National Interest Waiver Can Help You Get a Green Card

Many immigrants applying for a green card through the second preference (EB2) category must have labor certification approved and must have a permanent US employment offer in order to apply for a green card. However, the prerequisite approved labor certification and permanent job offer may be waived in some circumstances. In cases where a petitioner can prove that their job skills contribute to the “national interest of the United States” the requirements may be waived under what is known as a National Interest Waiver (NIW) petition.

Usually, to file a National Interest Waiver (NIW) petition, the petitioner must have an exceptional skills as well as an advanced degree. The candidate must also prove to US immigration authorities that the employment sought will help the US on a national level and that the field of employment has intrinsic national merit. The candidate must further show that the US immigration process of applying for labor certification and permanent employment will be harmful to national interest.

One interesting thing about the NIW petition is that any immigrant can file it on behalf of themselves Ú there is no need to find an employer to act as a sponsor and to offer a permanent job position. An employer, however, can file a NIW petition on behalf of an employee. The NIW can even be filed along with an Extraordinary Ability (EB-1(a)petition or other appropriate petition.

The standards for NIW are quite high, since the petitioner needs to prove extraordinary work skills and must have an advanced education to apply. As well, it can be challenging to prove that one’s job skills are important to the US nationally. Nevertheless, this can be a good application for researchers, scholars, professors, post doctoral fellows, PhD students, and others who have skills that can contribute to the US as a whole. Since there is no permanent job offer requirements or labor certification requirement, the NIW may be a good option for advanced degree holders who wish to work in the US but who do not yet qualify for tenure track or other permanent jobs. As well, some physicians use the NIW to enter the US to work in the US. In some cases, NIW petitions may be granted to physicians if they agree to work in a VA hospital or an area where there is a doctor shortage. As well, foreign physicians may apply for NIW petitions if their work has been considered to be of national interest and benefit by a department of public health or by a federal agency.