The EB2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) is a pathway to permanent residency in the United States. This category allows individuals with exceptional abilities or advanced degrees to bypass the labor certification process and self-petition for a green card. In this article, we will explore the EB2 NIW category and its requirements.
To be eligible for an EB-2 NIW Green Card, you must successfully complete the General EB-2 Eligibility Test and the National Interest Waiver Test.
You can fulfill the General EB-2 Eligibility Test by meeting either of the following 2 requirements:
Most applicants for the NIW Green Card easily meet the General EB-2 Eligibility Test by holding an advanced degree or its equivalent.
Once you’ve passed the General EB-2 Eligibility Test, you must also meet all 3 components of the National Interest Waiver test, which are:
This National Interest Waiver criterion was established in the 2016 Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) precedent decision known as Matter of Dhanasar, 26 I&N Dec. 884 (AAO 2016), which set a new standard for assessing NIW Green Card applications.
To secure an NIW Green Card, you need to submit and get approval for an I-140 Immigrant Petition and an I-485 Adjustment of Status Application. There are two strategies for filing applications, Concurrent Filing or Separate Filing.
Simultaneous Submission: If you possess a robust NIW profile, you have the option to submit your I-140 Immigrant Petition and I-485 Adjustment of Status Application at the same time (also known as “simultaneous submission”).
Important: Your EB-2 priority date needs to be current to submit your I-485 Adjustment of Status Application along with your NIW I-140. Therefore, if you were born in India or China, you are not eligible for a simultaneous submission as the EB-2 priority dates for India and China are usually not current according to the U.S. Department of State’s Visa Bulletin. Instead, you must wait until your EB-2 priority date is current before you can submit your I-485 Adjustment of Status Application.
Individual Submission: If you’re unsure about the robustness of your NIW profile, you have the option to submit your NIW I-140 Immigrant Petition initially, and upon its approval, you can proceed with your I-485 Adjustment of Status Application (provided your EB-2 priority date is up-to-date).
The legal experts from Ellis Porter’s High-Skilled Immigration Team are equipped to guide you in selecting the most suitable application submission strategy tailored to your unique circumstances.
No Need for Employer Sponsorship: You have the liberty to submit an NIW Green Card application on your own (often referred to as a “self-petition”) without the need for your employer’s sponsorship.
No Specific Job Offer Required: You can submit an NIW Green Card application even in the absence of a job offer from a U.S. employer.
No Need for PERM Labor Certification: Unlike the majority of other Green Card categories based on employment, there’s no need to undergo the PERM Labor Certification process to demonstrate a lack of U.S. workers in your profession to qualify for an NIW Green Card application.
More Lenient Eligibility Requirements than EB-1A: The eligibility criteria for the NIW Green Card are less stringent compared to the EB-1A Green Card, which necessitates you to provide persuasive evidence meeting 3 out of the 10 “extraordinary ability” criteria. Consequently, the approval rates for NIW Green Card applications by USCIS are considerably higher than those for EB-1A Green Card applications.
Fast EB2 visa processing time consult with our EB2 Immigration Attorney
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