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.

I am a PhD in H4 status and would like to apply in EB1A


I have recently completed PhD in Physics from university of Exeter, UK. I have joined my husband who lives in bay area and I currently hold an H4 visa. Although there are lot of job opportunities but I am not eligible to work due to my work status.

During my PhD, I have worked on optical study of Ge2Sb2Te5 material using a modelocked lasers. My paper got accepted in Nature Scientific Reports and my work was able to make two INVITED talks in Material research Conference (MRS) along with several other contributions to Physics society. I have also worked on device fabrications and electrical characterization.
I was wondering, can I file a Green card for myself and if that is so then how strong my case is to receive the green card.
Thank you very much in advance.
Looking forward to hear from you!
From your description, you may be able to self-petition in the EB1A or the EB2-NIW category. EB1a category is harder but it may be possible depending on other evidence (strength of recommendation letters, citations, any press coverage etc) not mentioned in your email. You can see the USCIS criteria for these two categories on our website. In addition if you plan to apply in EB1a you also need to show
  • you are one of the small percentage who have risen to the very top of the field of endeavor
  • your work has sustained national or international acclaim and that your achievements have been recognized in the field of expertise


While EB2-NIW is relatively easier, if you are a Indian or Chinese nationality, 485 processing can take a long time due to retrogressed visa number and may not allow you to work anytime soon (at least for a few years).
You can also see our example petition packets (originally derived from femtosecond/optical physics field) which can give you an idea of how to get started and prepare the packets.
best of luck
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