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PhD students currently on F1 can apply for EB1A or EB2-NIW

Published Jun 23,2017 By Vyasaraj


I am a PhD student, with only 2 conference publications. At the end of my PhD I might expect few more conference publications/ proceedings and 2 journal papers. I have 4 years of industrial experience in hometown raising from an Engineer level to Senior Engineer level.

I have two questions:

Will my qualification seem sufficient enough to apply immediately? If not, when would be appropriate? Typically how many journal publications does applicants possess? Will those publications based in U.S has more weight?

I am right now on F1 visa. If I do not get approved at this time, will I still remain on F1? Can I still opt for regular F1 to OPT to H1? 

If I apply when I am in OPT, and if its gets rejected; will my status continue in OPT.

(I am aware that if I am in H1 visa and if the Green card petition gets rejected then I can still continue on H1 until my visa expires)

Please help me.

Thank you.



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Tigran Kalaydzhyan
Tigran Kalaydzhyan
6 years ago

Dear Vyas,

Number of publications itself is not representative, what is more important is the impact of these publications. For instance, a small number of papers well cited and extensively used in the scientific community can be enough for certain cases. I know of successful cases with as few as 3 publications and as many as 50 and more. I would wait for publications in peer-reviewed journals with existing impact factors before proceeding with the petition.

Publications produced while in the U.S. have no special status. If your I-140 is denied while you are on F1, then you may not be able to extend/obtain F1/OPT. However, you do not lose F1. Yes, you can obtain H1B after I-140 is denied.

5 years ago

I am in a similar situation- only have 3 peer-reviewed publications plus 3 conference abstracts. I am also on STEM OPT, which has been extended but I quit my job, so I am unsure as to whether I should apply for EB-2/NIW in the meantime, and if I do get another job in the US within the next 3 months, if I will still be able to use my OPT?

Tigran Kalaydzhyan
Tigran Kalaydzhyan
5 years ago
Reply to  Kate

Hi Kate,

I am not sure, I understood your question. If you are asking whether or not you will be able to use the EAD from OPT while EB2 is pending, then the answer is yes. Please keep in mind, however, that if you file for EB2-NIW, you may not be able to extend the F1 in the future. Please feel free to let me know further details or ask more questions in this thread.

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