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National Interest Waiver
In most cases, obtaining an employment-based green card requires a job offer, the appropriate petition, and an approved labor certification from the Department of Labor. However, a person can seek a waiver for these requirements by establishing that their admission would be in the national interest of the US.
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A National Interest Waiver is a process for obtaining a lawful United States permanent residence without an employer as a sponsor. It is only available to people who are engaged in work that provably benefits the national interest of the United States, whether that be economic, academic or cultural (or some combination thereof).

This waiver is the subset of EB2 employment-based visa categories. The key element is proving that the petitioner’s work – that is, their Proposed Endeavor – will benefit the United States in a manner far exceeding the standard benefit provided by gainful employment.
Why apply for National Interest Waiver
There are several benefits of obtaining this waiver:

1. You need not have a specific job offer on-hand, and there is no requirement for an employer to sponsor the application.
2. You need not go through the extensive labor certification or PERM processes that are required for EB2 and EB3 categories.
3. Though you do have to show achievements in your field and that your work would be of significant benefit to the United State, it is not necessary to prove an ‘extraordinary ability’ as required for the EB-1 category.
4. After approval of your national interest waiver application by USCIS, you will be eligible to extend an H-1B visa beyond the six-year limit if so desired, or you can proceed to requesting a Green Card directly.

Requirements for National Interest Waiver
To be eligible for an NIW, you must qualify for the EB-2 category (that is, possess an advanced degree or exceptional ability). Also, you should demonstrate multiple criteria that speak to your expertise and general acclaim within the field. To fit the exceptional ability in your area of specialization, you must have a post-baccalaureate degree, Master’s, or Ph.D. and to fit the exceptional ability, you must meet three of the following criteria:

Evidence showing that you have a diploma, degree, or certificate from a school, college, university, or other institution of learning that relates to your area of exceptional ability
Evidence documenting at least a decade of full-time experience in your chosen occupation.
Evidence of a license to practice your profession
Evidence that you have commanded higher remuneration than others to demonstrate your exceptional ability.
Evidence of membership of professional associations that require achievement to be a member.
Evidence of recognition for your contribution and achievements to your industry or by your peers, or professional organizations.

After you have established your exceptional ability or advanced degree you must satisfy all the parts of the three-part test:

The work that you intend to do in the US has both national and substantial merit. USCIS considers the potential impact on the country both geographically and broadly. The merit can be shown through areas like science, business, health, education, culture, and technology.
You are well-positioned to carry out the proposed work. The Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) will consider factors like the applicant’s experience, educational background, the record of past success, relevant skills, and plan of action. The applicant is not required to prove that their endeavor will succeed, just that they are equipped to if the opportunity arises.
It is in the interest of the US to grant you a waiver for labor certification and usual employment requirements.

Documents Checklist for National Interest Waiver
NIW is a comprehensive application and requires extensive documentation, with the expectation that every application is unique. As there is no set format of the application, it is recommended to consult an attorney who specializes in this sort of waiver. Here is a basic list of documents that you need, if you are applying for the NIW:

Form I-140
Form ETA-750B
Letters of recommendation
Evidence that supports applicants exceptional ability and advanced degree
Affidavits for your field’s leaders
Evidence of two years of experience in the area of expertise
Evidence of achievements and recognitions
Copies of presentations given by you
Evidence of publication for citation of your work

The processing time for NIW is generally between 3 to 9 months. However, this timeframe generally depends on the adjudicating USCIS officer and the service center. Petitions filed with NIW cannot avail premium processing. If your petition is approved, you need to wait for your priority date. Once the date is current, you can either apply for Adjustment of Status or apply for an immigrant visa at the US consulate.

As the process is extensive and involves large quantities of paperwork, it is best to seek help from a qualified NIW green card attorney to determine whether you are eligible and if so, to help in arranging the necessary evidence proving your exceptional ability and the national importance of your proposed endeavor. There is no substitute for experience in cases such as these, and we are well prepared to assist you with any complexity that may arise in this process. Contact Rijal Law firm today and book your eligibility consultation with one of the best immigration attorneys in Dallas.

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