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The Supporting Evidence for EB2 National Interest Waiver (EB2 NIW) Petition

Hi William,

I am in the process to file EB1 NIW petition. What supporting evidence will best show that the foreign national will significantly contribute to the national interest? Do I have to have reference letters or many publications and citations?


The reference letters or recommendation letters are very important for EB2 National Interest Waiver (EB2 NIW) petition. The independent reference letters from those who have never worked or collaborated with the alien applicant will carry much more weight with the USCIS than reference letters from dependent recommenders.

The reference letters should discuss the alien applicant's research contributions and their significance, and should comment directly on the benefit of alien applicant to U.S. The reference letters are also a great opportunity to demonstrate the implementation of the alien applicant's work. A reference letter from someone who has utilized the alien applicant's work, and can explain how they have done so is a great way to strengthen an EB2 NIW petition.

Unlike EB1 Extraordinary Ability petition (EB-1A or EB1-EA), the standards of EB2 National Interest Waiver petition are flexible. There is no requirement of minimum number of publications and citations. While frequent citations can certainly bolster a researcher's claim to have influenced the field, the lack of frequent citation is not a bar to eligibility where other objective evidence of the petitioner's influence exists.

Also, merely being cited substantially does not by itself establish the petitioner's eligibility for EB2 National Interest Waiver. Original and significant contribution to the field is an essential consideration for the USCIS to decide on an EB2 National Interest Waiver petition, and establishing the petitioner's contribution relies heavily on strong reference letters. Therefore, the reference letters and the content of these letters are critical to establish your original and substantial contribution in the field.

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