EB2 NIW Lawyer - National Interest Waiver

Unlocking opportunities for foreign nationals, our EB-2 NIW Immigration Lawyer navigates the complexities, of securing green cards based on merit.

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What is EB2 National Interest Waiver Visa

An EB-2 visa is tailored for second-preference workers, encompassing professionals with advanced degrees or exceptional abilities. Within the EB-2 umbrella, there are three distinct categories:

  • EB-2 A: Advanced Degree

  • EB-2 B: Exceptional Ability

  • EB-2 C: National Interest Waiver (NIW)

DC immigration lawyers specialize in facilitating the immigration process for foreign nationals seeking permanent residency. The National Interest Waiver offers a unique pathway for individuals who can contribute significantly to the nation without the need for the PERM labor certification process. This process requires demonstrating both substantial merit and national importance, aligning with a foreign national’s proposed endeavor.

EB2 National Interest Waiver Requirements

To qualify for an EB-2 visa, whether based on an advanced degree or exceptional ability, specific criteria must be met by the foreign national:

  • For an advanced degree, a U.S. advanced degree or its foreign equivalent is necessary, along with supporting letters from your employer.

  • Exceptional ability mandates a significant level of expertise, meeting the outlined EB-2 criteria.

At least three of the following legal requirements must be fulfilled:

  1. Recognition for significant contributions to your field.

  2. Membership in professional associations.

  3. Possession of a professional license.

  4. Evidence of a commanding salary.

  5. An official academic record showing merit and national importance from your academic institution, such as a degree or diploma.

Letters demonstrating a decade of full-time experience in your field bolster your case. While there’s no fixed number of recommendation letters required, presenting ample evidence strengthens your eligibility.

In addition to the foundational EB-2 criteria, pursuing an EB-2 National Interest Waiver involves meeting specific requirements:

  1. Your reason for applying holds national importance.

  2. You possess the ability and position to implement your plan.

  3. The U.S. will benefit from your position, justifying the waiver of a job offer requirement.

To be eligible for EB-2 NIW, an advanced degree, such as a master’s or higher, or a foreign equivalent is mandatory. Should you only hold a bachelor’s degree, an additional five years of experience is required to apply.

EB2 NIW Application Process

Form I-140 Filing

Initiate your EB-2 NIW application by filing Form I-140, a crucial petition for foreign workers seeking permanent residency. This form is fundamental across EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 employment-based categories.

Submission Options: Self-Petition or Employer Filing

Choose between self-petitioning or having your employer file Form I-140 on your behalf, signaling your commitment to contributing to the national interest. Our services cater to both approaches, ensuring a seamless application process.

Tracking Priority Date with Visa Bulletin

Monitor your application's progress by tracking the priority date in the Department of State's Visa Bulletin. This date determines when you can apply for an adjustment of status, a pivotal step toward securing your green card. Once your Form I-140 is approved, advance confidently in the green card process by initiating the adjustment of status. This crucial step transitions you from a visa holder to a permanent resident in the United States.

Why ILG and How We Help

When confronted with the complexities of immigration law, particularly in the pursuit of employment-based green cards, ILG emerges as your reliable partner. Here’s why ILG is your best ally:

In-Depth Expertise in Immigration Law

ILG’s employment-based green card attorneys specialize in immigration law, ensuring a profound understanding of the intricate legal details involved in the application process. With over two decades of experience, our Washington, D.C.-based Immigration Law firm possesses extensive knowledge of immigration law complexities.

Tailored Strategies for Your Specific Concerns

Acknowledging the uniqueness of each employment-based green card case, ILG’s experienced immigration attorneys craft personalized approaches. Whether you’re establishing a new office, transferring employees, or seeking permanent residency, this customized strategy significantly enhances the likelihood of success.

Trusted Track Record of Achievements

Attorney Glen Wasserstein, featured in interviews by major networks such as NBC, BBC, and Fox News, has a history of success. An experienced employment-based green card lawyer with a track record of accomplishments demonstrates the ability to navigate immigration law complexities, instilling confidence in clients seeking dependable immigration solutions.

EB2 NIW Required Documentation

Navigating the EB-2 NIW application process requires meticulous attention to detail and a comprehensive collection of documents. Here’s a breakdown of the essential documents needed for a successful NIW application:

Form I-140

Initiate your EB-2 NIW application by filing Form I-140, a fundamental petition for permanent residency.

Evidence of Qualifications

Provide proof of an advanced degree or exceptional ability, meeting EB-2 legal requirements. This may include a bachelor’s degree with 5+ years of experience, a master’s, a Ph.D., or a foreign equivalent.

Letters of Recommendation

Include letters supporting your expertise, recognition, achievements, and awards in your field of work.

Proof of Expertise

Present comprehensive evidence showcasing your expertise and experience, aligning with EB-2 NIW criteria.

Affidavits from Experts

Obtain affidavits from experts in your field, further substantiating your qualifications and contributions.


Include a detailed résumé outlining your educational background, professional experience, and achievements.

Supporting Evidence

Compile additional supporting evidence that aligns with EB-2 legal requirements, showcasing your unique contributions.

Form I-485

Progress in the green card process by submitting Form I-485, signalling your intent to register for permanent resident status or adjust status.

Ensuring your application meets labour certification requirements, job offer criteria, and the specific needs of the EB-2 NIW process, our immigration services provide comprehensive assistance in securing a green card based on national interest waivers.

Visa Duration

EB2 NIW Duration

The EB-2 NIW green card process through USCIS entails a processing time ranging from three to nine months. However, the duration may be extended if additional documentation is required. In the event of a Request For Evidence (RFE), presenting more evidence becomes necessary. Inefficient presentation of evidence may lead to a waiver denial by USCIS, further extending the NIW processing time. Partner with Immigration Law Group for a smooth journey towards securing your NIW green card.

EB2 NIW Renewal Process

Securing an EB-2 NIW green card is a significant milestone, but staying informed about the renewal process is equally crucial. The renewal process typically involves filing a petition to extend your status, ensuring a continuous legal stay in the United States. Immigration Law Group understands the nuances of EB-2 NIW renewals, offering comprehensive assistance to simplify the process. Whether you're involved in business organizations or any particular profession, our experienced team is well-equipped to guide you through the renewal journey.

Client Reviews

What an amazing team to work with. SO grateful for Jen, Catherine and the whole team, who worked so hard and were so patient with us through this whole process of obtaining our green cards. They are truly experts and can be trusted without a doubt to help you with your immigration needs! Utmost professionals and a pleasure to work with.

Sarah C.

Immigration Law Group has a wonderful team of lawyers. They handled my h1b and permanent residence paperwork in a way that really made me feel comfortable and brought me peace through a very stressful time. they are on top of things and always answered my questions in a timely manner. I highly recommend them if you want to make sure everything goes perfectly.

Kiran M.

Everyone at Immigration Law Group, from the attorneys to support staff, have been nothing but helpful, well-informed, and courteous to me from the start until now. Jen, and Catherine in particular, have been super helpful in explaining complicated procedures and processes in easy to understand ways–yet not dumbing down to the level where they are leaving out important details. I feel confident and knowledgeable with ILG working on my case, and there’s a personal level of communication and trust, which also puts me at ease during a difficult and tricky process. I highly recommend Immigration Law Group–I’m so glad I found them!

Andrew O.

We are very satisfied with the Immigration Law Group and the services they had provided us so far. They have very capable staff that is always on top of our cases and help us navigate them successfully. We have had great success with all cases and their rates are very reasonable. They know Immigration law better than any other law firm we worked with. I would recommend them without hesitation!

Alina T.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Both options are available. You can either self-petition or have your employer file on your behalf. This flexibility allows individuals to showcase their qualifications and contributions directly or through their employer.

No, the EB-2 NIW specifically allows for a waiver of the job offer requirement. This waiver is granted based on the national interest served by the applicant’s contributions, allowing for a more streamlined application process.

On December 27, 2016, the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) released a new legal decision, Matter of Dhanasar, impacting I-140 EB-2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) petitions. This decision replaces the previous NYSDOT three-prong test. The Dhanasar test comprises three criteria: the proposed endeavor must have substantial merit and national importance; the applicant must demonstrate the ability to advance the endeavor; and it should be beneficial for the U.S. to waive job offer and labor certification requirements. Notably, the first prong focuses on the personal endeavor’s intrinsic merit and national importance, rather than the field as a whole. The subsequent prongs evaluate the applicant’s qualifications and the potential benefits of waiving labor certification. The decision allows for a broader range of applicants, including those in private commerce, based on the national importance of their proposed endeavors.

In August of 1998, USCIS (then INS) attempted to further define this standard through the New York State Dept. of Transportation case (NYSDOT). NYSDOT states: (1) the applicant must seek to work in an area of “substantial intrinsic merit”; (2) the applicant must provide a benefit that is national in scope; and (3) the benefit to the US must considerably outweigh the inherent national interest in protecting US workers through the labor certification process. The standard established by NYSDOT remains vague and difficult to define.

Certain professionals working in areas which directly benefit the United States can apply for US permanent residence without their employer agreeing to act as a sponsor. These self-filing petitions are regularly called National Interest Waivers. Along with the lack of need for a sponsor, the main benefit of this category is the avoidance of the labor certification process. ​The employment based Second Preference Category (EB-2) includes members of the professions who hold advanced degrees and individuals of exceptional ability in the arts, sciences or business. Although this category normally requires a job offer and labor certification, USCIS may waive this requirement if the work of the alien is in the “national interest”. Statements by experts concerning the importance of their work to the overall well-being of the nation are considered, along with past accomplishments and the need for their particular type of skill in the U.S. This standard has not been particularly well defined by USCIS. Successful cases will prove that the alien’s presence will improve: the US economy; US working conditions; the educational system of the US; health care; housing; the environment; or an interested US government agency has requested the waiver.

We’re ILG, your Immigration Specialists

We Believe in Immigration. We ensure that all our clients get the best chance to a new life in the United States.