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ARE YOU ABLE TO SELF-PETITION FOR A GREEN CARD?

In addition to employers sponsoring foreign national employees for green cards, there are two types of I-140, immigrant visa petitions, that empower foreign nations to take control of their immigration process by submitting these petitions on their own via self-petition.


green card

These categories are:


1.       Person of Extraordinary Ability in their Field (EB-1A): This requires that a person have sustained national or international acclaim and is one of the few who has reached the top of their field. This can be demonstrated through a one-time international award, such as a Nobel Peace Prize, or by meeting at least 3 criteria enumerated by USCIS regulations, such as articles published in major media, lesser international awards or prizes, high compensation, original contributions to one’s field, being the judge of others’ work, having held critical roles for esteemed organizations, and other such criteria.


2.       Persons of Exceptional Ability (EB-2):  This category is for those whose work is in the national interest of the United States (National Interest Waiver (NIW)). This requires that a person has exceptional ability in their field, which is defined by having at least a master’s degree or a bachelor’s degree and 5 years of experience in their field and seeking a waiver of “Labor Certification” by the U.S. Department of Labor because their work is in the national interest of the United States.  Factors considered by the USCIS for NIW are: (1) The proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance; (2) the individual is well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor; and (3) on balance, it would be beneficial to the United States to waive the requirement of a job offer, and thus labor certification.


Both immigrant visa employment-based categories can be petitioned or sponsored by one’s employer, or a foreign national can self-petition. This option is becoming increasingly popular among foreign nationals due to the potential benefits, such as shorter priority dates for most nationalities, which can significantly expedite the green card process.


If you are interested in exploring these options, rest assured that you're not alone. You can set up a consultation to assess if you might be eligible to self-petition for a green card, and our team will be there to guide you every step of the way.

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