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.


29 Responses to EB2NIW

  • Md Symon Jahan Sajib says:

    Any comment on my chances of EB2 NIW. I have finished my PhD in Chemical Engineering. My profile as following –

    1. Your country of birth; country of birth of your spouse if applicable.
    Answer: Bangladesh; Not Married.
    2. If you are a researcher, the number of your total citations and independent citations (from databases such as Google Scholar, Web of Science or Scopus). If you have a Google Scholar profile, provide your Google Scholar Profile link and make it public.
    Answer: Yes, I am researcher. I have 4 peer reviewed journals and 6 conference papers. All of them during my PhD. Total Citations are 10. Independent citations are 6.
    I have 2 more first author publications already accepted and will be published soon.


    3. Any evidence other than your citation record that your work is being implemented, used, or applied by others. Good examples can be: your patent that has been commercialized or your work resulting in licenses, contracts, or technology transfer agreements with companies, your work received funding from institutions or government-related agencies, and your work advanced to clinical trials or been included in clinical guidelines.
    Answer: Yes. As website of NSF stated, “National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering”. One of my works related to Membrane Desalination Technology for pure drinking water was supported by NSF and also by Stampede, an NSF-funded supercomputer at the Texas Advanced Computing Center. Some media highlights including NSF, TACC, and XSEDE websites about this Membrane Desalination Technology project can support this point.
    Please take a look on the following links –
    NSF (Federal Agency)
    TACC (Ranked 12th in most powerful supercomputers in whole world)
    XSEDE (A highly recognized platform for Researcher)

    4. Information regarding any experience with judging the work of others in your field. Good examples can be: reviewing papers for peer-reviewed journals/conferences (please also provide the exact number of papers you have reviewed), serving on an editorial board/being an associate editor (please also provide the impact factor of the journal), serving as conference chair, reviewing significant research grants, reviewing theses, judging dissertation work as an external referee for a PhD, and judging the work of established professionals as a member of a national panel of experts.
    Answer: I was a reviewer of Chem-E-Car competition by AIChE(Largest chemical engineering society) and also judge of the poster competition of undergraduate students in AIChE. But My PhD advisor gives me some journal article to review to help him with his reviewing process. I have helped him 3 journal papers to review. I have the detailed record of the emails about them. Also my advisor can write for me about this. The impact factor of the journal papers I have reviewed as following –
    2 paper from Journal “Langmuir” – 3.993 (2015)
    1 paper from journal “Applied Physics Letter” – 3.142 (2015)

  • Tigran Kalaydzhyan says:

    Based on the information provided, it looks like you have a chance to prepare a successful EB2-NIW case. Please familiarize yourself with the criteria and further materials from our website. Meanwhile, you can also ask your advisor to recommend you to the journals’ editors as a reviewer – this will make it easier to document your participation in the reviewing process. Please keep in mind that being a judge of an undergraduate competition does not, generally, benefit the case, since the judgement should be applied to the works of your peers.

  • Latha says:


    I have completed my Ph.D. from the XXXX university from India. I worked as a lecturer for two years after my Masters from India. I have 5 publications and 85 citations and I have done my Ph.D. in wastewater treatment and treatment of effluent using low-cost adsorbents. And I am getting 5 recommendation letters. Having this profile would EB2NIWbe approved for me. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you.

    • Tigran Kalaydzhyan says:

      Hi Latha,

      From the credentials I cannot tell whether or not your case will be approved, but it might be possible to prepare a successful case. However, if you were born in India (please correct me if I’m wrong), this category of the green card is virtually unaccessible to you, due to the (currently) 9-year backlog in the issuance of the green cards for the Indian nationals (see link below). In other words, even if your I-140 is approved, you won’t be able to file I-485 after many years of waiting.

      • 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.

  • Picasso says:

    Lets say I have and EB2 NIW application pending, can I file for another I-140 based on Physician National Interest Waiver?

    Is that allowed?

  • Bukpee says:


    I have a question for the EB2 NIW application. I have purchased your package and I’m currently in the process of preparing my application. In your package, you state that we should get independent reviewers to get recommendation letters. What methods do you advice to get letters from independent reviewers? I reached out to a few people who had cited my work were hesitant to provide references based on one citation (which I probably understand). Some other emails bounced back probably because they were unsolicited. Also, have you seen cases where petitions were granted without letters from independent reviewers? Do you think other points such as 14 co-authored papers (none 1st authored though) and 147 citations cover up for the lack of an independent reviewer?

    • Tigran Kalaydzhyan says:

      One should definitely obtain those letters. You can approach people who you know through conferences and seminars (they were at your talk or invited you in the past), editors of journals for whom you refereed papers, colleagues of your advisors and so on. Among those 147 citations there are probably groups who cite you regularly, you can ask them. It makes sense to ask younger professors, since they have more time and also make sure to point to them that you are willing to write those letters yourself, so they do not have to commit with their time, if they are buys. Also mention that everything written in those letters is for immigration purposes only, and will not be used further in academia/industry, so they should not worry about their reputation. I remember asking 10 people this way and collecting 7 signatures or full letters within one week for my own application. Fell free to remind them about your question and, probably, it might be a good idea to use you institution email, so it doesn’t go to spam.

  • Bukpee says:

    Great, thanks for your response. I have another question please. have you ever heard of first-author contribution letter. I have no first authored paper, so I heard I may need to get a letter from my lead author stating my contribution to our work. Do you know if there is any other information needed in this letter or is it even necessary? Thanks for your audience.

    • Tigran Kalaydzhyan says:

      I am not familiar with such letters. Normally, the preference is given to recommendation letters from people who never collaborated with the petitioner. However, I can imagine a situation when there is a large collaboration and the weight of the contribution is not clear. It would not hurt to add such a letter and let the USCIS officer decide how much relevance it has.

  • Misha says:

    Hello, I am choosing between EB2NIW and EB1A route?
    My nationality is Russian and the nationality of my spouse is Chinese.
    In brief, I am a postdoctoral associate at MIT, have a PhD degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Purdue University, Google scholar: 309 citations, h-index 9, field of study nanophotonics and quantum optics.
    Really appreciate your help! Thanks.

    • Tigran Kalaydzhyan says:

      Privet, Misha,

      If you were born in Russia, then you could pursue either route. I had a look at your CV online and, if I were you, I would try EB1A, because you have a good chance to get it (taken your citations and publication record) and it’s also faster with the premium processing. What I didn’t see in your CV is whether or not you are a referee for any journals. If you could write several referee reports, it would make it easier for you to prepare a successful EB1A case. Please feel free to ask any further questions in this thread.

      One comment that is yet absent from our DIY manuals: if you decide to apply, please change the keywords in your Google Scholar profile (such as Nanophotonics, Quantum Optics, Photonic Materials) to something more narrow, because by clicking these links one can see the most cited people in the field.

  • Curtis Chopping says:

    I am a British. I have a PhD from Oxford University in the UK and currently a postdoc at MIT. I have 8 publications but very few citations (18 citations); my work is mostly useful in the industry. I have professional certifications from two highly respected professional organisations in the UK and the US. I have 5 years work experience in my field. I am an associate editor for a journal (IF = 0.8) and I have reviewed around 7 articles for other two journals. I would appreciate it if you would advise me regarding my chances for an EB2-NIW? Thank you very much.

      • Curtis Chopping says:

        Earth Sciences. My research is focused on geochemistry, hydrogeology and environmental science. I’ve carried out projects involving groundwater contamination, nuclear waste management, hydraulic fracturing, flooding, etc. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you very much.

        • Tigran Kalaydzhyan says:

          Hi Curtis,

          Thank you for the reply. I asked about the field of research, because it must be of the national interest. In your situation, it looks like you can make such case, because it can improve health/working conditions of American people, improve economy and so on. It is currently difficult to define a successful candidate for EB2-NIW, since the requirements from USCIS started changing (even though the law stays the same). I can state that in the past you, most probably, would be able to compile a successful NIW petition with the credentials you provided.

          • Curtis Chopping says:

            Thank you very much for your insightful response. I have another questions: (1) I would like to know whether two people from the same university (and the same department) whom I’ve nerver collaborated with can write a recommendation letter for me; (2) Can I simply submit the acknowledgment email I received after reviewing an article or do I need to obtain a letter from the journal that I’m a reviwer with them? I look forward to your response, and thanks very much for your kindness.

          • Tigran Kalaydzhyan says:

            (1) Yes, they can, taken that you have letters from people from other universities as well. (2) Yes, if this is supposed to be an evidence of being a judge of others, then yes, acknowledgment emails are enough.

  • Shri.K says:


    I am from India. I have finished my MS and PhD from a university in NY in pharmaceutical sciences. I have 5 publications-2 first author and 3 second author. I have reviewed 53 publications and have 146 citations (128 independent). All publications and reviews are in international peer reviewed journals.

    –Do you think I have a chance to file for an EB3-NIW or EB1A application? Currently, I am in the US. But I am planning to go back to India due to personal reasons.
    –Can I apply for EB2 NIW and then apply for an EB1A application with the date of EB2NIW?
    –Can I apply for EB2 NIW or EB1A from India?

    Thank you for your guidance and time.

    • Tigran Kalaydzhyan says:

      Hi Shri,

      Taking into account the backlog in EB2-NIW for India nationals (almost 10 years, currently), it only makes sense to apply for EB1A, if you were born in India. Speaking of credentials, since recently, it has become difficult to obtain EB1A with a citation count like yours (it was alright in the past). The logical course of action for you would be to monitor the situation with a lawyer (usually, the first consultations are free) and attempt applying (on your own or with a lawyer), when the bar is lowered again. Answering other questions, yes, you can port (transfer) the priority date between EB1 and EB2 applications and yes, you can apply for EB2-NIW or EB1A from India.

    • Tigran Kalaydzhyan says:

      Formally, by law, there is no required minimum number. The other question is internal instructions the USCIS officers follow. In the past, the typical number of citations for a successful EB1A petition was about 100-200, but, since recently, the bar was raised very high and we are monitoring the situation closely. I have seen petitions with 400, 900 and even 1000 citations being denied. It seems the outcome of the EB1A I-140 filing has become somewhat random.

  • Claudia Espinosa says:

    Good morning,
    I’m a postdoctoral research associate at Emory University.
    Currently, I’m on H1B status (start date September 1, 2018 and valid till December 31, 2019).
    Country of birth: Mexico.
    I want to obtain U.S. permanent residency through EB1-A petition and would like to have an evaluation of my chances.
    My citation report in google scholar can be found at
    Beside my publications, my achievements include:
    1. I won a Postdoctoral Award from the American Heart Association.
    2. Ad hoc reviewer record.
    3. Professional membership affiliations
    Lawyers have advised that EB2 NIW is a better option for me, based on the November 2018 visa bulletin that indicates the priority date (PD) under EB-1 is not current and not able to predict if and when it will become current.
    I truly appreciate your expert advise.
    Thank you!

    • Tigran Kalaydzhyan says:

      Hi Claudia,

      I tend to agree with the lawyers in this case. Taking into account your credentials (e.g., citation level), getting EB1A would be extremely difficult in the current environment. In addition, as they mentioned, it is not clear when the priority date for EB1A will become current. Since your work is directly related to medicine and, therefore, public health, EB2-NIW seems to be a better option. Please feel free to ask any further questions in this thread.

  • Reuben says:

    I purchased the EB2 NIW package a few months ago and I am currently completing a concurrent application. I intend to submit my application in a few weeks, however, I have a number of questions:
    1. I am confused as to whether or not I am supposed to complete form I-944
    2. I’m submitting an application for my wife (as a dependent), do I need to submit form I-944 and/or I-864 on her behalf?
    3. I am currently on an F-1 visa which expires in June. With a concurrent application, can I have my work authorization approved (form I-765) while the decision on my I-140 is pending?

    Thank you in advance for responses to the above questions.

    • BlogSupport says:

      Hi Reuben,

      Situation changes quickly, so it is better to talk to a qualified immigration attorney regarding I-944/I-864 to stay up to date. I would still file them, just to be on a safe side, as the law may change in the future while your petition is pending.

      Regarding I-765 – yes, you can get employment authorization if your priority date is current (which it is, I suppose, since you are filing a concurrent application). Normally, it takes a couple of months to get your EAD card. It may take longer with the current situation, potential govt shutdowns, etc.

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