National interest waivers grant permanent residence in the United States without having an employer as a sponsor. Instead of relying on the employer, you rely on your skillset or education to obtain permanent residence.
What Are You “Waiving” in the Waiver?
You are not actually waiving anything when you apply for a national interest waiver. Instead, what is “waived” are the usual requirements for seeking permanent residence based on work. If your education or experience is considered important to the country, The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) “waives” or does not apply the usual labor-related requirements. If the requirements are waived, you will not have to go through the typical labor certification process.
What Are the Requirements for National Interest Waiver Eligibility?
To be eligible for the waiver, you must first qualify for the employer sponsorship green card process, EB-2 category, by having an advanced degree or “exceptional ability.”
Advanced Degree Requirement
An advanced degree is a master’s, doctorate, or bachelor’s degree with five years of experience.
Exceptional Ability Requirement
If you apply on exceptional ability, you must prove three of the following:
- An official academic record demonstrating ability
- Documentation for ten years of full-time employment in the occupation
- Occupational license or certification
- Evidence of salary or payment for your work in the occupation
- Membership in professional associations
- Recognition for achievements or significant contributions to your field
The USCIS allows “other comparable evidence” to prove the above, but you must show that evidence is unavailable.
If you apply based on education, you likely will still have to prove exceptional skill because the purpose of the waiver is to provide evidence that your employment will significantly benefit the United States.
After proving an advanced degree or exceptional ability, you must prove each of the following elements:
- The work you intend to do in the U.S. has both substantial value and national importance;
- You are well positioned to advance your intended profession; and,
- On balance, it would benefit the national interest to approve the waiver of the usual employment and labor certification requirements for your application.
What Kind of Employment or Job Qualifies for the Waiver?
The kind of work or employment eligible for the national interest waiver program usually involves work that benefits the economy, education, health, or some other societal aspect.
What Are the Advantages of National Interest Waivers?
Applying with a national interest waiver allows you to apply on your own without employer sponsorship. If you can prove that your qualifications are beneficial, you will not have to complete requirements like labor certification to obtain permanent residence.
What are the Disadvantages of National Interest Waivers?
National interest waiver applications require extensive documentation for approval, which may take time to prepare. Applications can take as little as 15 days if you pay an additional processing fee or more than 45. day The USCIS does not guarantee decisions under 45 days. Additionally, USCIS officers have substantial discretion in deciding what kind of work or qualifications are in the national interest.
How Do I Apply for a National Interest Waiver?
You must submit your documents or evidence demonstrating your qualifications for the waiver with an I-140 petition to the USCIS.
Hiring a Florida Immigration Attorney
Immigration processes, like applying for and maintaining lawful permanent residency, are complex. When you need immigration representation, contact Leslie I. Snyder, P.A. Immigration Attorney. To learn more or schedule your initial case consultation, call (305) 859-9580, use the chat box at the bottom-left of the screen, or use our Contact Form today.