Complete Guide to the EB2 NIW

Updated on May 30, 2023

The EB – 2 NIW is a type of employment-based visa granted to people who do not require any sponsorship. NIW means “National Interest Waiver,” which is tagged if the government waives citizenship employment requirements. Hence, if you are a qualified individual, you will have to self-petition to gain access to a green card with your professional skills and experience. This type of visa has several steps and has a lot of documentation required for someone to successfully be granted a green card under this form of visa.

What is EB – 2 with National Interest Waiver?

The EB – 2 with national interest is an immigration-based visa granted to foreign nationals who wish to seek permanent residency in the United States of America. Under these visa rules, the requirement of foreign nationals to have permanent employment in the United States is waived off. This is only done if the petitioner’s presence in the country is of “national interest” to the government of the United States of America.

Difference Between A Regular EB – 2 And An EB – 2 With National Interest Waiver

The regular EB – 2 waiver is greatly different from the EB – 2 with National Interest Waiver. The regular EB – 2 requires that you have a formal job offer from an employer in the United States. Additionally, you are also required to have a “Labour Certification” issued by the Department of Labour.

However, the special EB – 2 with the national interest does not require any of the above. You do not need to have any job offer from any employer in the country, and you do not need to go through the process of having any labor certification from the department of labor. However, you will need to provide proof and a lot of documentation to prove that you are of national interest to the government of the United States of America.

Who Can Apply For EB – 2 NIW?

The EB – 2 NIW is not region-specific. Any individual can apply it from any nation on earth. You might need an immigration attorney to take you through the process and help file all your documentation in order. Still, beyond that, there is virtually no restriction on who can apply for an EB – 2 NIW as long as that person is of national interest to the government.

You do not even need to be in the United States to apply for this visa. You can reach out to any United States consulate in your country and ask them for the details, and they will provide you. You can then apply from there, and upon approval, travel to the United States of America.

Educational Requirements Of An EB – 2 NIW

The general applicants of the EB – 2 NIW are usually required to have an advanced degree in their respective field or its equivalent in their country of origin. They may just need to have a bachelor’s degree if and only if they also have a minimum of 5 years of progressive experience in their respective field. Only those individuals who show exceptional capabilities in science, engineering, medicine, business, technology, etc are granted this visa.

Any degree from any professional field you choose, you will have to prove having completed an advanced degree in the United States or its foreign equivalent in any part of the world and only then apply under this visa.

EB – 2 NIW Frequently Asked Questions

Applying for permanent residency through any form of visa in the United States is difficult. The EB – 2 is more complex than difficult, and there are always many questions that many people have regarding the due process and the various requirements. The following are the most commonly asked questions posed by different people that have applied for this visa at some point.

Who Qualifies For EB – 2 NIW Visa?

Two types of people qualify for the EB – 2 NIW visa.

  • Those with an advanced degree or foreign equivalent in their respective field or those with a bachelor’s degree but a progressive minimum of 5 years working experience in that field support their claim of having the knowledge and skillset to work exceptionally in the country.
  • Those that can prove they have “exceptional ability.” Such as proof of showing a high salary in compensation for your work in the foreign country. Membership in any professional associations etc.
  • Some exceptional recognition of your contribution to your field by your peers, government, educational institutions, non – government organizations, or business or other entities.
  • Beyond this, you can also provide any evidence to substantiate your claim of having an “exceptional ability” in your respective field.

Which Forms Do an EB – 2 National Interest Waiver Petitioner Need to File?

Any foreign petitioner that wishes to apply for permanent residency in the United States of America through the EB – 2 national interest waiver visa would be required to file form I – 140 with the United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS).

It can be quite confusing to fill in all these details and post them to the right address. So, it is recommended to do the filing with the help of an immigration attorney and a translator if need be.

How Many Citations/Publications Do I Need for an EB – 2 NIW?

A complete publication record must be submitted by the petitioner to be accepted for an EB – 2 NIW visa. However, a publication record alone isn’t enough to accept an EB – 2 NIW visa. The petitioner also needs to show a full record of citations of all their publications to show their influence in their respective fields.

There is no “minimum required” number of publications or citations that can be submitted to guarantee your approval for this visa. Each petition is verified and assessed on a case-by-case basis and only then further processed for more scrutiny. The general idea is, the more publications and citations you have, the better your chances of being approved.

However, there is also no specific requirement to have any publications and/or citations at all. You can still prove that you can be of national interest with any other form of proof such as job experience, perks given in your precious job, level of knowledge in the field, etc.

Final Thoughts

EB – 2 NIW is a special form of employment-based immigration visa granted to foreign nationals of “national interest” a permanent residency in the United States of America. This visa does not require you to have any promise of employment letter before entering the country. However, the petitioner needs to prove that they are of national interest to the nation.

People with highly qualified degrees are the ones that are usually qualified for this visa or those that can show a minimum of 5 years of progressive experience in their respective fields. To qualify for this visa, one needs to have an advanced degree or its foreign equivalent in mathematics, science, technology, medicine, engineering, and various other fields.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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