Applying for a Green Card Using an EB2-NIW Visa


Having a permanent resident status in the United States is achievable through applying for an EB-2 Visa National Interest Waiver (NIW). This employment-based visa has a short processing time and it provides a way to apply for permanent residence without having to go through the scrupulous process of labor certification. It is a method of obtaining a green card without sponsoring from an employer, which you can use if you’re engaged in work that benefits the U.S. economy, health, education system, or some aspect of society. However, extra effort is needed to prove that you’re qualified for an EB-2 Visa. 

The immigration process can be overwhelming considering all the immigration laws to follow and the paperwork required. Immigration attorneys can guide you through the visa process to help you obtain a permanent resident status through an NIW visa.

Qualification for an EB-2 Visa Category

An alien (someone who isn’t an American citizen) is eligible to apply for an EB-2 visa if they have an advanced degree for a professional degree or academic degree that is higher than a bachelor’s degree, or if he has extraordinary ability in a specific field offers important benefits to the United States.

Eligibility for a National Interest (NIW) Visa

EB2-NIW VisaUsually, an EB-2 category green card processing requires an employer’s sponsorship to someone by offering a permanent job. The visa application document is filed by the employer, and the petitioner has to undergo the labor certification process. This involves a series of steps, that can also be lengthy and expensive. 

The processing time may be long, but those qualifying for an EB-2 may shorten this process by applying for a national interest waiver (NIW) visa. The NIW visa is granted by theUnited States Citizenship and Immigration Services  or the USCIS to anyone who fulfills the following:

  • The applicant’s endeavor or work is of substantial intrinsic merit and is of national interest.
  • They can advance in this endeavor as shown in their success record and based on recommendations from their previous colleagues and employers; it can be in the sector of business, education, arts, science & technology, etc. 
  • The U.S. will significantly benefit if the job offer requirements are waived according to the evaluation of an immigration officer or USCIS officer. 

Consult with an immigration lawyer today to see if you’re qualified for an EB2-NIW visa.

Obtaining a Green Card Through an NIW

Once your qualification is determined, you should submit an I-140 form “Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers” and include any supporting documents to the USCIS. 

If a visa number is available right after approval, as shown on the Department of State’s most recent Visa Bulletin, you can apply for a green card at the same time if you are in the U.S. through a process known as adjustment of status.

If a visa number is not immediately available, you’ll have to wait until the priority date ( the date the I-140 is submitted) arrives.

Connect with a Florida immigration attorney today to consult which immigration forms you need to file and what other documents you’ll need to support your application. You may need to prepare your current visa status, passport, recommendation letters from a former employer, resume, diplomas and certifications, awards, proof of membership in any professional organizations, and details on your owned contracts, licenses, or patents. 

These documents will be used by your immigration lawyer to write a brief or legal document supporting your green card petition. Contact an immigration law firm today to help with your visa processing.

Advantages of Applying for a National Interest Waiver

There are many benefits to obtaining an NIW. For one, you don’t need to have an employer as your sponsor for your application. While you can have an employer sponsorship, a self-petition is also possible if your employer isn’t willing, you don’t have a job offer, or you want to start your own company.

You also don’t have to go through PERM, or the labor certification process, as mentioned above. This saves you money, effort, and time.

While you still have to show your achievements in your chosen field and that it would be of benefit to the U.S., you don’t have to prove that you have “extraordinary ability as required in an EB-1 visa category. 

How We Can Help

The process of getting a green card can be confusing and overwhelming. Our immigration attorneys in Florida can assist you in your application to become a permanent resident of the United States.

If you are a professional hoping to immigrate to the United States, our Amlaw Global  immigration lawyers can help process your U.S. citizenship application. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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