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Extraordinary Ability and National Interest Waiver Green Card Petitions

Self-petition green card options include Extraordinary Ability and the National Interest Waiver (NIW) petitions. These two options differ from other green card processes because they do not require a job or job offer in the U.S. for a successful petition, although an applicant does need to demonstrate that they are coming to the U.S. to work in their field of expertise. These cases are also for professionals who have a high level of expertise in their fields. If you need help determining whether you are a good candidate for an Extraordinary Ability or NIW petition, contact us today for a complimentary consultation. You can also have an attorney review your case – request a free extraordinary ability case evaluation here.

Extraordinary Ability (EB-1A):

We provide support for clients who are navigating the EB-1A green card process. The EB-1A category (Employment-Based First Preference), also known as Extraordinary Ability, is a permanent residence status that is granted to highly accomplished business executives, professors, and well-known artists or athletes. An applicant can demonstrate their extraordinary ability in one of two ways: showing receipt of an internationally recognized award (e.g. a Nobel Prize, Academy Award, MacArthur Foundation fellowship, etc.), or by showing evidence in at least three of the several other delineated categories for demonstrating qualifications. Once in the United States, an EB-1A recipient must continue working in their field of expertise.

An individual applying as an individual of Extraordinary Ability doesn’t need a job offer in the United States before applying, is exempt from the requirements of Labor Certification, and can self-petition for the status. It is possible to file both an Extraordinary Ability and other green card category petition at the same time or consecutively, and there are several situations where filing two or more petitions makes sense. Your immigration attorney can help you determine if filing multiple petitions would be beneficial for your situation. To learn more about Extraordinary Ability petitions and National Interest waivers, download our complimentary guide.

Outstanding Researcher or Professor (EB-1B):

We provide support for clients who are navigating the EB-1B green card process. The EB-1B category (Employment-Based First Preference), also known as Outstanding Researcher or Professor, is a permanent residence status that is granted to individuals that can demonstrate international recognition for their outstanding achievements in a particular academic field. The individual must have at least 3 years experience in teaching or research in the academic area and must be entering the United States to pursue tenure or tenure track teaching or comparable research position at a university or other institution of higher education. In addition, an applicant must demonstrate at least two of the six delineated categories for demonstrating the appropriate qualifications as an EB-1B.

An individual applying as an Outstanding Researcher or Professor is exempt from the requirements of Labor Certification. It is possible to file both an Outstanding Researcher or Professor petition and other green card category petitions at the same time or consecutively, and there are several situations where filing two or more petitions makes sense. Your immigration attorney can help you determine if filing multiple petitions would be beneficial for your situation.

National Interest Waivers (NIW):

The National Interest Waiver is found within the EB-2 (Employment-Based Second Preference) category for permanent residence and is reserved for individuals who meet the following criteria as determined by USCIS:

  • Whether the applicant’s proposed work in the U.S. has “substantial merit” and “national importance”;
  • Whether the applicant is “well positioned” to advance their proposed work, and
  • On balance, waiving the job offer and labor certification requirements would be beneficial to the U.S.

It is possible to file both a NIW and other green card category petition at the same time or consecutively, and there are several situations where filing two or more petitions makes sense. Your immigration attorney can help you determine if filing multiple petitions would be beneficial for your situation – contact us today for a complimentary consultation about your case for a self petition green card. You can also download our 14-page Self Petition Green Card Guide, or read about the latest news and development in national interest waivers and extraordinary ability in the FordMurray blog.