There is a multitude of visas that an immigrant can apply for when attempting to gain legal entry into the United States. One of those is an EB-2 visa. The EB-2 visa is an employment-based visa that is reserved for people with an advanced degree or certain exceptional abilities in their field of work. An issue that some EB-2 visa applicants might run into is that to apply for this category of visa you will need to obtain a job offer and permanent labor certification. That is where the national interest waiver (NIW) comes in.

A national interest waiver is a provision that can allow a foreign national to obtain permanent residence in the U.S. without having to abide by the labor certification process. Those who apply for an NIW ask that the U.S. government waive the requirement to obtain a job offer and certification on the grounds that it is in the interest of the country. Contact an employment visa attorney in NYC to discuss your situation and determine your eligibility for certain U.S. visas.

Who is Eligible for a National Interest Waiver?

There are specific requirements that an applicant must meet to obtain a national interest waiver for their EB-2 visa. The following must be proven to be considered for an NIW.

  • The applicant must show that their work has substantial merit and national importance
  • The applicant must be well-suited to carry out their endeavor
  • The applicant must prove that it would benefit the U.S. to waive the offer and certification requirements
  • The applicant has an advanced degree or otherwise exceptional ability to perform their work

Generally, an approved applicant will be a highly skilled worker such as a scientist, researcher, physician, etc. The benefits they bring to the United States can be either social or economic but they must be substantial enough to waive the EB-2 visa requirements.

How Can I Apply for a National Interest Waiver?

To apply for a national interest waiver an applicant must complete several steps. Below is a general guideline on how to apply for an NIW.

  1. Gather evidence and documentation to support your petition including proof of education, diplomas, transcripts, awards, publications, letters of recommendation, etc. You will need to present evidence not only of your qualifications but also of how your work will benefit the United States. You should show examples of your skills and the impact of your abilities.
  2. File Form I-140 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker) with the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services).
  3. This is when you will submit the evidence you gathered proving your claim that you have substantial merit and advanced knowledge in your field.
  4. The USCIS will review your application. If your entry into the country is deemed a national interest they will approve your petition.
  5. Once your I-140 has been approved you can proceed with the process of obtaining your green card and adjusting your status.