National Interest Waiver U.S. Permanent Residence (Green Card) for PhD (or PhD candidate) Researchers.

We receive many inquiries from Researchers with a PhD (or PhD candidate) who are in the U.S. on temporary visas such as H-1B, F-1 and J-1, or live outside the U.S.

They are curious as to what options they have to apply for permanent residence in the U.S.

The good news is that they may qualify for a self sponsored petition called the National Interest Waiver.

Because there is no labor certification or permanent job offer requirement, the National Interest Waiver is a preferred choice for scholars, researchers, postdoctoral research fellows, Ph.D. students, and other advanced degree professionals.

This U.S. Permanent Residence process involves 2 Steps:

Step #1: The I-140 National Interest Waiver Petition.

Step 2: Adjustment of Status to Permanent Residence Petition. This process varies depending on if you are in or out of the U.S.

In order to win the I-140 National Interest Waiver case, the petition submitted to USCIS must meet the 3 following criteria:

  1. The foreign national’s proposed endeavor has both substantial merit, and the benefits are national in scope,
  2. The foreign national is well-positioned to advance the proposed endeavor; and
  3. On balance, it would be beneficial to the United States to waive the requirements of a job offer and thus of a labor certification.

How do I prove that the proposed endeavor has both substantial merit, and the benefits are national in scope?

Substantial Intrinsic Merit means that the applicant’s work must benefit the U.S. National Interest in some way. General examples include research that will lead to improved health, housing, education, the economy, etc. This is generally not difficult to prove.

National in Scope means that the applicant’s work must address a National problem, not a local or regional problem. This is also generally not difficult to prove.

How do I prove that the foreign national is well-positioned to advance the proposed endeavor?

We have found that Researchers with a PhD, at least 5 publications and at least 10 citations (according to google scholar or researchgate) have established themselves enough as an authority figure and possess enough evidence to show that they are well-positioned to advance the proposed endeavor.

How do I prove that it is beneficial to the United States to waive the requirements of a job offer and thus of a labor certification?

We have found that the best approach to this requirement is to argue the consequences of requiring a labor certification.

As much of the proposed benefits from your work is dependent on your proven record of achievement and your unique and innovative skills, knowledge, and background, more than mere minimum qualifications are required for the success of your proposed endeavors.

Because a labor certification process is a standardized one that relates only to minimum requirements, such a process will not take into account these crucial factors.

In other words, many of the essential qualities that you possess, which are so important to serving the national interest, will not be articulated in a labor certification process.

Moreover, failure to consider these factors could result in a denial of a labor certification because a U.S. worker with minimum qualifications might be found.

Since you will serve the nation to a substantially greater degree than anyone with minimum qualifications will, your non-participation in your current and future work would deprive the nation of her exceptional and crucial contribution to the national interest.

The loss of this significant contribution would be contrary to the interests of the United States.

Therefore, requiring a labor certification would adversely affect the national interest.

To summarize, the National Interest Waiver petition is an excellent choice for published post doc Researchers with a PhD, 5 or more publications and 10 or more citations to obtain permanent residence in the United States.

Some of our recent National Interest Waiver Approvals are here, here, here, and here.

Free Assessment

If you would like a free assessment in order to determine your chances in obtaining a National Interest Waiver Approval, please send us your resume and google scholar citation link by completing the form below:

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