The “national interest waiver” (NIW) is an achievement-based opportunity for a green card. In order to qualify for a national interest waiver, you’ll need to file an employment-based immigration petition and have a permanent job offer along with a labor certification. In some cases, an applicant can still apply to NIW immigration petition without a labor certification or a job offer for the sake of the “national interest of the United States”.
To be eligible for a NIW, the person filing the waiver must have a higher degree than a bachelor’s degree or a degree of expertise in sciences, arts, or business. The applicant must successfully prove that he/she is seeking employment in an area that is of importance and valuable to the United States as a country. The candidate must prove that the U.S. will benefit from his/her activity, and that the U.S. will be negatively affected if the candidate is not granted a green card due to not having met the labor certification requirement.
- You must show that you have the intention to provide work in an area that is beneficial to the U.S.
- You must show that the proposed impact of your work is national in scope.
- You must show waiving the labor certification requirement would benefit the national interests of the United States.
Here are some of the supporting documentation you may use to prove that waiving the required labor certification is in U.S.’s best interests:
- Copies of published articles that cite or otherwise recognize your achievements
- Copies of grants or other funding you received listing the amount and terms of the grants, as well as the principal and co-investigators
- Contracts with companies using your or your company’s products
- Documents showing licensed technology that you and/or your company invented or co-invented, and how that licensed technology is being used by others
- Patents or licenses awarded to you and/or your company with documents showing how they are being used and why they are significant to your field
To obtain a national interest waiver, you must file a Form I-140 petition, Form ETA 9089, along with supporting documents and evidence directly to the appropriate Immigration Service Center. Getting a national interest waiver can be a complicated process, and it is important to work with an experienced immigration lawyer to help you through the process.
The NEW three prong-test established by Matter of Dhanasar is as follows:
- The foreign national’s proposed endeavor must have both substantial merit and national importance.
- The foreign national must be well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor.
- On balance, it would be beneficial to the United States to waive the job offer and labor certification requirements of the EB-2 category.