my present job before my opt expires

    • Tigran Kalaydzhyan says:

      Yes, you can self-petition in any status. Please be aware that by filing I-140 you demonstrate an immigrant intent that may prevent you from obtaining/extending nonimmigrant visas like F1, J1, etc. in the future.

  • Abbie says:

    I do not need to extend F1 visa for a few years, but I might have to apply OPT after filing I-140 because I’m planning to graduate this summer and looking for a postdoc position. If I-140 is pending while I’m on F1, I cannot apply for the new OPT?

    • Tigran Kalaydzhyan says:

      You may not be able to get F1-OPT while your I-140 is pending, because by filing I-140 you demonstrated an immigration intent. In certain cases you can still get it if you demonstrate that you will leave the U.S. after the OPT, especially if the waiting time for the adjustment of status is long, but, in this case, it is highly recommended to consult with a lawyer for these matters.

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