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U.S. Immigration Law

EB-2 Green Cards under the National Interest Waiver

A National Interest Waiver is a waiver of the job offer or labor certification requirement of the Employment Based 2nd preference category. This includes both members of the professions holding advanced degrees and individuals of exceptional ability in the sciences, arts or business. To qualify for a National Interest Waiver, the foreign individual must demonstrate the following:

  1. His or her work is in an area of substantial intrinsic merit;
  2. The effect of this work is national in scope; and,
  3. The national interest would be adversely affected if Labor Certification were required. This is documented by proving that the individual’s contributions and/or expertise is substantially greater than others in the field with the same minimum qualifications; that the individual possesses unique knowledge, abilities, or experience that set him or her apart from other professionals in the field; and that the individual will use these unique attributes in an activity that will significantly benefit his or her field of endeavor.

How may I obtain a National Interest Waiver?

The EB-2 National Interest Waiver petition is filed at the appropriate U.S.C.I.S. Service Center. As long as there is a visa number available at the time of filing the petition, the individual may apply concurrently for adjustment of status with his/her spouse and children under 21 years of age. Alternatively, he may file for adjustment of status after the EB-2 petition is approved, or after approval he may chose to undergo consular processing of his immigrant visa at a U.S. consulate abroad.

As with the family-based preference categories, the number of immigrant visas in the employment preference categories are also subject to an annual numeric limitation for nationals of each country. The filing date of the immigrant visa petition establishes the priority date for the application. However, unlike the family-based categories, the employment-based categories are normally current. Click the Department of State Visa Bulletin for the priority dates for preference category petitions and to find the backlog for each preference category.

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