Are You Eligible for a National Interest Waiver?

Are you eligible for a national interest waiver (NIW) that will allow you to receive a visa and a green card without an employer’s sponsorship? If you meet the qualifications, an Atlanta immigration attorney will help you acquire a national interest waiver.

Obtaining an employer-sponsored green card can be quite difficult. In order to sponsor a foreign national for a green card, a U.S.-based employer must post ads, conduct interviews, and submit to a time-consuming, complicated, and expensive labor certification process.

A national interest waiver allows foreign nationals who are already contributing (or have a plan or a project to contribute) to the U.S. national interest to obtain a visa as well as a green card without having an employer’s sponsorship.

Who Qualifies for NIWs?

The Immigration Act of 1990 establishes five visa categories or “preferences” for immigration based on current employment or jobs not yet created. The first step to obtaining an NIW is applying for a category EB-2 visa, which is available to a foreign national who either:

  1.  has an advanced degree (or the equivalent) in his or her profession
  2.  has “exceptional ability” that will benefit U.S. educational or cultural interests, boost the economy, or advance the interests of the United States in another way

Usually, anyone who seeks an EB-2 visa must have an employment offer from a U.S.-based employer that has acquired a labor certification. When you apply for a national interest waiver, you’re asking immigration authorities to waive the job offer and labor certification requirements.

How Do You Prove Exceptional Ability?

To prove that you possess an “exceptional ability,” when you submit your application for an EB-2 visa, you must offer three or more of the following types of documentation:

  1.  a degree, diploma, certificate, or a similar award – from a college, a university, or another recognized educational institution – related to your exceptional ability
  2.  letters or statements from current and former employers which indicate that you have at least a decade of full-time employment experience in the area of your exceptional ability
  3.  a license to practice your profession or occupation of exceptional ability
  4.  membership in a professional association
  5.  proof that you have earned a salary or other compensation by demonstrating or practicing your exceptional ability
  6.  recognition of your exceptional ability by peers, professional organizations, or governmental bodies or agencies

How Are NIWs Approved?

The requirements for acquiring a national interest waiver are quite specific. In order to receive a national interest waiver, you and your Atlanta immigration lawyer will have to prove the following to the immigration authorities:

  1. You are offering a work project proposal that has merit and importance to the U.S.
  2. You are “well-positioned” to execute your work project proposal.
  3. The U.S. will benefit by waiving the job offer and labor certification requirements.

U.S. Citizenship And Immigration Services (USCIS) will determine if waiving the job offer and labor certification requirements is, in fact, in the national interest.

When Will You Need an Immigration Lawyer’s Help?

Your immigration lawyer can review your background, help you prepare a strong and persuasive NIW application, and also explain any other options you may have for acquiring a green card.

Even when you meet the qualifications, it is not easy to obtain a national interest waiver. You will have to prove the claims about your work project proposal, and you will also have to compile a considerable number of documents for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Let an Atlanta immigration attorney help you. To obtain your national interest waiver without any mistakes, misunderstandings, or delays, you must have – from the very beginning of the process – the guidance, advice, and services that an Atlanta immigration lawyer offers.

How Do You Apply for a National Interest Waiver?

You need two more things when you apply for a national interest waiver: patience and time. For almost any immigration application or request, a long processing delay should be expected. Your attorney can make sure that your paperwork is accurate and complete to avoid additional delays.

The first step to obtaining a national interest waiver is completing the Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers application for the EB-2 visa. That application can take up to two years, so have patience.

After your petition for national interest waiver is granted by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, you will be issued an EB-2 visa, however, you must continue the process to acquire a green card – and lawful permanent resident status – which requires you to also complete and submit to USCIS an application for adjustment of status.

What Else Should You Know About National Interest Waivers?

Complete and file your adjustment of status application with your immigration lawyer’s help. Waiting times for an EB-2 applicant applying for adjustment of status varies, but you should know that processing an adjustment of status application can sometimes take up to another two years. You’ll need more patience, and you should probably start the process at once.

An EB-2 national interest waiver allows you to petition for a green card, and it also allows you to apply for visas for your spouse and your unmarried minor children.

Everyone knows that U.S. immigration laws are often complicated and confusing. If your application is inaccurate or incomplete, if you don’t meet one of the qualifications, or if you misunderstand the law, your chance to live and work in the United States could be lost.

If you have the necessary qualifications for acquiring a national interest waiver, your success or failure will depend on your presentation to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. How can you find the right immigration attorney – an attorney who will present your case effectively?

Why Should You Choose Sessoms Law Group?

Immigration attorney Kamala W. Sessoms and her team at Sessoms Law Group offer sound legal advice and practical assistance to clients in the Atlanta area – and around the world – who seek visas, green cards, and national interest waivers.

At Sessoms Law Group, we work for and advocate on behalf of families who are seeking to reunite, business persons and professionals who want to invest or work in the United States.

We offer practical legal remedies to the immigration challenges that our clients face. If you are seeking a national interest waiver, or if you are dealing with any other immigration-related legal matter, call Sessoms Law Group promptly – from anywhere in the world – at 408-645-6395.