Green Card Through Self Petition

In two classifications of immigrant workers, the workers are not required to have a job offer and may self-petition (the worker does not need an employer to sponsor them).  These categories include:

  • Individuals of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics, (E11)
  • Individuals who were granted a National Interest Waiver (NIW), (E21)

You may self petition only based on above two categories.

Individuals of extraordinary ability (requirements are virtually identical to O visa) are considered to be the best of the best in their field and it is an eligibility category that applies to very few individuals.

Please see our O visa and National Interest Visa articles for more information.

Application Process

If You Are Living Outside the United States:

You can become a permanent resident by applying for a green card when living outside the United States (consular processing).

Consular processing is when U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) works with the Department of State to issue a visa on an approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, when a visa is available.

If You Are Living Inside the United States:

You can become a permanent resident through adjustment of status when living in the United States. You will file form I-140 with supporting evidence and when it is approved and a visa number is available you can file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, to become a permanent resident.

Supporting Evidence for Form I-485:

You should submit the following evidence with your Form I-485:

Evidence of inspection, admission or parole into the United States (Form I-94, Arrival Departure Record)

  • If you have already been approved for an immigrant petition, submit a copy of the approval notice sent to you by the USCIS
  • Two color photos taken within 30 days
  • Form G-325A, Biographic Data Sheet (for applicants between the ages of 14 and 79)
  • Form I-693, Medical Examination (not required if you are applying based on continuous residence since before 1972, or if you have had a medical exam based on a fiancé visa)
Green Card Through Self Petition

In two classifications of immigrant workers, the workers are not required to have a job offer and may self-petition (the worker does not need an employer to sponsor them).  These categories include:

  • Individuals of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics, (E11)
  • Individuals who were granted a National Interest Waiver (NIW), (E21)

You may self petition only based on above two categories.

Individuals of extraordinary ability (requirements are virtually identical to O visa) are considered to be the best of the best in their field and it is an eligibility category that applies to very few individuals.

Please see our O visa and National Interest Visa articles for more information.

Application Process

If You Are Living Outside the United States:

You can become a permanent resident by applying for a green card when living outside the United States (consular processing).

Consular processing is when U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) works with the Department of State to issue a visa on an approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, when a visa is available.

If You Are Living Inside the United States:

You can become a permanent resident through adjustment of status when living in the United States. You will file form I-140 with supporting evidence and when it is approved and a visa number is available you can file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, to become a permanent resident.

Supporting Evidence for Form I-485:

You should submit the following evidence with your Form I-485:

Evidence of inspection, admission or parole into the United States (Form I-94, Arrival Departure Record)

  • If you have already been approved for an immigrant petition, submit a copy of the approval notice sent to you by the USCIS
  • Two color photos taken within 30 days
  • Form G-325A, Biographic Data Sheet (for applicants between the ages of 14 and 79)
  • Form I-693, Medical Examination (not required if you are applying based on continuous residence since before 1972, or if you have had a medical exam based on a fiancé visa)

Read also

  • What is the difference between Visa and I-94 expiration?

    A visa is a permission to enter a foreign country. Citizens of most countries generally require visas to enter the USA. A visa validity is the period from the visa issuance and visa expiration date. As long as the visa is valid, the holder...

  • If you marry a citizen of the USA, you can get a green card through a process called Adjustment of Status. We often work on such cases, we call them our “happy cases”. 

    Our law office can prepare your paperwork in as short 1 day (rush service). However, you will need at least 10 days to get a...



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