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.

Fresh PhD and self-petition


Dear Sir,

 I completed my PhD in December 2014 from an university in the US. My area of concentration is Electrical Engineering. I am planning to apply for the Green Card (self petition) and I am really interested in using your DIY packet. I have some questions to clarify before I apply. I greatly appreciate your advice.

1.    Can I apply for the Green Card when I am not employed? Currently I am looking for a job and helping a university professor in his project. Can I apply while I am doing volunteer work?

2.   I am planning to travel outside the US in July. Can I submit I-140 petition from US and if get approved, is it possible to complete I-485 outside the US?  

3.   If not can I apply I-140 while I am out of country?

4.      In this situation , which category is the most suitable for me to apply (NIW…EB1 ..?)?


Please help me with your valuable advice.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration.


Your questions are answered below
1. Yes your current employment status should have no effect if you are applying in EB1a or EB2-NIW exceptional ability self petition categories. 
2. Yes it is possible to do this. You would have to indicate this on your I-140. The process is called consular processing. You will not use form I-485, instead indicate that you need consular processing in I-140. The USCIS will send you a notice to attend a interview at a consulate in the place you reside. Then they will grant a green card depending on the outcome. This approach is fairly common.
3. You can also apply I-140 while outside the country. You will still have to opt for consular processing.
4. The answer depends on your credentials and evidence you plan to present. We suggest you look at our EB1A and NIW example packets, make a list of all your evidence and decide, what is best. 1, 2, or 3 above should not affect which category you want to apply. 
Green card for Phd Team
Helping NIW and EB1A applications
with our DIY packages

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