How to Create a Strong Case for a National Interest Waiver

Applicants for a work visa face a long, challenging process before their petitions are approved. Part of the delay includes finding a qualified employer to extend a job offer, then waiting for that sponsor to obtain approval from the Department of Labor (DOL) through the job certification process. Yet, when an individual has exceptional ability in fields such as science, business, arts, or an advanced degree profession, they may qualify to skip sponsorship and the subsequent wait time through the National Interest Waiver (NIW) path. For most people, the industry itself isn’t as important as the case they present to USCIS, and we’ll explain how to develop solid evidence to support your NIW plea here.

Why Apply For a National Interest Waiver?

There are multiple categories of work visas that allow professionals to enter the United States, gain employment, and seek permanent residency through a green card. So what does a National Interest Waiver have to offer that these other categories don’t?

The most obvious — and important — benefit to the NIW is the expedited processing it brings. Because you don’t require a Labor Certification, you can sponsor your visa yourself (called self-petitioning). Although this does require you to pay the fees and complete the paperwork without the help of an employer, it speeds up your immigration arbitration.

Obtaining an NIW has specific requirements in place that must be met. First of all, you’ll need to prove that you’re seeking employment in an “area of substantial intrinsic merit” and of national importance. You’ll need to persuade USCIS that you are in a strong position to advance the endeavor you’re petitioning under and that the US government would benefit by waiving the job offer and labor certification requirements and providing you with a visa.

Creating Your Case

Keep in mind that you’ll need to put everything together for one crucial attempt as you begin preparing your evidence to present to the government agency. It is possible to over- and under-prove your case, which is why most individuals hire a skilled NIW immigration lawyer to help them compose their plea.

A strong case demonstrates all of the following:

●     You have an exceptional ability or are an advanced degree holder. For the best results, both of these should be true within the same field. Top cases include industries such as the arts, business, science, or STEM-related fields. Documentation of this includes three or more pieces of evidence, such as your official academic records, letters showing you have full-time experience in your field for ten or more years, your license or certification in your profession, evidence of a strong salary or remuneration for services as appropriate for someone with exceptional ability, membership in professional associations, and proof of recognition for significant contributions and achievements in your field.

●     Your occupation and endeavor are of national interest. This term isn’t defined but usually relates to endeavors that have the potential to create significant impacts on jobs, the economy, or society in general. Although showing how your endeavor could bring an economic benefit to the US quickly isn’t required, it is helpful. Your evidence should show that you have a unique, exceptional skill or knowledge that makes you stand out from others in your field. Your past history should prove that you will continue to be of benefit to your field once you enter the US. This can be through recommendation letters written by those with impressive credentials and demonstration of your unique knowledge and abilities, as well as how you’ll use those attributes to empower the US.

●     You are currently in a position of authority in your field in which you can advance your endeavor. Your education, skills, success record, knowledge, and experience will be thoroughly evaluated to determine whether what you’re suggesting is of importance and is something you can further advance. This can be provided via plans for your future activities, models, diagrams, and previous proof of progress toward your goal.

●     Demonstrate that waiving the requirements for an EB-2 visa would be balanced by your endeavor. How will it benefit the US to eliminate the concern for its citizens to waive the requirements and accept your contributions in their place? Why should they choose you to complete the endeavor over any qualified US workers? Is the national interest sufficient enough to justify waiving the requirements of a job offer and labor certification?

Providing your case isn’t going to be simple, but it can be done if you have the guidance of someone qualified to help.

What’s Next?

If you think your case has the potential to be strong enough to convince the United States government to waive its typical requirements, we at Visa2US want to help you make that happen. We’ll work with you to ensure the documents you submit build your case and that there are no missing pieces of evidence that could make or break the final decision.

When it’s time to demonstrate your work to USCIS, you only get one shot before you have to start over. Contact Visa2US to find out what you’ll need to do to prepare for your National Interest Waiver presentation.

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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.

National Interest Waiver (NIW)

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.