How to Change Jobs With a National Interest Waiver

When you’re approved for a National Interest Waiver, you sponsor yourself and don’t need a job offer to get your document. The NIW, as it’s referred to, is a fast track to a green card. But to keep your place in the green card waiting line, you must continue to prove that you’re working toward the terms stipulated with your NIW, which usually means having a specific job. So, when you change employers under an NIW, it could technically affect your green card status. Here are the details you should know if you’re considering changing (or have already changed) jobs as a National Interest Waiver holder.

Staying in the Same Field

You’ve already demonstrated that you have exceptional abilities in your chosen profession, so provided you stay in the same type of work, you shouldn’t have a problem with your EB-2 green card application. You’ll likely need to file a new I-140 and complete another application for the NIW. 

As long as your position continues to align with the original terms for which your NIW was approved, your new application likely will be granted. However, it will help to work with a skilled immigration attorney, like those at Visa2US, to avoid any potential obstacles.

Moving to a Different Field

If you haven’t changed jobs yet, be cautious about the position you choose. Your new role must continue to be of national interest, or you could lose your visa entirely.

You can still move to a different field, provided your evidence convinces the government officials reviewing your case that your new job still benefits the US economy or the nation’s general well-being. Additionally, you’ll need to prove your qualifications are sufficient enough to advance the endeavor you’re adding to your new National Interest Waiver application.

Very few people have sufficient education and work experience to qualify for the NIW under its exceptional ability and talent in one area. Having this background in more than one area is even more rare, but it does happen. Talk to your immigration law expert to find out if your situation qualifies before you change your field completely.

Note: If you entered the US under an NIW as a physician, your terms include working in an underserved area for the initial five years of your EB-2 visa stay. This doesn’t give you any leeway or loopholes to leave your position. You can change employers or open a medical practice serving in an underserved area, but you can’t transition into another field until those first five years have passed.

Keep the Initial NIW Qualifications in Mind

When you completed your application for an EB-2 green card and then submitted paperwork to request NIW eligibility, there were particular requirements that you had to meet. Before you change your job, run through those requirements again and ensure that you can still say “yes” to all of them.

●     Your new job continues to have a positive impact on the overall economy, society, workforce, or infrastructure of America.

●     You have the abilities and skills to develop this new endeavor.

●     You have the evidence necessary to convince USCIS that you have said abilities and skills and that the US would benefit by accepting your NIW request.

However, as a physician, you must also meet those three criteria, plus a more rigid set, including:

●     Your specialty must be in family or internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics, or psychiatry.

●     You agree to work in a medically underserved area in America for your first five years under NIW status.

●     You’ve obtained (or will obtain) a statement from a government agency, such as the state’s Department of Health or VA, that shows that your qualifications place you in such a position that having you in the country would be of utmost public interest.

Some jobs tend to be easier to qualify under an NIW than others. For instance, scientists, pilots, physicians, researchers, dentists, lawyers, and even musicians and singers often receive NIW approval.

What’s Next?

The key to a successful NIW application, even if it’s under a job change, is how you present your case. You must showcase your eligibility in its best light. You have one opportunity to convince USCIS that you are worthy of National Interest status, and if you don’t get it right, you’ll need to start over. That’s why it’s vital that you work alongside a skilled lawyer like those of us at Visa2US.

How you advocate for yourself makes the difference between a successful and unsuccessful petition. Let Visa2US guide your steps through this complicated and sensitive process. We’ve helped countless individuals who may have been more or less qualified than you obtain their EB-2 NIW successfully, as it’s not always about your skills but rather about how you argue them. Our professionals at Visa2US know what to do, say, and include in your application, and we’re standing by to help you accomplish this project 24/7.

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H-1B Visa

H-1B Visa

H-1B visa is used by businesses and organizations in the United States to employ foreign nationals with the preferred qualifications, knowledge, and expertise in a role.

I-485 Adjustment of Status

I-485 Adjustment of Status

Submit a form I-485 application to apply for lawful permanent resident status.

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National Interest Waiver (NIW)

An applicant must either hold an advanced degree or have an exceptional ability in their field that would substantially benefit the U.S. to be qualified.