How to Get an EB2 National Interest Waiver Visa


If you’re a foreign national who holds an advanced degree or its equivalent, or if you have an exceptional ability, then you may be eligible for employment-based immigration through the EB-2 National Interest Waiver visa. 

An EB-2 visa gives foreign nationals legal permanent resident status as long as they demonstrate that their employment in the United State would greatly benefit the country.

Applying for this visa has a short processing time, and it provides a way for immigrants to apply for permanent residence without having to go through the laborious process of getting labor certification.

To qualify, your profession should fall under the sector of business, science & technology, education, or arts.

If you’re interested to know more about immigration to the United States through the EB-2 NIW visa, consult with experienced immigration attorneys in Florida today.

How To Qualify for an EB-2 Visa

There are five employment-based immigrant visa preference categories, and they are for different types of alien workers. The EB-2 Second preference is for professionals with advanced degrees or persons with exceptional ability. The occupational categories for an EB-2 Visa are:

  1. Advanced Degree – under this category, the individual must be putting an application for a job requiring an advanced degree or its foreign equivalent (a baccalaureate or its foreign equivalent degree plus 5 years of work experience in the field. Other requirements specified on the labor certification must also be met.
  2. Exceptional Ability – under this category, the individual must demonstrate exceptional ability in the field of arts, business, or science. Exceptional ability is defined as a degree of competence significantly above what is ordinarily encountered in the said fields.
  3. National Interest Waiver (NIW) – under this category, an alien can request to waive the Labor Certification as it is beneficial for the U.S. Though the types of job that qualify for an NIW isn’t defined by statute but will be decided according to the evaluation of an immigration officer or USCIS officer. This waiver is usually given to those who possess the exceptional ability or whose employment in the U.S. would greatly benefit the country. Those who are seeking a national interest waiver may file a self-petition (they don’t need an employer sponsorship) and submit their labor certification directly to the USCIS office together with their Form I-140 or Petition for Alien Worker.

Eligibility Criteria for an EB-2 NIW Visa

The documents that you need to submit will depend on the category in which you’ll qualify.

Advanced Degree Qualification: 

National Interest Waiver VisaHere, an individual must provide document/documents that show they have an advanced degree in the U.S. or an equivalent degree, or an official school record indicating that they have a. baccalaureate degree or equivalent, and a recommendation letter from current or previous employers confirming that they have at least five years worth of experience in their field.

Exceptional Ability Qualification:

For this type of qualification, an individual must submit at least three of the following requirements:

  1. An official school record indicating that they have a diploma, certificate, or degree from a university or college that is related to their field of exceptional ability
  2. Recommendation letters indicating that they have at least ten years worth of practice in their chosen field
  3. A professional license for their profession
  4. Evidence that they have commanded a salary or other remuneration for services that demonstrate their exceptional ability
  5. Membership in a professional association
  6. Recognition of their achievements 
  7. Other comparable proof of eligibility is also acceptable.

National Interest Waiver:

To qualify for an EB-2 NIW visa, an individual must qualify for more than two of the criteria listed above and prove that their endeavor has substantial merit and national importance and that it would be beneficial for the United States to waive the job offer requirements and labor certification.

How a Florida Immigration Attorney Can Help

If you’re a foreign national with extraordinary ability wishing to work and immigrate to the United States, our immigration lawyers here at AmLaw Group can assist you.

Contact our Florida immigration lawyers today for a free consultation.

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