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Am I eligible for applying for EB-2A, NIW, or EB1 while a PhD student?

Published Apr 18,2018 By Hannah Han

Hello,

I am interested in learning how to apply for an EB-2A, NIW or EB1 green card by myself and whether I am eligible for applying.

For your information, below is my brief background.

I am a third-year PhD student, majoring in health policy at a U.S. university. I’ve earned an M.S. degree in health services research from School of Public Health at a U.S. university. My current job is a graduate research assistant at the university’s research center. The research center is fully funded through the federal government contract. The research all focus on workforce issues in health care, seeking ways to improve health care workforce in the U.S., so working in this center I am involving in a lot of research related to health care. I’m also involving in many works to produce policy research brief about health care workforce to the federal government. Currently, I have had 6 publications, including 2 first-authors and 4 co-authors, all were published during my master or phd period. One of my publication was published in a top-rank journal in our field and had 10 citations already. I presented many times at the national research conference of my field. I am also members of two professional associations in my field. I served as journal reviewers in two journals of my field. I have many ongoing projects and papers and plan to do a post-doc after graduation.

I wonder if I am eligible for applying for an EB-2A, NIW, or EB1 now? Or is it better for me to apply after graduation?

Usually how long these types of green card can be processed?

Thank you very much for answering my questions in advance.

Best,

Hannah

 

 

 

 

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Tigran Kalaydzhyan
Tigran Kalaydzhyan
5 years ago

Hi Hannah,

Taking into account your specialization, it would make sense for you to apply for EB2-NIW after graduation. However, before answering your questions, let me ask you about your country of birth, since the waiting times depend on that.

Hannah Han
Hannah Han
5 years ago

Hi Tigran,

Thank you so much for answering my question.

My country of birth is China.

Thanks,
Hannah

Tigran Kalaydzhyan
Tigran Kalaydzhyan
5 years ago
Reply to  Hannah Han

Hi Hannah,

Thank you for the reply. Since you were born in (mainland?) China, the EB2-NIW is virtually inaccessible to you, because there is a 10 years backlog in the green card issuance (please see the link below, table “FINAL ACTION DATES FOR EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCE CASES”). The EB1A priority date is currently stated 01JAN12, however, according to previous years, this is probably temporary and may become “Current” in a couple of months. Waiting time for EB1A I-140 does not depend on this date and usually varies between several days (if premium processing has been chosen) and few months. I-485 is usually considered within several months. Since EB1A seems to be the only option for you, please have a look at the EB1A criteria on our website and our free ebook. Taking into account credentials you provided, I would say, it makes sense to wait until the graduation and until more citations are accumulated. Meanwhile, you can think of what material might be helpful in your future case (such as refereeing journal papers) and work in that direction. Also, feel free to ask any further questions in this thread.

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal/visa-law0/visa-bulletin/2018/visa-bulletin-for-may-2018.html

Tigran Kalaydzhyan
Tigran Kalaydzhyan
5 years ago

As an update, here you can have a look at the current processing times for relevant forms:
https://egov.uscis.gov/processing-times/
http://www.trackitt.com/usa-immigration-trackers/i485-eb

Hannah Han
Hannah Han
5 years ago

Hi Tigran,

Thank you so much. Your information is really helpful. I’ll take a look at the EB1A. This sounds more reasonable for me to apply after graduation.

Best,
Xinxin

Hannah Han
Hannah Han
5 years ago

Hi Tigran,

One more question, could you suggest me to consider EB1-B actually? I understand that needs to be employment-based. I wonder if a full-time position plus my background would be eligible for applying?

Thanks,
Hannah

Tigran Kalaydzhyan
Tigran Kalaydzhyan
5 years ago
Reply to  Hannah Han

EB1B usually assumes a permanent position, so your position should be not just full-time, but also permanent (such as the staff member or a professor). If you obtain PhD and get such a position, then your employer would, normally, petition for your green card on this basis.

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