How Can I Get a Green Card through the National Interest Waiver?


Specifics of US immigration are still a mystery to a lot of people. While most know that an immigration interview, adjustment of status, or consular processing are all part of a lengthy and tedious immigration process, only a few are knowledgeable about what happens in each step. Read on to learn more about how you can realize your dream to be a lawful permanent resident.

Green Cards and Lawful Permanent Residence

What is a green card or permanent residence card? From the name itself, these cards are used to prove that a foreign national has permanent resident status. Green cards are issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). They have a validity of ten years and could be renewed by the permanent resident if needed. An immigrant who has become a green card holder gets to enjoy privileges that come with permanent residence.

Obtaining a green card or permanent resident card is one of the most confusing aspects of the immigration service. Immigrants may apply for a green card and obtain lawful permanent residence in various ways. One of the most common is through marriage to either a US citizen or lawful permanent resident. What this article will focus on, however, is the green card process grounded on NIW.

The National Interest Waiver

National Interest WaiverIn the context of EB-2 immigrants and through the Immigration and Nationality Act, the NIW is essentially a way around the labor certification process. Such is a prerequisite when applying to obtain permanent residence. Under relevant immigration policy, the National Interest Waiver is associated with the second preference EB-2 employment-based category.

Through national interest waivers, the job offer requirement for a green card petition may be waived by the Attorney General, for certain circumstances. This will allow an alien to self-petition and proceed with a green card application at the USCIS office, with adequate immigration assistance from experts.

Under relevant immigration law, granting permanent residency through NIW is possible if the foreign national applying for a green card is:

  • able to prove that he or she has exceptional skills and abilities in the arts, business, culture, education, health, science, or technology, among others
  • working in an area of national importance and substantial intrinsic merit
  • an advanced degree professional, a Ph.D. student, or a professional with a minimum of five years post-bachelor degree experience

Keep in mind that the labor certification process was created to protect US workers. If a US worker can take a job in question (meaning he or she meets the qualifications set) an alien labor certification will likely not be granted. Furthermore, employers are not allowed to warrant national interest waivers solely to ameliorate a local shortage of qualified workers. On the contrary, there must be a national benefit that is greater than what alien labor certifications are meant to address.

Documents and Proofs

Given the above, a petitioner under the EB-2 category must be able to prove that waiving the job offer and labor certification requirements will constitute a national benefit. School records, research and publications, documentation of previous engagements, plans for future activities, employment records, and other paperwork are often prepared. To be specific, those seeking the waiver must be able to present the proofs below:

When proving exceptional skills and abilities, the applicant must present at least three of the following:

  • Diplomas, transcript of records, certifications from schools, universities, or other higher learning institutions
  • Certifications, letters, or other documentation of full-time experience, for a specific number of years
  • Professional licenses, if applicable
  • Payslips or evidence of remuneration, salaries, or other forms of compensations
  • Certifications of membership in professional associations
  • Documentation of awards or certificates for significant contributions or achievements

When proving national importance and substantial intrinsic merit:

  • Proof that the applicant’s abilities are of national scope and importance if there will be an improvement in the economy, current working conditions, the health care system, housing, or the environment
  • Documentation that it will lead to significant economic growth or quantifiable job creation in a depressed or disadvantaged area, for instance, must be provided

If you are planning to apply for a green card through the National Interest Waiver, there is paperwork and supporting documents that you need to prepare. A competent immigration attorney can help ensure that the documents you will submit to the government agency concerned are complete and properly filled out.

For questions on getting a green card through NIW or other aspects of immigration laws relevant to you, call us. Contact us at AmLaw Group to consult with a reliable immigration lawyer.

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