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The Difference Between the EB2 NIW and the EB1 Extraordinary Ability Application

Hi William:

I want to know the difference between the EB2 National Interest Waiver (EB2 NIW) application and the EB1 Extraordinary Ability (EB-1A) application. What are the advantages of one over the other?


The EB2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) and all EB1 immigrant categories (EB1 Extraordinary Ability, EB1 Outstanding Researcher and Professor, and EB1 Multinational Executive or Manager) do not not require Labor Certification. For the EB2 Exceptional Ability category (not EB2 NIW), the U.S. employer can submit the Form I-140 petition only after obtaining the Labor Certification from U.S. Department of Labor.  

The EB1 Extraordinary Ability and EB2 NIW immigrant categories can be self-petitioned, so the foreign aliens do not even need an job offer of employment and the U.S. employer's sponsorship. But for EB2 Outstanding Researcher and Professor petition, an applicant needs a job offer and U.S. employer's sponsorship. 

The scope for EB2 NIW petition does not have to be very narrow. An alien applicant can submit both EB1 NIW and EB-1A petitions at the some time to increase the approval chance, if the alien applicant can meet the qualification requirements. If an alien applicant is from a visa retrogressed countries, such as India or China, then EB1 category is more desirable route than NIW, becuse the waiting time for filing Form I-485 form is much shorter.

Questions & Answers for Green Card Application
EB1 Extraordinary Ability (EB-1A)
EB1 Outstanding Professor / Researcher (EB-1B)
EB1 Multinational Executive or Manager (EB-1C)
EB2 National Interest Waiver (NIW)
Form I-485 Adjustment of Status
PERM Labor Certification
Form I-140 Application after Labor Certification
Request For Evidence (RFE) for EB1, NIW, L1 Visa
Questions & Answers for Working Visa Application
J-1 Waiver of 2-Year Home Residence
H-1B Visa Application or Extension
O-1 Visa Application or Extension
L-1 Visa Application or Extension
P-1, P-2, P-3 Visa Application or Extension
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