We collected over 300 National Interest Waiver cases recently approved in 2012 and early 2013 (January). Information was taken from applicants at public forums (approximately 10 % of this collection) and from several lawyer firms. We want to show some numbers in order to give you an idea what are basic credentials of an average EB2 NIW applicant, how many reference letters he / she had, how long was the process (I-140) and how many cases received RFEs.
Average education of EB2 NIW applicant
From a total number of 314 collected cases there were:
- 88.8 % PhD degrees
- 10.2 % Master’s degrees
- 1.0 % Bachelor’s degrees
We were able to find out how many degrees were US or non US in 123 NIW cases:
- 64.2 % degrees from US university
- 35.8 % degrees from foreign university
Number of publications
Number of publications may be used as one of the objective proofs of petitioner’s past track. Following numbers include only more weighted journal papers (not conference proceedings). Collection of 314 cases gives us an average of approximately 12 journal articles per applicant. Median was 9 papers. However, there were 10.5 % of approved cases with very low number of publications (0 – 3 papers).
Number of citations
Citations are very important for demonstrating applicant’s impact on field of endeavor as a whole. Only independent citations are included (not self citations) in this average number calculated from 314 cases: 124 citations per applicant. Median was 60 citations. But even 8.9 % NIW cases with very few citations (0 – 5) were approved.
Number of reference letters
Testimonial letters are considered as a key evidence of every National Interest Waiver petition. Average applicant (from 112 cases) submitted 5.4 letters of recommendation with his EB2 NIW petition and 54 % of this number of letters were from independent individuals (greater weight).
Time of petition process
EB2 NIW is known for its faster application procedure compared to other green card categories. Average I-140 petition was approved in 129 days (time calculated from 314 cases). Median was 121 days. Longest decision took USCIS 675 days.
Percentage of RFEs
Sometimes USCIS requests for additional evidence (RFE) during judging National Interest Waiver petition. We noticed 17.1 % from 228 cases received such RFEs.
These are just basic available averages / medians and it doesn’t mean that EB2 NIW case will not be successful if these numbers are lower. We had also below average numbers so we built our NIW case on other stronger evidence.