Getting a permanent residence in the United States can be achieved by applying for the employment-based EB-2 visa National Interest Waiver or NIW. This type of visa has a shorter processing time and provides a pathway to apply for a green card without undergoing the meticulous process of labor certification. However, you will need to put in extra effort to prove that you are qualified for NIW. 

The immigration process is indeed challenging and involves an overwhelming amount of paperwork to fill, on top of the rules and requirements you need to follow. That is why it is recommended to look for NIW Visa attorneys during the green card process to help achieve your goal of obtaining a green card through an NIW visa.

Eligibility Criteria for an EB-2 Visa

An alien is qualified to obtain an EB-2 visa if he fulfills any of these conditions:

  • Holder of an advanced degree (or equivalent) which is an academic degree or a professional degree after the baccalaureate level. This can either be acquired from an American or a foreign institution offering courses of equivalence to a U.S. degree
  • Has an equivalent of an advanced degree on top of a bachelor’s degree, along with years of progressive professional experience
  • Have exceptional ability in a field in a specific field that benefits the United States

Qualifications for a National Interest Waiver (NIW) Visa

EB 2 NIWAn individual who fits the profile required for an EB-2 visa will need to be sponsored by an employer. The visa application will be filed by the company, and the petitioner will then undergo the lengthy labor certification process. 

One way to shorten the processing time is by getting a national interest waiver (NIW) visa. Only those eligible for EB-2 may go through this route. The NIW waiver is granted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to anyone who can prove all of the following conditions:

  • The applicant’s work or endeavor has substantial merit and of national significance.
  • They are in a good position to advance this endeavor as demonstrated by a success record, whether it be in the field of business, science, technology, arts, education, entrepreneurship, among others, as supported by recommendations from previous colleagues or employers.
  • The United States would benefit if the job offer and certification requirements are waived based on the evaluation of a USCIS officer. 

Becoming a Green Card Holder Through the NIW

Once your eligibility has been determined, you will have to fill out the I-140 form “Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers” and attach any supporting documents. There are only two service centers processing NIW visa applications: the Nebraska Service Center and the Texas Service Center.

A foreign national petitioning for the immediate adjustment of status will need to simultaneously file a 1-140 form along with an I-485 form “Application to Adjust Status to Lawful Permanent Residency” and the I-765 form “Application for Employment Authorization”. 

Make sure to consult with an immigration lawyer to check which forms you may file and what other evidence you will need to support your NIW visa application. Among the usual documents submitted are your passport, current visa status, recommendation letter from a previous employer, diplomas, resume/CV, record of your publications, awards or accomplishments, membership IDs in any professional associations, and information on owned patents, contracts, or licenses. 

Your immigration attorney will use these documents to write a legal brief in support of your NIW green card petition before sending the package to the nearest service center. 

If you wish to become a permanent resident in the United States, it will be in your best interest to get legal help from an immigration attorney. 

Professionals seeking to immigrate to the United States consider EB2 NIW as a viable route. If you want to apply for a green card through the EB2 NIW visa pathway, Diener Law, an immigration law firm, can help. Getting an initial consultation from one of our immigration lawyers is free.

Don’t just turn down the chance to get a green card. Check if you qualify for the EB-2 visa and NIW visa by calling us today.