NIW Requirements

NIW Requirements

The bare minimum qualification for the NIW standard is that the foreign national is a member of the professions holding an advanced degree, defined as a bachelor’s degree with five years of progressive experience or a Master’s degree or higher OR has exceptional ability in the sciences, arts or business.  Exceptional ability is defined as “a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered.”  The foreign national can prove this by showing they meet at least three of the following criteria:

Foreign nationals seeking a national interest waiver must also demonstrate that waiving the labor certification process be waived because it is in the interest of the United States. Though the jobs that qualify for a national interest waiver are not defined by statute, national interest waivers are usually granted to those who have exceptional ability and whose employment in the United States would greatly benefit the nation. Those seeking a national interest waiver may self-petition (they do not need an employer to sponsor them).

In 1998 in the case of New York State Dept of Transportation (NYSDOT) established specific criteria for NIW petitions but this standard was recently modified to make petitions by job creators easier.  In Re Dhanasar (2016) now directs USCIS to grant a national interest waiver if the foreign national demonstrates by a preponderance of the evidence: (1) that the foreign national’s proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance; (2) that the foreign national is well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor; and (3) that, on balance, it would be beneficial to the United States to waive the requirements of a job offer and thus of a labor certification.

The applicant’s spouse and minor children may obtained derivative green cards based on the principle applicant’s approval and all beneficiaries who apply while in the United States may obtain temporary work authorization (EAD) and permission to travel (Advance Parole).

We have successfully helped hundreds of clients obtain NIW green cards. We’re looking forward to helping you and your family obtain green cards as well.  Feel free to call us at 312-751-9960 or email us at For your reference, here are some samples of our approved petitions.

Posted on October 15, 2017 at 10:07 am by Immigration Lawyer Peter Messersmith · Permalink
In: National Interest Waiver · Tagged with: ,

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