Understanding National Interest Waivers (EB-2)

In our Guide to Self-Petition Green Cards, we went over green card options for the best and brightest workers. The National Interest Waiver differs from other green card processes because it does 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.

Overview of the National Interest Waiver Petition:

The evidence required for a National Interest Waiver (NIW) is not quite as straightforward as the EB-1A, primarily because there are no delineated categories of evidence to fill. For an NIW, the immigration service will be looking at three things:

  1. Whether or not your proposed work in the U.S. has “substantial merit” and “national importance”. USCIS will consider many things for “substantial merit”, including research that advances scientific knowledge in any given specialty. For “national importance”, USCIS will look at the potential prospective impact of your work.
  2. Whether or not you are “well positioned” to advance your proposed endeavor in the U.S. This can include your education, skills and record of success in your field; any progress toward your proposed endeavor like a business plan or funding for your work; and the interest of others in the work that you propose to do.
  3. Whether or not it would be beneficial to the U.S. to waive the job offer and labor certification requirements: i.e. is there something specific about your work or proposed endeavor that would make a job offer or labor certification impractical (something helpful for entrepreneurs). Also, even if there are other U.S. workers available, you can attempt to demonstrate that the U.S. would still benefit from you continuing your work in the country.

Immigration law can be complex. If you have questions about National Interest Waiver Petitions or other business immigration concerns, contact FordMurray today.

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