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Over the years, the United States has benefited greatly from the contributions of immigrants with exceptional talents and abilities. These extraordinary people have been indispensable assets for the development of our national economy and government. Because of the valuable work these immigrants do, they may be eligible to apply for a green card through the National Interest Waiver. The key to successful use of the National Interest Waiver’s benefits is being able to establish your eligibility for it. A good National Interest Waiver (NIW) lawyer or National Interest Waiver (NIW) attorney can help you gather the necessary paperwork to apply for the NIW without any complications.

What is the National Interest Waiver?

A National Interest Waiver is one way an immigrant can obtain lawful permanent resident status in the United States. Lawful permanent resident status allows an individual to stay in the U.S. permanently and seek employment, own property, and obtain a social security number, along with other benefits. It differs from U.S. citizenship because it does not allow you to run for public office, vote in elections, and petition for non-immediate family members to join you in the U.S. Lawful permanent residents will be given a green card or Permanent Resident Card upon approval of their application.

There are multiple work-related methods for obtaining permanent resident status, such as being part of the EB (employment-based) categories for “preference immigrants.” Immigrants who are part of the EB categories are high-value workers who have demonstrated a high amount of skill in academics, business, and the arts. Applicants under a National Interest Waiver are considered part of the EB-2 category.

EB-2 applicants possess advanced degrees and must demonstrate their exceptional ability by providing documentation such as industry awards, association memberships, professional licenses, or letters documenting at least 10 years of experience in your profession. Usually, EB-2 immigrants must also provide a labor certification from an employer. Labor certifications show U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that you have a waiting job offer, that there are no U.S. workers who are qualified to fill the position you are being hired for, and that hiring a foreign worker will not affect the working conditions of U.S. workers in your position. In other words, you need to be sponsored by an employer so that you can obtain a green card.

However, the National Interest Waiver allows you to forego the requirement of a job offer and a labor certification by showing that it is in the country’s best interests to waive those requirements. By proving that your work has “substantial merit and national importance” and that you are in a position to advance the national interest through your work, you can make it easier to obtain a green card and lawful permanent resident status.

It’s important to note that your EB-2 priority date must be current for your I-485 Form (application for a green card) to be submitted. Immigrants from China or India will have to wait a while before their EB-2 priority date becomes current. However, there may still be advantages to filing a National Interest Waiver Green Card application. If you are a Chinese or Indian immigrant in the EB-2 category, please contact us for more information.

How a National Interest Waiver Attorney
Can Help You

As you can imagine, obtaining a green card through a National Interest Waiver can be a competitive and complicated process. You’ll need to ensure that all of your documents are in order and that they provide adequate evidence for how you meet the necessary criteria. An experienced National Interest Waiver lawyer can help you make the best case for your eligibility by analyzing your work history and helping you prove that your work is important to the national interest.

At Sadri Immigration Law, we are passionate about helping immigrants fulfill their dreams and display their talents to society. If you need a San Jose National Interest Waiver attorney or a legal expert who can help if you live in San Francisco and other parts of the Bay Area, contact us today. We are available to help applicants who are eligible for the National Interest Waiver, as well as other EB category applicants.

National Interest Waiver – QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

Generally, applying for a second preference employment-based immigrant visa requires a specific job offer and labor certification process (PERM). However, a foreign national may seek a waiver of a job offer or PERM process by establishing that their admission to permanent residence would be in the “national interest” of the United States.

For an ordinary EB2 case, a U.S. employer needs to act as the case petitioner, and the petitioner needs to obtain a labor certificate before filing Form I-140 for the foreign national.

The foreign national is called the “beneficiary” in such cases. The petition needs to establish the qualifications of the foreign national (an individual with an advanced degree or exceptional ability).

On the other hand, the foreign national can self-petition for an EB2 NIW (National Interest Waiver) case.

The petition needs to establish the foreign national’s qualifications under EB2 and demonstrate that the qualifications satisfy the National Interest Waiver requirements (three-prong test in the Matter of Dhanasar decision).

Generally, it is more difficult to obtain immigration benefits under EB2 NIW (National Interest Waiver) than the ordinary EB2 because of the additional requirements for “national interest.”

A foreign national may file their own EB2 NIW (National Interest Waiver) petition, or the employer can petition for the foreign national.

The National Interest Waiver waives the labor certification process and the necessity of having an offer of employment.

To be qualified for EB2 NIW (National Interest Waiver), one must first meet the requirements of the EB2 category (Second Preference Employment-Based Immigration), which can be satisfied in one of two ways:

(1) EB2 “Advanced Degree” — EB2 Advanced Degree can be satisfied by having

(a) any advanced degree beyond a bachelor degree (including the U.S. or advanced foreign degree)


(b) by demonstrating that you have the “equivalent” to an advanced degree (namely, a bachelor’s degree plus five years of progressive work experience in your field of expertise).

(2) EB2 “Exceptional Ability” — If you do not meet either of the above two requirements, you can still satisfy the requirements of EB2 by demonstrating that you satisfy EB2 Exceptional Ability.

To do so, you would have to provide evidence that you meet at least three of the criteria listed below:

Official academic record showing that you have a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution of learning relating to your area of exceptional ability

Letters documenting at least ten years of full-time experience in your occupation

A license to practice your profession or certification for your profession or occupation.

Evidence that you have commanded a salary or other remuneration for services that demonstrates your exceptional ability

Membership in a professional association(s)

Recognition for your achievements and significant contributions to your industry or field by your peers, government entities, professional or business organizations

Other comparable evidence of eligibility is also acceptable.

A PhD is not a strict requirement to satisfy EB2 Advanced Degree; however, a case under EB2 Advanced Degree would generally be somewhat stronger with a PhD.

An advanced degree for the purpose of EB-2 visa is the United States advanced degree (degrees above a bachelor’s) or a foreign equivalent degree.

If the foreign national has only received a United States baccalaureate degree or a foreign equivalent degree, the experience of at least five years of progressive, post-baccalaureate experience in the speciality plus the bachelor’s degree will be sufficient for the advanced degree requirement. Otherwise, the foreign national needs to show “exceptional ability.”

According to the USCIS, exceptional ability means: “a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business.”

To establish exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business, a petitioner must document at least three of the following:

  1. An official academic record showing that the foreign person has a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution of learning relating to the area of exceptional ability
  2. Evidence in tetters from current or former employers proves that the foreign person has at least ten years of full-time experience in the occupation.
  3. A license to practice the profession or certification for a particular profession or occupation.
  4. Evidence that the foreign person has commanded a salary or other remuneration for services that demonstrate exceptional ability.
  5. Evidence of membership in a professional association or
  6. There is evidence of recognition for achievements and significant contributions to the industry or field by peers, governmental entities, or professional or business organizations.

Yes. The USCIS has indicated that it will consider comparable evidence appropriated to the foreign national’s application if the foreign national cannot provide the type of evidence listed above.

A foreign medical degree may qualify as the equivalent of a U.S. M.D. degree if several conditions are met when the labor certification application is filed. The foreign national must establish that the persona:

  1. has been awarded a foreign medical degree from a medical school that requires a foreign beneficiary to obtain a bachelor’s degree equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree as a requirement for admission,
  2. has been awarded a foreign medical degree, and a foreign education credential evaluation that describes how the foreign medical degree is equivalent to a medical degree obtained from an accredited medical school in the United States, or
  3. has been awarded a foreign medical degree and has passed the National Board of Medical Examiners Examination (NBMEE) or an equivalent examination, such as the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), Steps 1, 2, and 3.

A foreign national who is qualified under EB2 visa and who passes the three-prong test in the Matter of Dhanasar decision:

  1. proposed endeavor is of substantial merit and national importance
  2. well-positioned to advanced the proposed endeavor
  3. significant benefit for “national interest.”

EB2 NIW petition includes the filing of Form I-140.

Labor certification is not required before the I-140 filing for EB2 NIW. EB2 NIW waives the labor certification.

No labor certification is required.

–           No job offer or permanent job position is required.

–           Self-petition is allowed.

–           Most visas are current except for people born in China and India.

A person (foreign national) seeking to meet the EB2 NIW standard must show that their qualifications are significant enough to prove “prospective national benefit. ” The burden will rest with the foreign national to establish that exemption from a job offer will be in the national interest.

If a beneficiary is qualified, the chance of success depends largely on how the case is presented. If the evidence is relevant and well presented, and the argument is made persuasively, there is a good chance of case approval. But each case approval is up to the immigration officer’s discretion, and not all officers adjudicate cases in the same way.

The information regarding the approval rate of EB2 NIW is kept confidential by the USCIS.

The USCIS adopted the new standards to obtain the EB2 NIW petitions, established by the Matter of Dhanasar released on 12/27/2016. According to that the Administrative Appeal Office(AAO), there are two factors that they consider while evaluation an EB2 NIW request:

The proposed endeavor of a foreign national.

If the foreign national is well-positioned to advance the proposed work.

If the criteria are met, the foreign national will get waver from the job requirement.

These are the cases when a foreign national get an EN2 NIW with Bachelor’s degree as the highest educational qualification:

A minimum of 5 years of prospective experience in the specialty field in addition to a bachelor’s degree.

Prove exceptional ability.

Get a Green Card without a permanent job offer from a US employer.

As there are no lengthy labor certification procedures, you will get a Green Card much faster.

Your green card won’t be linked to a single employer, giving you the option of changing if you need it.


You will be eligible for EB2 NIW Green Card if you satisfy any of the two categories:

A professional with an advanced degree (master’s or above).

Exceptional ability.


It is the basic requirement for eligibility and does not assure you an EB2 NIW.

Other than the basic requirements, the applicant also has to submit evidence to prove that the permanent residency in the US is in National Interest. If the proposed endeavor of the applicant is of “substantial merit” and “national interest,” and if you can prove that you are “well-positioned” to advance the endeavor, the USICS will waive off the job offer and labor certifications.

The following are the things that you should include in the EB2 NIW:

Petition letter or cover letter.

A recommendation letter or reference letter

Evidence such as the list of citations or publications.

Other required forms

To apply for NIW Green Card, you have to file forms in two steps:

Form I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alein workers

Form I-485 Adjustment of status

We suggest filing taking both the steps concurrently. That will help you in getting you your Green Card quickly. That way, you can apply for employment (EAD) and travel authorization (Advance Parole) immediately.

The following are the documents required for filing EB2 NIW, other than Immigration Petition for Alien Worker ( Form I-140) Alien Employment Certification Application (Form ETA-750B):

Passport’s copy, in case you are in the US.

Form I-94 (both sides), in case you are in the US.

Proof of your non-immigration visa status, in case you are in the US.

Educational certificates, such as degree certificates and evaluation reports proving that your highest academic qualification is at least equivalent to a master’s degree in the US.

The list of all publications, abstracts, presentations, invitations to conference, etc.

Citation of your publications.

Opinions and comments about your paper by the referee of journals, if any.

Plea for the reprint of your publication, if any.

Proof of awards or honors, if any.

Proof of membership in any respected professional association, if any.

Records of the funding on your research project or grant numbers

Records to prove that you were selected as a judge of works on your field, if any.

Newspaper articles, if any, about your reference writers.

Recommendation letters from the experts of your field declaring your value to the national interest and exceptional abilities.

Your CV

Anything that proves your exceptional ability in the field of interest will be considered a valid document. Send us all the documents that you have to us, and our immigration attorneys will prepare the documents to file your application, such as:

a Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative (Form G-28)

a petition letter containing the outline of your NIW application. ( It will summarize the reasons why you should be awarded an NIW.)

Congrats on choosing the best immigration law firm in San Jose, Sadri Law, for applying EB2 NIW. Now all you have to do is to contact us to receive your NIW contract. Once you receive it, you can sign it and mail it back to us along with the cheque for initial attorney fees. Our experienced attorneys will start working on your case when we receive the mail.

To get your Green card on EB2 NIW basis, you have to prove that you are exceptionally qualified. And any document that can prove that will be considered supporting evidence by the USCIS for the NIW. your past expertise should also fulfill the three-prong Dhanasar test:

Prove that your proposed endeavor has sustainable merits and is of national importance.

You are capable of advancing the proposed endeavor.

And prove to the USCIS that you are beneficial to the country.

And enjoy a Green Card without submitting the job offer or labor certificate.

The following are the documents that you can include as supporting evidence:

Recommendation letters (LOR) from experts in the field.

LOR from the editors of journals in which your work is published.

Other researchers, citing your work on their work.

LOR from the researchers who commercialized your work.

LOR from researchers who work for recognized agencies or government.

LOR from advisors of your research.

Any solid document that proves the value of the petitioner to get NIW. You can submit documents that prove your successful track record in your specific field. You can also submit documents that describe your role in the execution and success of the project. The USCIS will assess your track record based on consistency, importance, and significance of the job position/project. If the USCIS finds it eligible, you will get the Green card without even a job offer. The following are the evidence that can help in that:

The number and ranking of publications that you authored (or co-authored).

The number of citations that the paper your authored or co-authored, received. (use Google scholar to get that data) Remember that independent citations will have more weightage over the self-citations, proving that you influenced others in your field. Those citations will impact your work and will be able to describe the quality of your work.

Evidence that your research study already became a business and improved the economy.

Proof for the request of re-prints of your publication or any other information about your research.

Invitations or acknowledgment letters from any recognized organizations or journals.

Copies of certificates, awards, honors, or other documents prove your excellence in the field.

Copies of media reports about your achievement or publication.

The commercial success of your work, if it is a performing art.

Internationally recognized awards and achievements.

Number of online downloads of your publication

Implementation of your patent or license.

Even when the procedures of an EB2 NIW are complex, it comes with many befits.

You can apply yourself for EB2 NIW.

It is one of the most significant benefits of applying for an EB2 NIW. You do not have to go through the hassle of finding a US employer willing to sponsor your immigrant petition. And you do not even have to think about procedures of labor certification.

Get the approval in considerably lesser time.

Another benefit is that, Through NIW, you will get the Green Card in considerably lesser time. Through the traditional way, the US employer has to approve the labor certification, which takes a lot of time. In NIW, you do not want that get the work done in half the time.

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