The United States offers many ways for you as a skilled professional to obtain permanent residency. One way is the National Interest Waiver (NIW), a provision that lets you bypass the labor certification process if you can demonstrate your contributions are in the national interest. Here’s some of what you need to know to apply successfully for an NIW.
Understanding the National Interest Waiver (NIW)
The National Interest Waiver is a provision under the Employment-Based Second Preference (EB-2) category of the U.S. immigration system. It can enable you to obtain a waiver of the job-offer requirement and the labor certification process if you can demonstrate your work will greatly benefit the United States.
What Are the Criteria for an NIW?
To qualify for an NIW, you must meet the following criteria:
- Either possess a graduate degree (i.e. Masters or the equivalent beyond a Bachelor’s degree); or demonstrated exceptional ability: You must possess exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business that’s proven by professional achievements, recognition, and extensive documentation.
- Proposed endeavor has substantial merit and national importance: The endeavor you’re proposing to pursue must hold intrinsic value and be of significant importance to the United States. It should have the potential to positively impact on economic, educational, cultural, health, or other areas of national significance.
- Benefit to the United States outweighs the national interest: You must prove that your contributions will provide more benefit to the US than the benefit derived from the labor certification process.
What is the NIW Application Process?
There are four main steps to the NIW application process, with other lesser tasks that happen along the way:
- Prepare the petition: You begin by gathering evidence of your exceptional abilities, such as academic degrees, professional licenses, patents, awards, publications, and letters of recommendation. You should also clearly demonstrate the merit and national importance of your proposed endeavor in a well-drafted petition letter.
- Complete Form I-140: You need to file Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker, with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Provide all required documentation, including the completed Form I-140, supporting evidence, and the appropriate filing fee.
- Prepare an NIW Petition Packet: Compile a comprehensive NIW petition packet, including supporting documents, letters of recommendation, and any relevant publications or other proof of professional achievements.
- Prepare for an interview: In some cases, the USCIS may request an interview to further evaluate your eligibility. Prepare thoroughly by reviewing the submitted documents, practicing potential interview questions, and seeking guidance from an experienced immigration attorney.
How Can an Experienced Attorney Help Me With My NIW?
The US immigration system is complex—full of paperwork, hearings, appointments and processes. When you have a knowledgeable attorney on your side, you boost your chances of a successful NIW application. Here’s how:
- Expertise in immigration law: Your immigration lawyer has in-depth knowledge of legal requirements and procedures. They can help you navigate the process and create a compelling case for your application.
- Document preparation and organization: Your attorney can help you pull together and organize the documentation you need so that it’s properly presented to support the NIW petition.
- Legal strategy and case evaluation: Your attorney can show you the strengths and weaknesses of your case, and help you understand your chances of success. Then they can help you develop a solid strategy about how to present your case in the most favorable way.
- Proactive case management: Your attorney stays up-to-date with changes in immigration laws and policies. That way, you stay aware of any updates that could impact your case. Your lawyer can also proactively manage your case, following up with the USCIS and addressing any requests for additional information or interviews.
Your NIW application will involve a lot of attention to detail. Meeting the criteria and gathering strong evidence to support your case are both crucial steps toward a successful application.
When you hire an experienced attorney who specializes in NIW cases you instantly boost your chances of a successful application.
Contact a Charlotte Immigration Attorney
Do you have questions about becoming a permanent resident or U.S. Citizen with the help of an expert immigration attorney in Charlotte or North and South Carolina? Then contact The Fogle Law Firm LLC through our website or by calling 704-405-9060. We deal with the government so you don’t have to. We look forward to helping you at this time.