EB-2 (NIW) Visa

EB-2 National Interest Waiver

If the EB-2 applicant is involved in a profession that can greatly benefit the US in terms of its economy, science, art, or education, then he or she can request that the job offer, and the Labor Certification requirements be waived (hence the term waiver). In this case, the most rigorous and expensive part of other EB-2 and EB-3 category petitions can be omitted, and the USCIS only needs to decide whether the applicant’s professional and educational experience is beneficial to the US.

Another advantage is that, unlike the other categories of employment-based visa applications, the applicant requesting an NIW can self-petition. This means that while the applicant can still have a sponsoring employer, it is not a requirement, and the individual can file the case on his/her own behalf. This gives the qualified individuals a lot of flexibility in terms of employment opportunities including creating their own company based on their profession. 


Answers to basic questions about EB-2 (NIW) visa

What are the eligibility requirements for an EB-2/NIW visa applicant?
Since only the EB-2 category workers can request the NIW, the applicant must first qualify in terms of having either an advanced degree or exceptional ability. This can be proven by providing copies of official diplomas, transcripts, recommendation letters and employment contracts showing 10 years of professional experience, evidence of memberships in organizations etc. (please see the page dedicated to EB-2 category for more information on the requirements). Upon proving that the applicant qualifies in terms of educational achievement or exceptional ability, the next requirement is to prove that: The person’s proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance; The person is well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor; and It would be beneficial to the United States to waive the job offer and thus the permanent labor certification requirements. USCIS decides on a case-by-case basis whether the individual qualifies for a NIW, and considers not only the evidence of past achievements, but also whether the applicant can prove having a good standing in the said profession for future advancement of the stated work for the benefit of the US economy, education, security, science, or art. The next steps of the process are same with the EB-2 and EB-3 petitions, where the alien worker petition is filed either by an employer or the applicant (self-petitioner) with the USCIS. If the visa priority date is current, the applicant may also concurrently file a green card application. If it is not current, then the applicant must wait for the visa priority date to become current before filing the green card application.

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