Green Card for a PhD or Postdoc

Self Petition in EB2 NIW or EB1A with DIY Packages
(from original approved petitions)

Serving since 2007


Blog posts

Bulletin Source: Department of state Applies to: Green card applicants Detailed Bulletin: March 2009 Summary of Visa Bulletin Relevant to EB1A and NIW EB1 is current for all countries EB2 is...

Question I am a PhD holder from UK working in Biofuels and currently residing in UK. I was wondering, since my qualification is not from any university from USA, am I eligible to apply under EB2-...

Question: I am a PhD and working as a software engineer. Could you please tell me how I can formulate my documents for NIW application? Do I need recommendation letters from my manager? Answer:...

Questions: Dear friends my name is []  and I am a PhD/postdoc from Italy. I did postdoc in the USA. I would be interested in getting the green card and I found your website on the net. Can you...

Detailed Bulletin Summary of Visa Bulletin Relevant to EB1A and NIW There is significant advance in the cutoff date for Indian nationals. EB1 is current for all countries EB2 cutoff date for India...

Visa requirements


Are there any visa requirements for EB1A / NIW self-petition application?

For self-petition application in NIW or EB1A categories, green card application involves two main steps I-140 application (permanent residency application) and I-485 application (adjustment of status). Any one with virtually any visa (H1, F1, J1 etc) can self-petition (NIW or EB1A) for permanent residency petition (I-140). In fact you do not need to have a visa to petition an I-140. It is not even necessary to be residing in the US to apply for a I-140 petition. If you are residing outside of the US, I-485 application is filed with consular processing option. 


Special note for F1 and J1 holders

You should be aware of certain limitations if you are a student on a F1 visa or an exchange visitor on a J1 visa. J1 applicants need a wavier to apply for I-485. Both J1 and F1 is granted to applicants with nonimmigrant intent. Since I-140 application implies immigration intent, they may not be able to extend their visas or EADs after the application of I-140. That is, if F1 or J1 holder applies for an extension of their visa or an EAD USCIS can deny it.

It is safer to apply on F1 or J1 if you expect that both I-140 and I-485 would be approved before needing any visa extensions or EADs on F1/J1. This means priority dates for the category (EB1A/NIW) and nationality should be current at the time of your application. The priority date limitation typically applies to Indian and Chinese nationals applying in the EB2-NIW category. 

Students have successfully self-petitioned using our packets.

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.