We have successfully applied for US green card under category EB-2 National Interest Waiver (NIW). We would like to share all useful information which we have learned when going through this process and help other people to prepare their self petition even without a lawyer.
You can buy our NIW DIY Kit with sample petition, including all necessary documents (cover letter, reference letters, evidence etc.), free bonuses (ready-to-use templates) and start guide (steps to follow, notes to DIY kit), see details here.
You will receive an email with download link immediately after the purchase. If not please check your spam folder. NIW DIY kit is provided in electronic form only (pdf and doc files).
Advantages of National Interest Waiver category
- possible without permanent job offer from U.S. employer – self petition
- very fast process (usually months, sometimes even weeks) – NIW waives lengthy Labor Certification
- EB2 NIW green card is not tied to one employer and change of the job is possible (still need to have a job in the “national interest” area)
EB-2 NIW green card not only for scientists and PhDs
Eligibility for National Interest Waiver (NIW) category is given by satisfying ONE of two statutory requirements:
- Advanced Degree Professional (master’s degree or above) – very popular by postdocs, scientists, researchers or even PhD students
- Exceptional Ability – thanks to these criteria also non highly educated people such as entrepreneurs, artists etc. can qualify
However, this is only basic minimum requirement and doesn’t guarantee successful approval of EB2 NIW petition.
We collected records about successful NIW cases to give an idea about sufficient credentials of applicants. More in credentials and cases.
National Interest Waiver requirements
Except minimum requirements mentioned above, EB2 NIW applicants must provide evidence that it is in national interest to grant them Permanent Residency in USA. According to precedent DHANASAR case, petitioner must satisfy all 3 criteria:
- The foreign national’s proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance.
- He or she is well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor.
- On balance, it would be beneficial to the United States to waive the job offer and labor certification requirements.
Read how to demonstrate these prongs in our detailed blog posts about NIW requirements. We learned from both precedent cases (NYSDOT and DHANASAR), other cases published at USCIS website and many other resources. This is the most important part of EB2 NIW petition.
Petition for EB2 NIW case
Petition for National Interest Waiver usually consists of:
- petition letter (cover letter)
- recommendation letters (reference letters)
- evidence – publications, list of citations etc.
- required forms
We published samples of NIW reference and cover letter as well as tips how to build successful petition, what evidence to include in EB2 NIW petition and how to avoid common mistakes. Read more in category NIW petition.
Green card process
NIW green card application process requires filing forms in two stages:
We have considered to file both steps concurrently and reap the benefits of faster process. This would allow us to apply immediately for work (EAD) and travel authorization (Advance Parole).
Finally we filed both stages separately. In case I-140 is denied we would save thousands of dollars paid for second stage (I-485).
EB2 NIW application procedure is described in green card process category.