The employment-based, second preference category, EB-2 visa, is available to individuals who are members of professions holding an advanced degree or its equivalent, or a person who has exceptional ability. A national interest waiver (NIW) is a request that the job offer requirement and labor certification be waived because the individual’s work is in the national interest of the United States.
To qualify under “exceptional ability,” the individual must be able to prove that they possess a level of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business by meeting at least three of the following criteria or providing comparable evidence:
To satisfy the requirement for an advanced degree, the foreign national must be employed in a position that requires a graduate degree, such as a master’s or PhD, and the individual must possess that degree. The foreign national may also qualify if they possess a baccalaureate degree or foreign equivalent, plus five years of postbaccalaureate, progressive work experience in the field.
An NIW green card category offers a number of benefits:
The “national interest” covers a broad variety of activities. In 1992, through the case of Mississippi Phosphate2, the legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service determined that the following seven factors were to be considered in determining whether a foreign national’s presence in the country is in the “national interest”:
If the individual’s proposed endeavor has the potential to broadly enhance societal welfare or cultural or artistic enrichments, or to contribute to the advancement of a valuable technology or field of study, it may rise to the level of national importance.
In this regard, the USCIS recognizes the importance of progress in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) fields, especially in critical and emerging technologies (CETs) and other STEM areas important to U.S. competitiveness or national security. In particular, the USCIS may find that a STEM area is important to competitiveness or security when the foreign national is engaged in an endeavor that will help the U.S. remain ahead of strategic competitors or current and potential adversaries, or when it relates to a field that may contribute to the U.S. achieving or maintaining technology leadership. The USCIS considers a PhD in a STEM field related to the proposed endeavor to be an especially positive factor. Letters from interested government/quasi-government agencies are also given particular weight. Areas that qualify as CETs include advanced computing, advanced engineering materials, artificial intelligence, autonomous systems and robotics, biotechnologies, financial technologies, renewable energy generation, and space technologies, among others.
The following documents can be helpful to demonstrate the individual’s qualifications with regard to the abovementioned factors:
Contact Ellen Freeman and her expert legal team to represent you in your EB-2 visa case. They’ve helped thousands of clients obtain national interest waivers over the past decade. Fill out the form below to schedule a consultation with Ellen and her team.