Thinking About a Green Card? Consider the National Interest Waiver Route

As a highly skilled professional wishing to work in the US and obtain a green card, you have various options available to you. While most people use the general route of an H-1B visa, there are limitations to this that may not be suitable for you. When you have an advanced degree or an exceptional ability in your field, an EB-2 National Interest Waiver can let you skip the strict requirements of a job offer and other hurdles involved in those visa petitions and propel you to the front line for a green card. We’ll explain how this works in this short blog.

The EB-2 National Interest Waiver

The EB-2 visa is a category used for skilled foreign workers to obtain residence and employment in the United States. Unlike other work visas, though, if you qualify for the waiver portion of this visa, you don’t need a job offer or an employer to sponsor you. This significantly speeds up the process to approval, skipping the Labor Condition Application and permitting you to sponsor yourself.

Another benefit of the EB-2 NIW is that your family becomes eligible for a green card along with you. Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 will have their screening when your green card priority date arrives. After receiving a green card, you’re all permanent residents and can choose to work toward US citizenship.

Qualifying for an EB-2 NIW

The EB-2 NIW is an employment-based second preference category. Those who have advanced degrees or exceptional abilities in their field that may be relevant to and contribute to the national interest of the United States can qualify.

The typical work visa requires PERM (Program Electronic Certification Management) certification, including the Labor Condition Application and job sponsorship. The employer must follow many steps to receive this approval, such as demonstrating that there are no qualified American citizens who are willing to work in this specialty occupation. But with an NIW, this long wait is no longer necessary.

To qualify, petitioners must:

●     Hold an advanced degree from the US or its foreign equivalent and provide evidence of such, OR

●     Show evidence of your exceptional ability in your field, defined as “a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, art, or business.” This avenue involves presenting three of the approved requirements, such as an official academic record related to your ability, letters from current or former employers demonstrating your talents, a license to practice your occupation, evidence of a salary received for your skills, membership in a related professional association, recognition for achievement in your field, or other similar achievements.

Demonstrating a Balance

For the US government to decide that it’s in its best interest to waive your job sponsorship, you must show that you offer an equitable benefit. This is done by fulfilling the following three prongs:

  1. Your proposed endeavor has substantial merit, potentially bringing significant benefits to the US.
  2. Your proposed endeavor is in an area that could advance the nation’s well-being, making a possible impact on the future.
  3. You are in a position to advance the endeavor.

All three of these prongs must be clearly met for the US to grant your National Interest Waiver. 

What’s Next?

Demonstrating your importance on a national level requires a balance of hubris and self-promotion that is often difficult for an individual to achieve. Working with a skilled immigration lawyer like those of us at Visa2US provides you with your best chance at successfully convincing the US government that you deserve this waiver.

The application process for an EB-2 NIW is highly defined and must be done right the first time. You’ll prepare the application, gathering evidence that shows you meet either the advanced degree or exceptional ability requirements and the three prongs. Then, you’ll complete Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. Once that’s approved, you can begin the relevant process to apply for your green card.

If you believe that this is a solid option for your green card path, it’s time to contact Visa2US. We’ve helped countless people like you obtain their work visas and green cards, ensuring the paperwork is completed correctly the first time around.

NIW approval is a delicate matter that could propel your green card journey forward by shaving off years of wait time. Let us maximize your chances of success by optimizing your petition today.

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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.