These visas waive a common requirement for EB visas: a pending job offer from a U.S. employer. The U.S government has decided to waive this criterion for foreign nationals whose presence in the United States would demonstrably serve American interests.
For ordinary EB-2s, a U.S. employer must serve as the petitioner, and needs to obtain a labor certificate proving that they are unable to hire a U.S. citizen for the position.
For an EB-2 National Interest Waiver, or EB-2 NIW, the foreign national can self-petition, even without a job lined up.
Who qualifies for an EB-2 NIW?
An applicant must first meet the criteria of a regular EB-2 visa:
- Hold an advanced degree (above a Bachelors degree), or a university degree followed by five or more years of work experience in your field
- Or have exceptional ability, demonstrated by having at least three of these criteria:
- An academic degree from university
- Ten years of full-time work experience in your field
- A license to practice in your field
- History of commanding a high salary
- Memberships in professional organizations
- Recognition from your peers
- Other comparable evidence
The applicant must then meet the additional National Interest criteria:
- His or her proposed endeavor is of substantial merit and national importance
- The applicant is well positioned to advance the endeavor
- The endeavor is to the benefit of the national interest
This last requirement can be met through showing the applicant will hire U.S. workers or have a significant impact on the U.S. economy, will enrich the U.S. culture, or impact an area of great need for the U.S.
- EB-2 NIWs can self-petition
EB2-NIW Visa Fees
- Filing Fee – Regular $1925
"I am indebted to VISAS-USA for their great work in getting my O Visa."Karina Vence, Dinastia Market
"The VISAS-USA team did everything possible to get my Permanent Residency through a National Interest Waiver application."Jorge Becerra, Piloto
"The advice of VISAS-USA was essential to establish the best strategy to achieve it."Facundo Bermejo, eVent Medical
Can I file for an L-1 Visa even though I have not worked for my employer for 12 months already?
No. You must already have 1 year of employment within your company within the last three years.
Can I apply for a green card if I have an L-1 visa?
The L-1 Visa is a “dual intent” visa which does allow an L-1 visa holder and their dependents to apply for permanent residency without jeopardizing their status. They are eligible for the traditional application or the expedited EB-1 application.
Can E-visa dependents work?
E dependents can obtain a work authorization. This work authorization must be applied for separately.
What is the minimum amount of trade or investment I need to qualify for an E visa?
There is no defined minimum. The US Government would like to see as high an investment or trade level as possible, and the amount will depend on the nature of your business.
How long do E-1 or E-2 visas allow you to remain in the United States?
Initial approval is generally for 2 to 5 years, but these can be extended indefinitely.
If I am self-employed can I apply for E1 or E2 Visas?
The goal of these visas is to employ American citizens, so your case will be stronger if you can show a business plan that will employ other people.
I received a Request for Evidence (RFE) from the government.
These requests need to be taken seriously. Contact an attorney at VISAS-USA to answer the request appropriately.
Is it legal to open a business with an individual who is not a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident. What should I do?
There are visas that allow foreign investors and entrepreneurs to open and engage in businesses in the US. An experienced immigration lawyer at VISAS-USA can help.
Can my employee start working after I file my petition?
The petition must first be approved.
What is Premium Processing?
Premium Processing is a special USCIS program that provides significantly faster processing in exchange for an additional processing fee. You will have an answer within 15 days on L, H-1B, O, P, E-1, and E-2 petitions.
Can I employ a foreign worker?
There are visas available to you and your potential employee, such as the L visa or the H-1B visa. These are specially designed visas intended specifically for employees who bring a certain skill set to a job in the United States.
How can I apply for US Citizenship if I am a lawful permanent resident?
Eligibility depends upon more than one variable. The government wants to see evidence of lawful permanent residency for 5 years prior to your application, or three years if your residency is based on marriage.
Why should I hire an immigration attorney?
Immigration law is complicated and changes often. An experienced immigration lawyer can ease your worries as you navigate the difficulties. Your attorney can track deadlines, help you strengthen your application, and tell you just what you need.
Does marriage to a U.S. citizen automatically confer a green card on a foreign national?
This is not automatic. The process can take from months to years, and depends on the US deciding the marriage is legitimate.
What is a green card? Is there a difference between an immigrant petition and non-immigrant petition?“Green card” is an unofficial term for a lawful permanent resident card. An immigrant petition is an application to become a lawful permanent resident in the United States. A non-immigrant petition is an application to obtain temporary status in the US.