National Interest Waiver Processing Time

Petitioning for an employment-based green card typically requires a sponsor. Applicants on a general path to this target can’t petition for themselves. The process includes receiving job offers and perm labor certification approvals, as well as completing various other forms and awaiting approval. But if you qualify, you can avoid these delays and sponsor yourself under a National Interest Waiver (NIW), which may cut down the processing time for your green card significantly.

EB-1 and EB-2 Green Cards

The EB designations are green cards set aside for those with special circumstances that label them as important to the national interest of the US. EB-1 green cards refer to managers, executives, and those with extraordinary achievements. EB-2 green cards are solely for advanced degree holders or those with exceptional ability who qualify for a National Interest Waiver.

Without an NIW, petitioners must go through the time-consuming, cumbersome PERM Labor Certification process. With an EB-2 approval and an NIW, the foreign worker skips this and is allowed to self-petition. Since 2016, it has become easier to obtain an NIW.

Requirements for the EB-2 National Interest Waiver

Although it’s not as difficult as it was before 2016 to obtain an NIW, it is still challenging. Anyone hoping to go this path must meet the following requirements:

●     Provide evidence that the endeavor under which he or she plans to enter the US under has substantial merit and is a matter of national importance. Industries where this is often related include business, science, technology, education, health, and culture.

●     Proof that the petitioner is in a position to advance said endeavor through skills, education, experience, previous successes, current work, and a plan for the future.

●     Evidence that the US will receive benefits that balance out the waiver of a job offer.

Each application is reviewed on a “per case” basis. Having these three criteria does not guarantee acceptance.

Processing Time for the EB-2 NIW

The final determination of your NIW application status can take anywhere between 3 and 9 months. During that time, USCIS will complete background checks, financial screenings, education and employment verifications, and other steps to ensure you have the qualifications you claim on your application. Note that processing times also depend on the current caseload for the USCIS processing center handling your application.

In a hurry? Talk to your immigration lawyer to see if your case may benefit from premium processing. With this extra fee, your visa or green card’s processing time is expedited to 45 calendar days. The premium fee doesn’t change your odds of approval, but you’ll know the response much faster. 

Premium processing has only been available for EB-2 NIW applicants since July 1, 2022. USCIS does not always take new premium processing petitions. Your attorney can advise you on the latest updates

What’s Next?

If you’re filing for an NIW, you must have enough evidence that supports your claim of an advanced degree, skills, or exceptional ability. You must also have a petition letter drafted by an NIW green card lawyer. That’s where Visa2US can help.

Contact us to see how we can guide your application process and ensure you provide ample proof of your abilities and achievements. Remember, legislation for National Interest Waivers is always changing, and it’s crucial that you complete the correct paperwork and pay the current fees or your application will be rejected. 

Our professionals at Visa2US maximize your chances of success so that you can get into the United States permanently with an EB-2 NIW. Get your career on the path you’ve been dreaming about faster when you use Visa2US as your immigration expert!

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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.