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

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EB2-NIV for Indian F1-OPT student

Hello GCforPhD team, 

Thank you for the very informative and helpfulwebsite. It provided me with the essential information to start my GC process.

I just finished my Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences in a US university, also have a MS in Chemistry in US. Currently waiting  for OPT (EAD) card.  Based on the criteria you described, It would be suited best to apply for EB2-NIV based on exceptional ability. I currently/very soon will be having total first author papers in Pharmaceutical sciences and Polymers.  

I am from India, and my questions are:

a) am I eligible for applying for EB2-NIV as I am from India? The current dates for EB2 are way back in 2005?

b) can I apply for I-140?

c) also can I apply for I-485 along with i-140? or should I apply for I-140 alone?

d) If I am eligible to apply, provided the dates are current, what would be the time frame for acceptance? I am in OPT currently, and will not be eligible to extend my OPT after I apply for I-140, so, this time frame is critical for my decision to apply.

I will be eagerly waiting for your reply to move ahead with buying the package.

Thanking you,



5 Responses to EB2-NIV for Indian F1-OPT student

  • Chinni says:

    Hi TeamGCforPhD,
    This is Chinni. Upon further study, I came to know that I am in fact eligible to apply for EB2-NIW and I should only apply for 1-140 as the dates are not current to apply for I-485 for Indian citizens.

    My current main question is: Since I am waiting for my OPT EAD to be approved and arrived within a month or so, I will have 1 year in OPT. Within this year, Provided I apply for EB2-NIW within a couple of months, I would have 10 months to get my i-140 accepted. Do you think I should go ahead with this option?

    I am in final stages of publishing some research publications. Please have a look at my CV (sent to

  • Tigran Kalaydzhyan says:

    Hi Chinni,

    Thank you for the email. Taking into account specifics of your work and the publication record, it makes sense, indeed, to choose EB2-NIW over EB1A. As I understand from your CV, you have 1 first-author publication and expecting the other 3 first-author publications soon. If you publish them, it will make your case much more convincing, because you will be able to show your critical role in the performed research. If you have only few citations at that moment, then you can simply explain it in your petition by the fact that the publications are new and there was not enough time to accumulate citations (or maybe there are not many people working in your field, if this is the case). Citations are not necessary, they make it easier to prove that your work is used by your peers, however, you can also prove it through the recommendation letters. Since your work is directly related to the public health and your recommendation writers (as far as I could see from your email) can judge the importance of your work on a national and international level, it won’t be a problem to demonstrate the intrinsic merit of your work.

    Regarding the timing, you can check the processing times by the link below. It states that the current processing time for I-140 in NIW is 4 months at the Texas Service Center and 10 months at the Nebraska Service Center (this figures are estimates, of course)

    As I understand, you want to receive an answer from USCIS before your visa expires. But I do not understand the motivation, since you cannot apply for I-485 immediately after that due to the backlog for Indian nationals, so you will have to leave the country unless you receive a dual-intent visa or find another way to stay in the U.S. Could you explain your plan? You can also consider an alternative path, when you do not apply for NIW now but get a postdoc position with J1 visa and apply for EB1A when you accumulate more evidence (please have a look at our packets to understand the typical cases and estimate your chances in the future) – with EB1A you will be able to file I-485 immediately after I-140 is approved (you can also expedite I-140 and receive the decision within 15 days). Applying for NIW will prevent you from getting J1 in the future. If you have an option of getting H1B by the time your OPT expires, this would be the ideal scenario, because you can file EB2-NIW immediately and EB1A later (when you accumulate evidence satisfying the USCIS criteria).

  • SD says:

    Hello all,

    I had a question on this topic. Even though the wait time for Indian nationals is ~9 years for EB2, if one applies for EB2- NIW and then applies for the O1A visa during the wait of ~9 years, is that a valid option?


    • Tigran Kalaydzhyan says:

      Yes, you can apply for the O-1 visa after filing I-140, because it is a dual intent visa. Same is true for H1B. Keep in mind that approved O-1 visa gives you a full packet of documents that, with minor modifications, you can resubmit for EB1A green card, where there is, normally, no waiting time for Indian nationals.

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