National Interest Waivers for Scientists

Obtaining approval for a National Interest Waiver is an exciting step in your journey to permanent United States residency. Understandably, this is a challenging endeavor to undertake, as you must prove to the government that your skills and knowledge are essential to the overall national interest of the country. One such field that tends to fall under this category is that of scientists, and if your studies lead you into the biological science realm, you may qualify for this coveted waiver, as we’ll discuss here.

The National Interest Waiver Explained

Although hundreds of thousands of foreign workers enter the United States initially or extend their work visas each year, they need a job sponsor to make this happen. Qualifying employers can’t officially extend an offer of employment until they’ve undergone strict screening through the US government’s Department of Labor and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. 

The employer must receive a job labor certification from the DoL that shows they have met all the requirements to safely extend the offer of work to a foreign worker without displacing any American nationals or harming the overall work environment and economy. This can take months or longer for the approval to come through, which isn’t efficient when the job is time-sensitive or urgent, as is often the case in research.

National Interest Waiver Requirements 

For those who are working on cases that have substantial merit and national importance, it’s possible to skip this step and self-petition. In the biological sciences, something that meets these two criteria is often urgent, such as occurred with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Interest Waiver requirements for biological scientists are the same as for any other applicants. However, if you’re involved in groundbreaking research or have ideas for inventions, it’s much easier to prove the three prongs that are necessary to receive an NIW. 

As you put together your case, keep in mind that you only have one chance to demonstrate the following requirements:

●     Your endeavor must have substantial merit and be of national importance.

●     You must be in a position to advance this proposed endeavor.

●     The US government would be well-balanced by eliminating the need for a job offer and labor certification requirements should they provide you with a National Interest Waiver.

It may be enough for your situation that you plan to work as an independent researcher at one of the country’s top institutions or that you intend to seek a patent for an invention that you’ve already mapped out, but you’d like the attributing country to be the US. Regardless of your intentions, you must demonstrate those three prongs completely, or you’ll need to start the process over again, which can be time-consuming and expensive.

What’s Next?

Proving these three criteria is essential, which is why many applicants choose to hire experienced legal representatives to assist them, such as Visa2US. Our immigration experts can guide you as you walk through this journey. 

First, we’ll ensure you meet all the initial criteria for a National Interest Waiver, including education, experience, and income factors. From there, we’ll help you develop a solid case that clearly links your work to all three of the essential prongs the government officials use to determine whether a National Interest Waiver is appropriate.

We understand the importance of your work as a biological scientist, and the need for urgency alongside complete confidentiality. Contact our experts to see how we can guide your path to your permanent residency in the US through a National Interest Waiver, supporting your endeavor and establishing your importance as someone in the nation’s best interest.

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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.