Getting a phd green card is a complicated process. It requires extensive paperwork, adherence to numerous rules, and navigating several categories. This article aims to provide clarity and guidance on the steps necessary to legally secure a permanent stay in the United States using your PhD degree as a qualifier.
Can I Get a Green Card With my Ph.D.?
You may be able to use your doctorate in a STEM field as a qualifier for an employment-based visa. There are many ways to qualify for a green card in the US, but the most common options are EB-1 Extraordinary Ability and EB-2 NIW.
EB-1 Extraordinary Ability is reserved for people of “extraordinary achievement.” This includes Nobel prize winners, famous athletes, and, yes, people with a PhD. You must be able to provide substantial documentary evidence that you are at the top of your field. EB-2 NIW is reserved for professors and outstanding researchers. This category also requires a substantial record of accomplishments and significant contributions to the field.
You can file for an employment-based visa while on a student visa (F-1 or OPT). However, you will need to have a job offer to start the Green Card process. If you’re having trouble finding a job, you may be able to utilize the PERM Labor Certification option instead. It is important to work with an experienced attorney to ensure all required documentation is present before submitting your application.