Blog for Postdocs / Phds, National Interest Waiver, Extraordinary Ability

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EB1A for Unemployed Ph.D graduate


I am a Ph.D graduate in pharmacology (2007) from US university. Did postdoctoral fellowship in cancer Biology. Had to quit in 2008 due to H1b issue. Then I volunteered in hospital pharmacy and gave exams and became Licensed Pharmacist. As a researcher I have 3 publications, 70 citations, 4 grants, awards at conference presentations and 15 conference presentations. I have been unemployed for 5 years. I want to know if I will be eligible for EB1A. Want to try self petition. 

3 Responses to EB1A for Unemployed Ph.D graduate

  • GCforPhD says:


    Self petition green card categories typically do not require the applicant to show permanent employment. Your volunteer work can certainly count as work experience. If you were an active researcher (publishing etc) during the unemployed duration, that would also help.

    From your description, you may satisfy 3 out of 10 EB1A criteria. Since you also have good number of citations that can count towards “sustained interest in your work”. If you can get references from experts in your field that state you are one among the top researchers then you could have a chance in EB1A. While the case is not very strong it is still worth a try.

    You could also consider EB2-NIW for self-petition.

    Best wishes

  • Saman says:

    Hello, I’m currently living in the US under OPT, and I used to have a job, but I lost my job due to funding issues (I use to work at a very small university). I am currently unemployed, but I have saved up enough money to live until I find another job. I have a masters in physics, chemistry and a PhD in Chemistry from a US university. I have published 8 papers and only have about 43 citations. It says that I don’t need a job offer to apply for NIW EB2, but what are the chances that my application is approved? And if my application is approved, would I need a job offer to apply for Adjustment of status?

    • Tigran Kalaydzhyan says:

      You don’t have to have a job offer to apply. However, in your petition, you have to provide a work plan for the case the petition is approved. Before applying for the adjustment of status, make sure you are staying legally in the U.S. (there is a chance you have to leave the U.S. within a certain time frame if your program was cancelled).

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