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Can I File a U.S. Green Card Application for Myself?

Hi William:

I am a researcher in a large U.S. company with H-1B status.
Can I file a U.S. Green Card application for myself? or it is possible to self-sponsor for me to become a lawful U.S. permanent resident?


We know most of the employment-based immigration categories require a U.S. employer to sponsor the foreign workers for their immigration application (U.S. Green Card Application), there are actually a few immigration categories that allow for self-petition if certain requirements can be met by the alien applicants.

The employment-based first preference (EB1)
immigration category has three subcategories, i.e, EB1 Extraordinary Ability (EB-1A, or EB1-EA), EB1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher (EB-1B, or EB1-OR), and EB1 Multinational Executive or Manager (EB-1C, or EB1c). Only one of these 3 subcategories, EB1 Extraordinary Ability, allows for self-petition. This immigration category is available for alien applicants with extraordinary ability in business, science, art, education, or athletics. The alien applicants who may qualify for the EB1 Extraordinary Ability application are generally those who are recognized as being at the top of their respective fields, and who intend to continue to work in that field in U.S.

Another immigration category allowing for self-petition is the EB2 National Interest Waiver (EB2 NIW, or NIW). This immigration category falls within the employment-based, second preference (EB2) immigration category, which is reserved for professionals with advanced degrees and individuals with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business.

The EB2
immigration category generally requires a job offer from an U.S. employer, and it also requires a PERM labor certification approved by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The labor certification process is designed to protect U.S. workers. However, U.S. immigration law allows for a waiver of the PERM labor certification requirement in some cases, in which the alien applicant's contributions for United States are at such a level that the U.S. nation's interests can be better served by not having the alien applicants undergo the PERM labor certification process.

Questions & Answers for Green Card Application
EB1 Extraordinary Ability (EB-1A)
EB1 Outstanding Professor / Researcher (EB-1B)
EB1 Multinational Executive or Manager (EB-1C)
EB2 National Interest Waiver (NIW)
Form I-485 Adjustment of Status
PERM Labor Certification
Form I-140 Application after Labor Certification
Request For Evidence (RFE) for EB1, NIW, L1 Visa
Questions & Answers for Working Visa Application
J-1 Waiver of 2-Year Home Residence
H-1B Visa Application or Extension
O-1 Visa Application or Extension
L-1 Visa Application or Extension
P-1, P-2, P-3 Visa Application or Extension
William's Answers for Immigration Questions
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