What is a National Interest Waiver?
If you wish to apply for an employment based immigration category (EB-2) and waive the job offer and labor certification requirements, a National Interest Waiver might be for you. In order to file this type of application we need to show you are a professional with an advanced degree, that you are of exceptional ability, substantially benefit the US (by showing you have substantially benefited your native country).
To prepare this type of petition requires us to substantiate every criteria with solid evidence typically in the form of:
1) documenting your degree
2) Reference letters from people who know you professionally
3) Employment verification letters
4) Publication that you might have published
5) Other evidence, such as government funded projects you were involved with.
Procedurally, we can file the petition and pay an additional fee for premium processing. The USCIS would take about 15 working days to decide the petition unless they sent an RFE (Request for Evidence). Then this period would be extended. I don’t recommend filing greencard applications with the petition because of time line issues that will extend your current authorized stay.
What is the Current Standard to Determine an EB2 NIW (National Interest Waiver)Case?
The decision Matter of Dhanasar (released on 12/27/2016) established new standards for obtaining EB2 NIW petitions that the USCIS adopted. The AAO (Administrative Appeal Office) held that three factors must be considered when evaluating a request for an EB2 NIW:
- Foreign national’s proposed endeavor is of substantial merit and national importance
- Foreign national is well-positioned to advance the proposed work, and
- On balance it would be beneficial to waive the job requirement for the foreign national
- In the precedent case Matter of Dhanasar, the AAO stated that endeavor’s merit may be demonstrated in a range of areas such as business, entrepreneurialism, science, technology, culture, health, or education
- Evidence to establish that the beneficiary’s proposed endeavor has substantial merit consists of, but is not limited to, the following:
- A detailed description of the proposed endeavor and why it is of substantial merit; and
- Documentary evidence that supports the petitioner’s statements and establishes the endeavor’s merit
How is an Endeavor to “National Importance” Defined in this Case?
In determining whether the proposed endeavor has “national importance”, the immigration officers consider its potential prospective impact.
Evidence to establish that the beneficiary’s proposed endeavor has national importance consists of, but is not limited to, the following:
- A detailed description of the proposed endeavor and why it is of national importance
- Documentary evidence that supports the petitioner’s statements and establishes the endeavor’s national importance. Such evidence must demonstrate the endeavor’s prospective impact, and may consist of, but is not limited to, evidence that shows the proposed endeavor:
- Has National or even global implications within a particular field
- Has significant potential to employ U.S. workers or has other substantial positive economic effects, particularly in an economically depressed area: a)Will broadly enhance societal welfare or cultural or artistic enrichment b) Impacts a matter that a government entity has described as having national importance or is the subject of national initiatives.
Please view the USCIS website for further details: https://www.uscis.gov/working-in-the-united-states/permanent-workers/employment-based-immigration-second-preference-eb-2
National Interest Waiver by Andy Gene Strickland