Postdocs & Ph.D. Students: Who are qualified for green
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The Department of State published Immigrant Visa
Bulletin for August, 2019, which established a worldwide
EB1 and EB2 visa backlog. The visa backlog affects all
international scholars and students who wish to apply
for green card in EB1A and EB2NIW. In addition, the visa
backlog will also affect the green card applicants whose
application is sponsored by U.S. employers, including
EB1B, EB2 PERM.
Because of the visa backlog, more and more international
postdoctoral scholars and students wish to file their
green card application as early as possible before they
have a U.S. employer to sponsor their green card
application in order to avoid the delays caused by the
Who are qualified for green card applications?
We will provide some important information of the
qualification requirements for postdoctoral researchers
and Ph.D. students to apply for U.S. Permanent Residence
under the current immigration law and CIS adjudication
policies. To help readers understand, we will also
provide a couple of successful sample cases.
Postdoctoral researchers and Ph.D. students do not have
a permanent job. Therefore, there will be NO U.S.
employer to sponsor their green card application. They
must file a self-petition green card application.
According to the U.S. Immigration laws and regulations,
there are two types employment-based immigrant visa
classifications that can be self-petition application.
One is EB1A: Alien of Extraordinary Ability and the
other is EB2 National Interest Waiver.
The mostly used one is EB2 National Interest Waiver. The
basic legal requirements for EB2 National Interest
Waiver applicants include the following.
I. Applicant must have advanced degree or exceptional
(1) Advanced degrees include Masterís degree, Ph.D.
degree, M.D. equivalent degree.
Advanced degrees include the ones that received from
other countries than the United States. If all of the
advanced degrees were received outside of the United
States, we will direct you to obtain a Foreign Academic
Credential Evaluation by a credited evaluation agency.
If one of the advanced degrees was obtained from an
accredited educational institution in the United States,
you may not need a Foreign Academic Credential
(2) Exceptional ability
There is no degree requirement. Applicant needs to prove
exceptional ability and often times ten years or more
experience in the field.
II. The applicantís work has practical significance to
the national interest of the United States.
The applicant must prove that his or her work is in the
area of national interest of the United States. CIS has
been holding a broad interpretation. The only area of
work that has been excluded by CIS is attorneysí legal
service. CIS said that by nature of legal
representation, attorneys serve the interest of their
III. The applicantís research and his or her
contributions have direct link to the National
The applicants are required to prove that his or her
work serves national interest. Based on our experience,
the applicants shall provide evidence to prove his or
her key role in the important research projects and the
specific research contributions.
IV. Applicantís work brings a benefit that is national
The benefit of the applicantís work shall not cover only
a small group of people or a specific region. CIS
confirmed in a case titled The Matter of DHANASAR (26
I&N Dec. 884 (AAO 2016) and outlined the basic legal
requirements for EB2NIW. An EB2NIW applicant shall
provide preponderance of evidence to prove that (1) his
or her proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and
national importance, (2) the petitioner is well
positioned to advance his research; and (3) on balance,
it is beneficial to the United States to waive the
requirements of a job offer and thus of a labor
The following are two approved EB2NIW cases to help
readers understand the above legal requirements in
1. Postdoctorate researcher:
We helped a post-doctoral research fellow with a Ph.D.
Degree and a Master's degree in pharmacology applied
green card in EB2NIW. The EB2NIW applicant was a
post-doctoral research fellow in the field of neurology,
electrophysiology and epilepsy research. After a review
and a close study of her work and accomplishments, we
suggested to help her file an EB2 National Interest
Waiver. At the time of filing, she had 7 journal papers
published in Korea and US, 5 conference presentations.
We prepared and filed I-140 EB2NIW. CIS approved the EB2
NIW case in 5 months without RFE.
2. Postdoctoral researcher without a Masterís degree:
We helped a postdoctoral researcher proved exceptional
ability and obtained approval of EB2NIW. The applicant
did not have an masterís degree or any advanced degrees.
The applicant obtained a bachelorís degree in Medicine
from China. When she came to ask our professional help,
she was a research scientist in the field of molecular
biology focusing on oral cancer and mechanism of HIV
infection in the oral mucosa. At the time of filing, she
had 6 journal papers published in China and USA, 2
conference presentations. CIS approved the EB2 NIW case
3. A researcher in a private profit-making company:
As we mentioned above, an EB2NIW application will become
more difficult to prepare if the applicant works for a
private profit-making company. Having said that, we do
have successful cases. A researcher with a private
company in the field of Synthesis of multiple nano-scaled
coatings on SiC whiskers, SiC fibers, SiC nanowires to
develop high-temperature ceramics for matrix composites
asked our law firm to file an EB2NIW. She has a Ph.D.
degree in Materials Science and Engineering and Masterís
degree in Materials Physical Chemistry, 5 journal
papers, 4 conference papers, 6 conference presentations.
CIS approved the EB2 NIW case without RFE.
are interested in EB1A, EB1B, EB2NIW applications,
please email us your updated resume, including your
educational background, your current work, your
publications, citation information, reviewer experience,
etc. to our email address at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Green Card
有无媒体报道等Email 到： email@example.com。 Subject: Green
Disclaimer： All information in this document is general
information of immigration laws and procedures for
educational and advertising purpose. The information
does not constitute attorney legal advice. If your need
attorney legal advice, you must contact our law firm
directly by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone
Sun (Member of American Immigration Lawyers Association)
12100 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 925
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Tel: (310) 481-6118
Fax: (310) 481-6117
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