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National Interest Waiver Visa

The United States offers many different types of visas, but one of the most coveted is the National Interest Waiver Visa. This type of visa is popular because it requires less paperwork than other visas, and is not restricted to any particular occupation. 

Though National Interest Waiver Visas are technically employment based visas (that’s why they are sometimes referred to as EB-2 visas), applicants do not have to have a job offer or file a Labor Certification. The waiver of the Labor Certification requirement is how this type of visa gets its name. Applicants seeking a national interest waiver are requesting that the Labor Certification be waived because it is in the interest of the United States. To make this showing, the applicant must provide evidence of at least three of the criteria below:

  • Official academic record showing that applicant has a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution of learning.
  • Letters documenting at least 10 years of full-time work experience.
  • A license or certification enabling the applicant to practice his or her profession or occupation.
  • Evidence of past salary or other remuneration for services that demonstrates exceptional ability.
  • Membership in a professional association.
  • Recognition of achievements and significant contributions to industry or field by peers, government entities, professional or business organizations.
  • Other comparable evidence of eligibility is also acceptable.

In addition to demonstrating that he or she meets at least three of the criteria above, the applicant must also prove immigration to the United States would benefit the nation.  It is sometimes easier to think about this in the negative - the country will be at a disadvantage if the applicant is not allowed to come to the United States.

National interest can be a relatively subjective standard, so filing a successful application is not as simple as checking off the right boxes. An experienced immigration attorney can help an applicant tell his or her story in a compelling manner that demonstrates how national interests are implicated.

The immediate family members of people who are granted a National Interest Waiver Visa may also apply for permanent residency. Immediate family, including spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21, are usually allowed to immigrate as well. After five years, all of the parties are generally allowed to apply to become U.S. citizens.

If you are seeking a National Interest Waiver, you should consult with a skilled attorney in order to improve your chances of a favorable outcome.  Contact our office today for a consultation.

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