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What is EB-2 NIW?
First of all, what is an EB-2? An EB-2 is an employment-based immigration type (second preference) for professionals with advanced degrees or a person with exceptional ability. To receive an EB-2 visa, an employer needs to act as a case petitioner on behalf of the foreign national.
An EB-2 NIW waiver, however, can be petitioned directly by the foreign national. An EB-2 NIW (National Interest Waiver), is a waiver of job offer or PERM process that foreign nationals may seek. This waiver establishes that his or her admission to permanent residence would be in the “national interest” of the United States. Another major benefit is that the NIW petition submission is faster because it can be made directly to the USCIS, skipping the recruitment and advertising steps of the labor certification application process through the Department of Labor. A third great benefit of obtaining an EB-2 NIW is that you do not need to have a job offer in hand to receive it, unlike a regular EB-2.
Requirements of Obtaining an EB-2 Visa
To qualify for an EB-2 Visa, a foreign national must satisfy the requirements of an EB-2 in one of two ways:
1. Advanced Degree
An advanced degree can be satisfied by having:
- Any advanced degree beyond a baccalaureate degree
- Demonstrating that you have an equivalent to an advanced degree, meaning you have at least 5 years of professional experience in your field
2. Exceptional Ability
Alternatively to holding an advanced degree, you can satisfy the requirements of an EB-2 by having an “exceptional ability” in your field. To do so, you’ll need to satisfy at least 3 of the following:
- Academic record showing that you have a degree, certificate, or similar award from a college/ school, university, or other institution related to your area of exceptional ability
- Letters documenting at least 10 years of full-time experience in your occupation
- Membership in a professional association
- Evidence that you held a high salary evidencing a person of exceptional ability
- Recognition of achievements and significant contribution in your field by your peers, government, or business organization
- Other comparable evidence
Requirements for Obtaining an EB-2 NIW
Now that we’ve highlighted the requirements a foreign national must meet to get an EB-2 visa, let’s discuss the specific requirements to file a National Interest Waiver (NIW). When trying to obtain a NIW, a foreign national must establish the same criteria under an EB-2, but also must show that the qualifications satisfy the National Interest Waiver requirements via a 3 prong test:
- Substantial merit and national importance
- Whether the foreign national is well-positioned to advance the proposed endeavor (education, skills, knowledge, record of success in a similar situation)
- Show that it benefits the United States to waive the requirements of a job offer and labor certification.
Who Can File an EB-2 NIW?
The decision Matter of Dhanasar, which was released on Dec. 27, 2016, established new standards for obtaining EB-2 NIW petitions, which USCIS thereafter adopted. One of the main changes after this impactful decision was it essentially “created” the National Interest Waiver by permitting a foreign national to file his or her own EB-2 NIW petition in lieu of an employer petitioning for the foreign national.
Because an EB-2 NIW visa can be filed by a foreign national directly, it is highly advised to hire an experienced immigration team with a track record of success for this complex process.
Benefits of Working with a Lawyer to File Your EB-2 NIW
In this section we will highlight the benefits of working with a lawyer on your EB-2 NIW case.
1. Evaluating Your Situation with Expertise
First of all, a lawyer can help you evaluate whether or not you have a strong chance of obtaining an EB-2 NIW. While you may feel that you have a strong case, an experienced lawyer with prior success and an understanding of what USCIS is looking for can give you helpful feedback concerning any weaknesses in your business plan or case facts that need to be addressed to give your case the best chance for success. If you don’t have a good chance for success with this green card category, the lawyer may be able to recommend another alternative that will work even better for your situation considering your goals and circumstances.
2. Gathering the Right Evidence
It’s important to gather the right evidence and forms needed to move your case forward. An experienced EB-2 NIW lawyer can seamlessly guide you to the right professionals to help prepare your immigration business plan as well as prepare a detailed list of the evidence to seek considering your background to demonstrate the factors that she must prove to win your case. Understanding that the government has a checklist and is used to seeing certain documentation to demonstrate certain elements of the EB-2 NIW case, your lawyer will help set your case up for success, also ensuring that your case moves at the fastest speed possible while not getting rejected or delayed by unnecessary Requests for Evidence in the process.
3. Presenting Your Strongest Case
Finally, your lawyer will help you create your strongest possible case. An EB-2 NIW package is essentially a marketing package for why you deserve an employment-based green card without an employer. In addition to submitting strong evidence, a good lawyer also knows how to skillfully present your case in an organized, efficient, and legally sufficient manner that clearly shows the officer deciding your case how you qualify for all the elements required by the law.
Hire a Top EB-2 NIW Visa Lawyer in Miami, Florida
If you are looking to hire a top EB-2 NIW Visa lawyer to help you obtain an EB-2 Visa in the United States, you’ve come to the right place. Immigration Lawyers USA are top immigration lawyers in Miami, Florida and are able to help you navigate the complexities of EB-2 NIW visas and help you throughout the process of winning your case. Give Immigration Lawyers USA a call at 305-501-0783 or contact us here to schedule your consultation.