In previous blogs we’ve primarily covered NIW applicants who are applying for a NIW green card on the basis of being a research professional. We’ve discussed the importance of supporting documents that such candidates need to possess in their application such as evidence of their citations, publications, and moreover evidence that the applicant is poised to lead or take part in a breakthrough in a major field in the life sciences (development of cancer treatments, etc.). This is just one type of NIW application. 

There is also the case for business and product development professionals who are applying for a NIW because they want to bring a product to market in the United States (either a good or service). While the above mentioned applicant has supplementary documents that are specific to their case, so does the product development applicant. This blog will be dedicated to better understanding these types of applicants and how their supplemental documents may differ.

What Kinds of Products?

In today’s technological world, many NIW applicants fall into the category of running their own startup, often as the CEO or in another executive role. Such applicants have a history of creating the following:

  • Software/applications for laptops and smartphones
  • New parts/innovations in the automotive industry (as an engineer)
  • New parts/innovations in the aerospace industry (as an engineer)
  • Alternative healthcare, new products/treatments in the pharmaceutical industry

Regardless of the new product or service that the entrepreneur or executive is looking to bring to market, the key for this type of NIW application is always being able to closely associate oneself with the actual development/patent for the product and also showing one previous history with bringing other products to market. Thus, having a reputation as an applicant who has already created products for everyday users is extremely important.

Document Checklist

While it may not seem obvious, one of the key documents that are needed to send with one's I-140 self-petition is evidence of the applicant's current salary/recent paystub. Why? Because if you are an executive or businessperson bringing a product or service to market, you are most likely in a leading role at a company or have been, in which case the evidence of your salary legitimizes that you actually are in such a role.

In addition, here are some other items that will help give your application weight when being presented to a USCIS officer: 

1. Your previous record of bringing a product to market. Have a recommender describe the process in which you helped facilitate the operating environment to make such a business venture possible.

2. A photocopy of any certificate or award that was given to the applicant in regard to a product/service that received some type of recognition once it was available for public usage. This does not have to be some type of international award. It just has to serve as evidence that your efforts were recognized by some customer/audience.

Overall, citations and being published in academic journals matter less for this type of NIW green card application. It might be a good idea also if one has been to business school or holds an MBA degree to also present a photocopy or e-document of their diploma as the minimum requirement for NIW EB-2 applicants is a Masters's degree. Make sure to check with your alumni registrar’s office to see if there is an option for an electronic version of your diploma so you can print it or contact the USCIS and send them a copy.

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