The National Interest Waiver is the Best-Kept Green Card Secret

We receive countless calls and emails from foreign nationals who are located all across the world. They are all seeking a path to a green card. You may want to look into an EB-2, National Interest Waiver.

The National Interest Waiver is not just for scientists or researchers. USCIS has approved National Interest Waivers for a social worker, a fertility specialist, a musician (violinist), a chemist, an engineer, a singer, an animator, etc.

One of the best features of the National Interest Waiver (NIW) is that a foreign national can “self-petition”. In other words, neither job offer, nor an employer sponsor is required. No prevailing wage determination. No advertisements. No labor certification. No testing the labor market! You can obtain an employment-based green card without a sponsor! This is wonderful news for many professionals who tried for the H-1B visa lottery, but was not selected.

The NIW is for a “future” position. Our practice in preparing NIW petitions is the old adage “the past dictates the future.” First, we prove that the foreign national has a record of achievement that warrants an NIW. Second, we prove how this record of achievement has had an impact on a nationwide basis. In our professional opinion, we believe that we can prove “national interest” even if the beneficiary’s contributions have been outside of the U.S.

CASE STUDY: In one case, we had a client from Nepal who was employed in the U.S., but his record of achievement impacted Nepal. We filed the NIW petition and it was approved with issuance of a Request for Evidence. The foreign did not have a single publication, patent, speaking engagement, conference presentation, award, or peer review experience. Yet, his case was approved!

An NIW can be applied for while the foreign national is located outside of the U.S. We can work with the applicant who is located outside of the U.S. to prepare the NIW petition. Keep in mind that these petitions are several inches thick- it is not recommended to apply for it without the assistance of an immigration attorney.

Regarding the priority dates, as of August, 2016, if you are in the U.S., the visa numbers are current for foreign nationals born in any country OTHER than India and China. So we can file your green card and work authorization with the immigrant worker petition.

To qualify for a National Interest Waiver, either you must have an “advanced degree” OR you must have “exceptional ability.” This means that a person who is exceptional, does not need to have an advanced degree. It also means that if a foreign national has an advanced degree, he or she does not need to prove “exceptional ability.”

Takeaway Message:

The question that you should ask yourself in determining whether you qualify for an NIW is: “Can I prove that my record of individual achievement (gained while inside or outside of the U.S.) will benefit the United States (not just a state or regional area)?” If your answer to this question is yes, no, or maybe, then give us a call. You may think that you do not qualify, but during our thorough 1-2 hour consultations, we ask the right questions to gather key information that often makes us (and you) believe that you qualify for an NIW.

We offer a free case evaluation by phone. We are available Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 8:00 pm and Saturday from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm. In-person consultations are by appointment only.  Please call our office at 301.529.1912 or click here to contact us. Please be sure to provide a timeline of events along with details of your entire immigration history.