The National Interest Waiver (NIW) is an immigration Visa classification designed to foreign nationals of exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business, and advanced degreed professionals such as: Masters, P.h.D, and so forth. P.h.D students may qualify as well.

The National Interest Waiver is a procedure created to bypass the Labor Certification process, as administered by the Department of Labor and which ordinarily is a duty in obtaining permanent residence through the EB-2 employment-based  green card category.

The main requirement is a three-part test. You must meet all three parts to qualify for a national interest waiver:

         What you do must be of “substantial intrinsic merit“;

         The benefits of your work must be “national in scope” (as opposed to being purely “local”); and,

         You must establish that your past record of achievement demonstrates that you can benefit the national interest to a “substantially greater degree than would an available U.S. worker having the same minimum qualifications.”

Benefits of the National Interest Waiver:

        an alien do not require a Labor Certification (PERM)

        an alien can file his own green card petition with the USCIS on his behalf.

You must be a person with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business, or an advanced degree holder.

To be classified as a person with exceptional ability, you must provide documented proof of at least three of the following:

        An official academic record showing the alien has a degree, diploma, certificate or similar award from a college, university, school or other institution of learning relating to the area of exceptional ability;

         Letters documenting at least ten years of full-time experience;

         license to practice the profession or certification for a particular profession or occupation;

         Evidence that you command a salary or other remuneration for services which demonstrates exceptional ability;

        Membership in professional associations;

        Documents that prove recognition for achievements and significant contributions to the industry or field by peers, government entities, professional or business organizations.

To obtain a national interest waiver, you must file a Form I-140 petition, Form ETA 750B, and supporting documents directly with the appropriate Immigration Service Center. You may also file your permanent residency application at the same time as your I-140 Petition, and receive work and travel authorization.