The United States has long been a land of opportunity, attracting professionals and experts from around the world who contribute significantly to the nation’s growth and innovation. One avenue through which skilled individuals can seek permanent residency in the U.S. is the EB-2 National Interest Waiver (NIW). This blog will delve into the details of the EB-2 NIW, exploring its eligibility criteria, application process, and the benefits it offers to foreign nationals.

Understanding the EB-2 National Interest Waiver:

The EB-2 visa category is designed for professionals holding advanced degrees or possessing exceptional abilities in their respective fields. The National Interest Waiver (NIW) is a provision within the EB-2 category that allows foreign nationals to bypass the labor certification process, traditionally required for employment-based green cards. The NIW is granted when the individual’s work is deemed to be of national interest to the United States.

Eligibility Criteria:

To qualify for an EB-2 NIW, applicants must meet certain criteria:

  1. Advanced Degree or Exceptional Ability: Individuals must hold an advanced degree or demonstrate exceptional ability in their field. This can include a master’s or higher degree, or recognition for outstanding achievements.

  2. Proven National Interest: The applicant must demonstrate that their work is of significant national interest to the United States. This can be shown by contributing to areas such as science, technology, education, business, or healthcare in a way that benefits the nation as a whole.

  3. Substantial Benefit: The applicant must establish that their work provides a substantial benefit to the U.S. that outweighs the need for a labor certification.

Application Process:

  1. File Form I-140: The first step in the EB-2 NIW process is to file Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. This form should be accompanied by supporting documents, including evidence of the applicant’s qualifications, achievements, and the national interest aspect of their work.

  2. USCIS Review: The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reviews the petition to determine if it meets the criteria for a National Interest Waiver.

  3. Adjustment of Status or Consular Processing: Once the I-140 petition is approved, the applicant can proceed with adjusting their status if they are already in the U.S., or undergo consular processing if they are abroad.

Benefits of EB-2 NIW:

  1. Expedited Process: By bypassing the labor certification process, EB-2 NIW applicants can often enjoy a faster processing time compared to other employment-based green card categories.

  2. Flexibility in Employment: The EB-2 NIW allows applicants to change employers or positions without jeopardizing their green card application, providing more flexibility in their career paths.

  3. Path to Permanent Residency: Successful applicants and their eligible dependents are granted permanent residency in the U.S., allowing them to live and work in the country indefinitely.


The EB-2 National Interest Waiver is a valuable pathway for skilled professionals to obtain permanent residency in the United States. By recognizing the national interest in their contributions, foreign nationals can navigate the immigration process more efficiently while making meaningful contributions to the growth and development of the nation. As with any immigration process, seeking guidance from experienced immigration professionals is crucial for a successful EB-2 NIW application.

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