Overview of National Interest Waiver/ NIW Green Card
National Interest Waiver (NIW) is a second preference employment based green card category. Foreign nationals seeking a national interest waiver green card are requesting that the permanent labor certification or a job offer be waived because it is in the interest of the United States. NIW green card can be self-petitioned or petitioned by a US employer.
Permanent Labor Certificate is a process that requires employers (who wish to hire certain foreign workers) to prove that there are no minimally qualified US workers available by testing the labor market through a very detailed recruitment process. Unlike the EB-2(a) green card that goes through the labor certification process, EB-2 NIW petitions can skip the labor certification process because the foreign national will benefit the national economic, cultural or educational interest, or welfare of the United States.
NIW green card is ideal for foreign nationals who do not have a job offer but nevertheless excel in their fields of endeavors. NIW is a broad category that can benefit entrepreneurs, scientists, business people, academics, and other professionals.
Who is eligible for NIW green card?
- Member of professions;
- Holding an advanced degree or equivalent; or
- Foreign nationals with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts and businesses.
What does “Advance degree” mean?
The “advance degree” requirement is met if you have a U.S. master’s degree or its equivalent.
What is the definition of “National Interest”?
The term “national interest” is undefined by status or regulation, it is a broad concept subject to interpretation. The advantage of leaving it unambiguous allows a more flexible interpretation of what counts for “national interest”.
NIW Green Card Requirements
Since the Dhanasar decision in December 2016, the requirements of the NIW petition have since been changed and the following requirements must be presented:
- the foreign national’s proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance;
- the foreign national is well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor; and
- on balance, it would be beneficial to the United States to waive the requirements of a job offer and thus of a labor certification.
If these three elements are satisfied, USCIS may approve the national interest waiver as a matter of discretion.
What are the benefits of a NIW green card?
- No job offer is needed. Can be self-petitioned.
- No Permanent labor certificate is needed.
- Standard of proof is lesser than EB-1(b).
- If you are not from India or China, the available number of immigrant visa is typically current.
- If the I-140 is filed 365 days before the 6-year limit of your H-1B visa, you may extend your H-1B visa unlimited times while your I-140 is pending. This is often applicable to beneficiary’s born in India or China.
- In some cases, the spouse of the I-140 beneficiary in H-4 status is eligible to apply for an employment authorization card.
Why hire us?
Proving national interest in your related field requires extensive evidence and documentation and most importantly professional guidance and legal skills from our lawyers. The key to a successful self-sponsored green card such as NIW requires three crucial factors:
(1) Your credentials;
(2) proof of your credentials;
(3) legal skills to apply the relevant law and past case laws to properly present your petition and maximize your chance of approval.
Customized NIW Green Card solutions
We don’t believe in cookie cutter templates or checklists because each client’s background is unique. We guarantee to provide personalized services to all of our NIW clients by building customized legal strategies. We start by getting to know your background, your achievements, an overview of your field, and then provide suggestions to prove you have the exceptional ability based on your specific background and not a cookie cutter template checklist. We also review our clients background for other alternative permanent residence options such as EB-1(a) or EB-2 green cards.
Only Native English Speaking Lawyers
Your case will be evaluated, drafted and represented by only lawyers. Our immigration lawyers are all English native speakers whose mother tongue is English and is extremely skilled in drafting and preparing your case in an effective, comprehensive and result-driven manner. Our legal team will assist with case assembling and other administrative support to both our clients and lawyers so that our lawyers can focus on doing what they are good at – building the strongest case for you.
Experienced with excellent track record
Our lawyers have over 28 years of collective experience and we focus 100% of our practice on Immigration. Our principal lawyer Gerald Cipolla Esq. (MS Computer Science; MBA; BS Biochemistry) not only is an experienced immigration lawyer but also has a strong knowledge on science and technology. His unique professional and STEM background combined with his MBA and business experience allows him and our lawyers to effectively represent our highly skilled clients in getting their NIW petitions.
Accessible in the heart of Chicago
While we assist clients throughout the United States and abroad, for in-person meetings we are located in the heart of downtown Chicago, Illinois. We welcome our clients to visit us during our business hours. Convenient public transportation includes:
- CTA Red line: Jackson
- CTA Brown line: Washington
- CTA Blue line: Jackson
- CTA Purple line: Washington
- Metra: Van Buren Street
Accessible throughout our representation
- personalized service every step of the way from start to finish.
- Unlimited phone and email communication.
- 24/7 online case management app to track the progress of your case.