National Interest Waiver
A National Interest Waiver (NIW) petition is part of the employment-based, second-preference immigration category where the requirements of employment offer and Labor Certification are waived because the applicant’s endeavor is in the “national interest” of U.S.
For EB2 National Interest Waiver application, the law requires that the applicant’s activity has a "prospective national benefit." It means that the applicant must meet one or more of the following:
01. Improving the U.S. economy.
02. Improving wages and working conditions of U.S. workers.
03. Improving education and training programs for U.S. children and under-qualified workers.
04. Improving health care.
05. Providing more affordable housing for young and/or older, poorer U.S. residents.
06. Improving the environment of the U.S. and making more productive use of natural resources.
07. A request from an interested U.S. government agency or improving international cultural understanding.
The applicants do not need to meet all above requirements, but only one or more of them in order to qualify EB2 NIW petition. In 2016, a new framework was created for NIW applications, which must now establish:
01. The foreign national’s proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance.
02. The foreign national is well-positioned to advance the proposed endeavor.
03. On balance, it would be beneficial to the United States to waive the requirements of a job offer and thus of a labor certification.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to remain in the same field as my NIW application after it’s approved?
Yes. You are required to continue working in the field of your NIW application and benefit the national interest of U.S. Otherwise your I485 may not be approved.
Can I file NIW and EB-1A at the same time?
Yes, you can file both applications at the same time. They are independent of each other and one will not affect the other.