EB-2 – National Interest Waiver

A National Interest Waiver (NIW) petition is an appealing option for those who qualify, to petition for legal permanent residence. A National Interest Waiver (NIW) petition requests that the PERM (Labor Certification) requirement be waived for the sake of the “national interest of the United States;” thus, allowing an applicant to apply for an NIW immigration petition without a labor certification or a job offer from a U.S. employer, although an employer can also petition for an NIW on behalf of an employee. NIW petitions fall in the Employment-Based Immigration, Second Preference (EB-2) category on the Visa Bulletin.

The Law Firm of Craig J. Peterson L.L.C. assists petitioners nationwide who are seeking a National Interest Waiver. We encourage you to contact us if you need legal advice regarding NIW eligibility or the application process.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to file an NIW petition, you must demonstrate the following:

  • An “advanced degree” or “exceptional ability” in the arts, sciences or business.
  • The proposed work must have substantial merit and national importance.
  • The foreign national must be well-positioned to advance the proposed endeavor.
  • On balance, it must be beneficial to the United States to waive the requirement of a job offer and labor certification.

An “advanced degree” is a U.S. Master’s degree or higher, or a foreign equivalent. In the absence of Master’s degree or higher, a U.S. Bachelor’s degree or foreign equivalent plus at least five years of progressive experience in the relevant profession is considered an advanced degree. In the alternative, the applicant may demonstrate instead “exceptional ability,” a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the profession. USCIS has strict standards for what constitutes the foreign degree equivalent, and what is deemed exceptional ability.

Physicians may qualify for a national interest waiver, which requires service at a facility located in an area designated as “medically underserved.” This waiver also permits self-employment provided the medically underserved condition is met. Note that this physician national interest waiver is not the same as a waiver of the 2-year home residence requirement which applies to physicians who pursue graduate medical education (residency or fellowhship) on a J-1 visa.

How Our Twin Cities Immigration Lawyer Can Help

The EB-2 National Interest Waiver is an appealing category, as it allows those who qualify to self-petition without the need to show a lack of available US workers through a PERM (Labor Certification). It is also potentially broad and wide-ranging. It can encompass many fields of endeavor in the arts, sciences, and business. However, it is a category that sets a high standard to demonstrate eligibility. We assess potential clients’ cases based on the relevant laws, regulations, case law and memorandums, to determine the strength of an NIW Petition. If there is sufficient achievement to move forward, we assist in presenting the strongest case possible to USCIS, using our experience and insight into USCIS adjudication practices and trends. We assist in drafting and reviewing letters of recommendation, which are vital to the NIW Petition, and also assemble and advise on all other documents relevant to a successful case.

Based in Woodbury, Craig works with National Interest Waiver (NIW) Petitioners nationwide. We welcome you to contact The Law Firm of Craig J. Peterson L.L.C. for assistance with your immigration matter.