If I’ve lived in the US for 5 calendar years and received 2 MS degrees from prestigious US graduate schools, can I apply for a green card right now?

I am presently working on F-1 OPT status. My employer will sponsor a J1 visa and I would rather have a GC in progress than a J1 position. Can I apply for GC, if yes then what form/eligibility should I apply under as my employer will not support it. If I am on J1 visa status next year and want to go back to school on F1 visa status in 2 years, do I have to go home and complete the 2-year mandatory requirement to stay in the home country?

Asked on October 17, 2013 under Immigration Law, Georgia


SB, Member, California / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If you are subject to the 2 year home residency requirement as part of your J-1, then you have to either get a waiver of it or satisfy it before you file for any type of permanent residence petition.  Secondly, even once you do, you are not eligible for any self-sponsored peittions just because you have a MS degree or even 2.  If you are not an alien of extraordinary ability (and very few people qualify for that), you would have to be petitioned, by this employer or another for a green card.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.