What are the Advantages of the EB-2 National Interest Waiver Immigrant Petition?
One of the more notable advantages to the EB-2 National Interest Waiver category, in addition to generally faster attainment of permanent residence relative to the EB-3 category, is that the National Interest Waiver Beneficiary does not require sponsorship from a U.S. employer, and may apply on his or her own behalf. The other substantial advantage is that there is no Labor Certification requirement, so availability of U.S. workers in the field is irrelevant.
Who Qualifies for National Interest Waiver (NIW) EB-2 Green Cards?
To qualify for the National Interest Waiver EB-2 category, the individual or their U.S. employer must file Form I-140 with supporting documentation that evidences the individual’s employment will substantially benefit the national interests of the U.S., to the extent it merits waiving the usual Labor Certification requirement which exists to protect American workers. What constitutes ‘national interest’ and ‘substantial benefit’ can be much more conceptual and less quantitative than other Employment-based green card paths, so these terms are more difficult to define in this context. However, fortunately these terms are not narrowly defined, and with strong documentary evidence an individual can organize a successful petition.
National Interest Waivers were not created for professionals who may narrowly benefit the U.S. or who may benefit only a local region’s economy. Rather, the waiver was designed to facilitate bringing strong, bright and specialized professionals to the U.S. whose work will widely benefit the U.S., and be national in scope.
In addition to showing that an individual’s prospective employment will substantially benefit the interests of the U.S. and be national in scope, they must also provide evidence of at least three (3) of the following:
- A degree or other academic certificate in the field related to the individual’s area of exceptional ability
- Letters from current or former employers evidencing at least 10 years of experience in the field
- A professional license or certification in the field
- Evidence that the individual has commanded a high salary based on his or her exceptional ability
- Membership to professional organizations or associations
- Recognition of achievements, awards, and significant contributions to the field by peers, government entities, and/or professional or business organizations