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Self Petition Green Card - Really?

Self Petition Green Card - Really?

Old Nov 10th 2014, 5:51 am
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Default Self Petition Green Card - Really?

I was talking to a research scientist here in the US on a J visa the other day who told me she had spoken to an immigration lawyer and was going to begin the process of self petition for a Green Card. She said it would cost her upwards of $7,500 and she couldn't leave the country once the petition process began.

Has anyone here ever self petitioned? And could she and her husband (also in research) really be considered to have exceptional skills?

Just curious
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Old Nov 10th 2014, 6:00 am
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Default Re: Self Petition Green Card - Really?

Originally Posted by sherbert View Post
I was talking to a research scientist here in the US on a J visa the other day who told me she had spoken to an immigration lawyer and was going to begin the process of self petition for a Green Card. She said it would cost her upwards of $7,500 and she couldn't leave the country once the petition process began.

Has anyone here ever self petitioned? And could she and her husband (also in research) really be considered to have exceptional skills?

Just curious
GeoffM did a EB-1 immigration visa self petition without a lawyer and said it wasn't too hard except for a few RFEs. It took him about 18 months to get approved for the visa (said it could have been quicker) and he's a software developer that is currently self-employed.

For an AOS, they may be able to leave the country and re-enter on the J1 visa but not sure.
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Old Nov 10th 2014, 4:33 pm
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Default Re: Self Petition Green Card - Really?

I am not sure of the details but someone we know was let go but still reckoned he'd done this (I thought it had to be tied to a job but apparently not).

I think these kinds of occupations can fall under the National Interest Waiver.

The person doesn't appear to need to be any good if that's what you're asking.
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Old Nov 10th 2014, 5:22 pm
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Default Re: Self Petition Green Card - Really?

Originally Posted by sherbert View Post
I was talking to a research scientist here in the US on a J visa the other day who told me she had spoken to an immigration lawyer and was going to begin the process of self petition for a Green Card. She said it would cost her upwards of $7,500 and she couldn't leave the country once the petition process began.

Has anyone here ever self petitioned? And could she and her husband (also in research) really be considered to have exceptional skills?

Just curious

Quite common in my University of California campus for post-docs to self petition. I thought you had to be on the H1B visa though? The J1 is a special visa, non-immigrant and occasionally a 2 year home requirement. Indeed there was quite a fuss when my campus introduced the 5-year J visa for post docs, replacing the previous 2-year and 1-year J visas. It prevented some people from applying. But I am not an expert so perhaps it is possible from a J visa?

I have several chinese friends who have gone through the process from the H visa. One close friend had relatively mediocre credentials for an academic but managed it okay. Gathering the evidence is a pain: she got letters from all the 'famous' professors in our field (she wrote them, they signed them), she a couple of publications, and she had done her PhD in the states at a well-known institution. Her file was quite large at the end.

As an aside. I have a another friend who paid a lot of money for a lawyer to do the application. Just this week she just told me that the lawyer had screwed up, and they had to start all over again. I guess hiring a lawyer is no guarantee of success or even competence.
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Old Nov 10th 2014, 5:22 pm
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Default Re: Self Petition Green Card - Really?

Originally Posted by Michael View Post
GeoffM did a EB-1 immigration visa self petition without a lawyer and said it wasn't too hard except for a few RFEs. It took him about 18 months to get approved for the visa (said it could have been quicker) and he's a software developer that is currently self-employed.
I'm impressed! One RFE though, or one request/response exchange with a few questions if that's what you mean.

Bit more than just a softie though . Bridging the knowledge gap between rail and software which apparently is quite rare.

Only difference here is that I did it outside the US, not from inside. The "upwards of" figure sounds about right.
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Old Nov 10th 2014, 5:24 pm
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Default Re: Self Petition Green Card - Really?

Originally Posted by Sally Redux View Post
The person doesn't appear to need to be any good if that's what you're asking.
+1
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Old Nov 10th 2014, 5:27 pm
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Default Re: Self Petition Green Card - Really?

Originally Posted by GeoffM View Post
+1
Present company excepted
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Old Nov 10th 2014, 5:30 pm
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Default Re: Self Petition Green Card - Really?

Originally Posted by bewildering View Post
Quite common in my University of California campus for post-docs to self petition. I thought you had to be on the H1B visa though? The J1 is a special visa, non-immigrant and occasionally a 2 year home requirement. Indeed there was quite a fuss when my campus introduced the 5-year J visa for post docs, replacing the previous 2-year and 1-year J visas. It prevented some people from applying. But I am not an expert so perhaps it is possible from a J visa?
Good spot, the one I was talking about was on H1b.
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Old Nov 10th 2014, 6:55 pm
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Default Re: Self Petition Green Card - Really?

Originally Posted by GeoffM View Post
I'm impressed! One RFE though, or one request/response exchange with a few questions if that's what you mean.
No that's not what I meant. I meant you were too lazy to get off your fat ass and do it quickly.
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Old Nov 10th 2014, 7:03 pm
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Default Re: Self Petition Green Card - Really?

Ah but only one RFE - you said "a few RFEs"
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Old Nov 10th 2014, 7:07 pm
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Default Re: Self Petition Green Card - Really?

Originally Posted by GeoffM View Post
Ah but only one RFE - you said "a few RFEs"
I was being polite to give you an excuse as to why it took so long.
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Old Nov 10th 2014, 8:53 pm
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Default Re: Self Petition Green Card - Really?

EB-1 immigrants can self-petition. "National Interest Waiver" under the EB-2 is in effect a self-petition. That said, NIW are frowned upon by the minions of the Dark Forces.
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Old Nov 10th 2014, 9:15 pm
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Default Re: Self Petition Green Card - Really?

Originally Posted by Sally Redux View Post
Good spot, the one I was talking about was on H1b.
I googled. Applying for an EB1 on a J-visa is fine. Odd. although you do need a waiver for the 2 year home requirement.

I also found a website from a law firm that describes their EB1(a) clients who were successful. Pretty interesting - the take-home message is that most researchers qualify.
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Old Nov 10th 2014, 9:46 pm
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Default Re: Self Petition Green Card - Really?

All very interesting. When I looked up requirements on the US Govt website, it seemed to imply one needed to be a Nobel prize winner to have a chance at a self petitioned GC (honestly, it actually stated 'Nobel' prize winner' as one of the conditions that may be accepted).

So I'm wondering, applying this to my own situation, would it be worth consulting with a lawyer about a H1b visa holder self petitioning an EB1? Bearing in mind that the H1b visa holder is not actually a researcher, doesn't have a PhD, but does have expert/niche ability in software/networking. Hmmmnmmmm.
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Old Nov 10th 2014, 9:52 pm
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Default Re: Self Petition Green Card - Really?

Originally Posted by sherbert View Post
All very interesting. When I looked up requirements on the US Govt website, it seemed to imply one needed to be a Nobel prize winner to have a chance at a self petitioned GC (honestly, it actually stated 'Nobel' prize winner' as one of the conditions that may be accepted).

So I'm wondering, applying this to my own situation, would it be worth consulting with a lawyer about a H1b visa holder self petitioning an EB1? Bearing in mind that the H1b visa holder is not actually a researcher, doesn't have a PhD, but does have expert/niche ability in software/networking. Hmmmnmmmm.
Publications? Recognised experts who will write (sign) a letter of recommendation?

He might need a PhD though. Edit: can't see that as a requirement on the USCIS Site.

Last edited by Sally Redux; Nov 10th 2014 at 9:55 pm.
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