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The NIW Requirements and NIW Eligibility Criteria

Hi William,

I plan to file NIW application, but I am not sure if I could qualify for the NIW requirementds. What are the
NIW requirements and NIW eligibility criteria?


The National Interest Waiver (NIW) category is in the employment-based, second preference category (EB2).
However, in contrast to regular EB2 immigration petitions, National Interest Waiver petitions are exempt from the labor certification and job offer requirement. This means that an applicant who does not have a tenure-track position or permanent job offer could qualify EB2 NIW, and file a self-sponsored NIW petition.

Similar to the EB-1A, Extraordinary Ability Category, the EB2 NIW category requires the applicant to show significant success and contributions in the field of expertise. There must be clear evidence of the anticipated benefits to U.S. from the applicant's work, and these benefits must outweigh the U.S. national interest in protecting U.S. workers through the PERM Labor Certification process.

To establish eligibility for an NIW petition, the applicant must be eligible to file in the EB2 category, which means that an applicant should hold an advanced degrees, or else be an individual with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business. The applicant must also plan to continue work in the field of expertise in the United States. If all these factors are met, the individual must still demonstrate eligibility using the following three-prong test:

1) the applicant must be seeking employment in an area of substantial intrinsic merit;

2) the proposed benefit of the employment should be national in scope;

3) the applicant must show that the national interest would be adversely affected if a labor certification were required.

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