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Can I Self-Petition for U.S. Green Card while Outside the United States?

Hi William,

I am living outside the United States, and I have chieved great successes in my field. Can I self-petition for U.S. Green Card while outside the United States?


In two immigrant classifications, the foreign applicants are not required to have a U.S. job offer, and may self-petition for U.S. Green Card - the foreign applicants do not need an U.S. employer to sponsor them.  These two categories are:

1) Individuals of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics, (E11 or EB-1A)

2) Individuals who were granted a National Interest Waiver (NIW), (E21, or EB2 NIW)

Individuals of extraordinary ability are considered to be the best in their field, and the EB1 Extraordinary Ability is an eligibility category that applies to very few individuals. Examples of who may be considered an E11 or EB-1A immigrant include those who have achieved great successes in their field.

If you are living outside the United States, you can become a U.S. permanent resident by first submit Form I-140 application, then go through consular processing. The consular processing is when U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) works with the U.S. Department of State to issue an immigrant visa on an approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker.

Questions & Answers for Green Card Application
EB1 Extraordinary Ability (EB-1A)
EB1 Outstanding Professor / Researcher (EB-1B)
EB1 Multinational Executive or Manager (EB-1C)
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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
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J-1 Waiver of 2-Year Home Residence
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