Filing a Successful EB-2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) Petition
The EB-2 NIW petition is an employment-based visa petition that allows individuals eligible under the EB-2 visa program to petition without the normally required labor certification and a job offer. This classification of visa is therefore highly advantageous, especially because interested individuals have the option of petitioning for themselves. In order to successfully petition for an EB-2 NIW visa, the eligible individual must establish that it would be in the interest of the United States to waive the requirements of a labor certification and a job offer.
Due to the special nature of EB-2 NIW visas, such petitions are subjected to intense scrutiny by the USCIS. In order to satisfy the highly complex requirements of an EB-2 NIW visa, it is recommended that you file your petition through an experienced NIW immigration attorney.
Do You Qualify for an EB-2 National Interest Waiver?
To qualify for an EB-2 NIW visa, you must first prove that you are otherwise eligible per the EB-2 visa requirements. This means that you should either establish that you possess an advanced degree, or that you possess exceptional abilities within the fields of sciences, arts, or business. The eligibility requirements of EB-2 visas under the “advanced degree” and “exceptional ability” classifications have already been discussed in detail by our team in a separate segment.
Once you establish that you are eligible under the EB-2 visa classification of advanced degree or exceptional ability, you will need to next prove that you are qualified for the National Interest Waiver (NIW) program. The USCIS has listed three prongs that need to be satisfied by individuals who wish to seek eligibility under this program:
- You would need to establish that your proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance. In order to satisfy the criterion of ‘substantial merit’, you need to establish that your field of interest is of high interest to the US. To prove that your proposed endeavor has ‘national importance’, you would need to demonstrate that your field of interest has the potential to positively impact the economy, healthcare, defense, or other sectors of the United States.
- You would need to establish that you are well-positioned to advance in the proposed endeavor. In order to prove this prong, you may submit objective evidence that serves as evidence of your expertise within the field. For example, proof of your memberships, awards, licenses, etc.
- You would need to prove that on balance, it would be beneficial to the United States to waive the requirements of a job offer, and thus the labor certification. For this, you would need to satisfactorily establish that it would be impractical for you to obtain a labor certification and a job offer, as your field of expertise is of such national importance to the US. Additionally, you should also prove why your presence in the country will benefit the nation even if other qualified U.S. workers are available.
Advantages of opting for an EB-2 NIW Petition:
EB-2 NIW petitions are highly advantageous when compared to other classifications of immigrant visas. This is primarily because EB-2 NIW petitions are self-petition visas. Due to the long process involved in obtaining a labor certification in regular EB-2 petitions, most employers prefer to hire qualified US employees. By applying for an EB-2 NIW petition, however, the Beneficiary becomes self-reliant, and he/she can also forgo the tedious process of obtaining a labor certification and a job offer.
Another advantage of this classification is that the standard of proof required for an EB-2 NIW petition is much lesser compared to that of other self-petition visas such as the EB-1A petition. Moreover, the EB-2 NIW Beneficiary can apply for permanent US residency for his/her spouse and unmarried children.
We have a Unique Perspective on EB-2 NIW Applications
Based out of Chicago, Illinois, with additional offices in Schaumburg, IL, and Madison WI, Francis Law Center is committed to serving the immigration needs of clients throughout the world. Our clients include people coming to the United States from India, Pakistan, Latin America, Canada, the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Africa, Korea, and elsewhere.
Francis Law Center is committed to practicing immigration law. In fact, it is the only kind of law we practice. Attorney Jae Francis Lee brings experience as a professional, previously working as a professor for 22 years at the University of Wisconsin, and holds a Ph.D. from New York University. He understands the importance of in-depth research and meticulous documentation required for a successful EB-2 NIW visa petition. As a result, we can help you understand your options when it comes to qualifying and filling an EB-2 NIW petition.