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Palm Beach County Immigration Attorney > Blog > Immigration > Qualifying for a National Interest Waiver Visa

Qualifying for a National Interest Waiver Visa


We recently discussed the very high standards to meet the requirements of the so-called “Einstein Visa,” a Visa that requires that applicants have national recognition in their field, have won national awards in their home country, or who are simply recognized as the best and brightest in whatever they do—even if their profession is not necessarily an academic one.

But what about people who have not won national awards, or who are not recognized throughout their country, but who nonetheless are simply very accomplished in their fields? After all, not everyone who would be an asset to the United States has won a Pulitzer, appeared in a magazine, or won a medal in the Olympics.

The National Interest Waiver Visa

For the rest of these bright and successful people there is the EB-2 Visa, or the very similar National Interest Waiver (NIW) visa.

Applicants for an EB-2 and NIW visa must hold an advanced degree in their field, and be able to show that their degree or their skills would “substantially benefit” the United States. An advanced degree means a degree that is above the U.S. equivalent of a baccalaureate degree.

Instead of an advanced degree, some applicants may be able to show that they have five years of experience in their field, instead of the advanced degree (but they will still need to have a bachelor’s degree).

Even if an applicant can’t meet any of these qualifications, the applicant can still show that he or she has “exceptional ability” in a field, that is beyond the level of experience that most people in the given profession or job field have.

Different Application Processes and Requirements

The NIW Visa is different from a traditional EB-2 in the application process. With a traditional EB-2, which still requires the qualifications above, the employer or a sponsor company submits the application for the applicant. An individual applicant cannot apply for an EB-2 by themselves.

However, an individual applicant can apply for a NIW EB-2 visa. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the NIW does have three additional hurdles:

  1. The applicant must show that his or her job, profession or expertise have some national importance. Often, applicants in science, business, education, or the arts will meet this requirement.
  2. The applicant is in a position to advance in his or her field. This is documented by a history of clients, or from accolades from peers in his or her field.
  3. That it would be in the best interest of the U.S. to allow the applicant to apply without getting certification from an existing employer or sponsor.

Let us explain to you the different ways of obtaining a visa in the U.S., and help you navigate the complex paperwork of the immigration process. Contact the Palm Beach County immigration attorneys at Devore Law Group to help you with your immigration questions and problems.




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