IMIN LAW    Employment & Family Based Immigration


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niw process

What is a National Interest Waiver (NIW)? 

A National Interest Waiver (NIW) is an Employment-Based 2nd Preference Petition for those with an “advanced degree” or “exceptional ability” in the field of sciences, arts or business, who seek permanent residence even without a job offer, and request a “waiver” of the burdensome labor certification process.  The reason for the waiver is that the work intended in the United States is considered of “national interest”.  

The advantages of this process are that even without a job offer, you can self-petition and avoid the labor certification process with the restrictive requirements, cut costs by not advertising the position, and have control over your own employment petition without being tied to one employer. 

Although “national interest” in not defined by statute or regulation, USCIS looks to a three-prong evaluate these types of cases as outlined pursuant to a 1998 AAO precedent decision case called Matter of New York State Department of transportation, 22 I&N Dec. 215 (Comm. 1998) (“NYSDOT”) as follows: 

1) The work intended in an area of intrinsic merit.

2) The impact of the intended work must be national in scope.

3) The work intended must benefit the national interest of the United States, to warrant the waiver of the labor certification requirement.

NIW Process Overview

For an evaluation to assess the viability of your case, send us your detailed Resume or CV to see if you qualify.  We will review your background, credentials, and experience and contact you to provide you an assessment of your chances of succeeding in a National Interest Waiver (NIW) petition. 

If you decide to move forward with the case, the next step is to gather all your supporting documents, and we will file the following forms:

1) I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker

2) Form ETA 750B, in duplicate

3) Petition Support Letter

4) Supporting Documents (click here for details)

Once the I-140 petition has been approved, then you can file an I-485 adjustment of status application (together with I-765 & I-131) here if in the United States, or apply for Consular Processing for processing at abroad. 

I-140 and I-485 concurrent filing is available for those who choose, and we will provide recommendation based on your particular circumstances of whether this is an advisable option. 

national interest waiver (niw)