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As a NIW Applicant in STEM Field, How to Meet
the Second Prong Requirement in the Matter of Dhanasar? 

Hi William,

For EB2 National Interest Waiver Petition applicant in
a STEM field, how to meet the second prong requirement of "well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor" in the Matter of Dhanasar?


For the Matter of Dhanasar, the NIW second prong of focuses on factors that indicate whether the foreign national is “well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor.” Such factors include the individual’s education, skills, knowledge and record of success in related or similar efforts; a model or plan for future activities; any progress towards achieving the proposed endeavor; and the interest of potential customers, users, investors, or other relevant entities or individuals. It does not require petitioners to demonstrate that their endeavors are more likely than not to ultimately succeed, as they acknowledge this would be very difficult to prove.

For the second prong, the person’s education and skillset are relevant to whether the person is well positioned to advance the endeavor. USCIS will consider an advanced degree
in a STEM field, such as MS, MD, or Ph.D, tied to the proposed endeavor and related to work furthering a critical and emerging technology to U.S. national security.

Persons with a MS or Ph.D in a STEM field have scientific knowledge in the field, since doctoral dissertations and master’s theses concentrate on a particularized subject matter. USCIS officers will then consider whether that specific STEM area relates to the proposed endeavor. Even when the area of concentration is in a theoretical STEM area, such as theoretical mathematics or physics, it may further U.S. competitiveness or national security as described in the proposed endeavor.

For evidence that can supplement the person’s education, a petitioner may submit any relevant evidence, including letters from interested government agencies, to show how the person is well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor. However, a degree in and of itself is not a basis to determine that a person is well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor.

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