National Interest Waiver (NIW)

A National Interest Waiver (NIW) petition is part of the EB-2 Second Preference employment-based immigration category. Typically, the EB-2 category requires Labor Certification, which means that individuals applying for the traditional EB-2 visa must have a job offer from a U.S. employer. However, a National Interest Waiver (NIW) waives the Labor Certification requirement due to the “National interest of the United States.”

Eligibility for the NIW Petition

There are several requirements and components to file an NIW petition:

  • Individuals have either a (a) professional advanced degree, or (b) have “exceptional ability” in the fields of arts, science, or business.
  • Individuals must be able to demonstrate that they are seeking employment in an area that is of substantial benefit to the United States.
  • Individuals must be able to demonstrate that their work will be of national interest to the Unites States.
  • Individuals must be able to demonstrate that a Labor Certification requirement will negatively affect national interest.
  • Individuals can file the NIW petition on their own behalf, or a U.S. employer can file the NIW petition on behalf of the applicant.
  • An NIW applicant can also file other immigration petitions under different appropriate categories simultaneously as filing for the NIW.

Importance of Legal Representation

Filing an NIW petition is a complex process, which has become progressively more difficult, specifically due to the slowing of the economy and the increased immigration restrictions and policy in the United States. The practical processing of NIW petitions vary case by case and office by office. In addition, there are specific regulations for certain countries, including China and India. Thus, it is highly recommended that you obtain the right legal representation, to support and guide you through the process.

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