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Citation requirement of EB1A for physics PhD student

Published Mar 18,2023 By Rose Zhu

What’s the approximate citation requirement for physics students?

For theoretical physics students, when we graduate, our citation usually is below 50, which I think is impossible for EB1A?
But for experimental physics PhD student, when we graduate, some of us have citation 100+ and will grow around 100+ per year. I’ve heard the citation requirement is 200-500+, a quite wide range. So I’m not sure what’s the real cases. If it’s not too high, experiment students may just need 2-3 years before they apply for EB1A.

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11 months ago

Hi Rose,

There are no strict or formal requirements for the number of citations. You would use the citation count as an evidence of the merit of your work to the scientific community. The threshold is subjective and it is up to the USCIS officer to decide. Let’s say, 6+ years ago 100 citations was enough and if you had less, you could argue that your field is very narrow, so there are simply not too many people who could cite you. These days, 200-500+ that you mentioned is more common. Don’t forget, this category is for extraordinary abilities, not for average.

Even though graduate students in experimental physics may have more citations, they are usually one of the many coauthors in a paper, so it is harder to ague that their personal contribution was crucial to produce the experimental result. With a shorter list of co-authors, it is easier for a theoretical physicist to argue importance of their contribution, especially because the authors’ names appear in alphabetic order, so you would need to mention this anyway.

I do not know if self-citations are currently filtered out in the review process by the USCIS officers, but you can simply cite all of your papers in conference proceedings and also wait a couple of years to accumulate more citations. If you are active in your field, people will cite you. In the meantime, you are welcome to read our free eBook that will provide additional practical information:
https://www.greencardforphd.com/free-ebook

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