National Interest Waivers (NIW) are a great option for highly qualified individuals to obtain an EB2 visa and Green Card without the necessity of a specific job offer and without having to undergo the lengthy labor certification process.
There are two groups of people that may apply for a NIW:
- Advanced Degree Professionals, such as physicians, scientists, researchers, professors persons holding a degree equivalent to a United States master’s or PhD, and/or persons holding a bachelor’s degree with five years of progressive work experience in a professional occupation.
- Persons of Exceptional Ability, such as artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, licensed professionals, etc.
In addition to providing information about qualifications, applicants for an NIW must fulfill the following three requirements:
- An applicant must provide evidence that he or she plans on working in the United States in an area of substantial intrinsic merit.
- An applicant must demonstrate that the proposed impact of his or her work is national in scope.
- An applicant must show that waiving the labor certification process would benefit the national interests of the United States.
While these requirements may seem straightforward, the process of getting an NIW petition approved is extremely complex. Successful NIW applicants must provide a considerable amount of evidence including letters of recommendation from colleagues, expert opinions, letters from former employers, publications, and substantial additional evidence to show the overall value and merit of the applicant.
In other words, it is not enough to simply demonstrate that an applicant has the required education to qualify for a NIW. Instead, a successful NIW applicant will focus on his or her unique skills to show what sets the applicant apart from other professionals and how he or she will benefit the United States.
Despite these hurdles, obtaining a NIW has definite advantages. In addition to not needing a job offer or having to go through the labor certification process, NIW cases may take as little as six months. Most NIW applicants are also eligible to simultaneously file for adjustment of status to obtain their green cards.
In recent years, a combination of a slowed economy and changing immigration policy have made the process of obtaining a NIW increasingly difficult without presenting an exceptionally prepared application. The assistance of an experience attorney is crucial to navigating this complicated process.
If you think you may qualify for an NIW, retain an experienced immigration attorneys at ilexlaw for your free consultation.