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National Interest Waiver Lawyer in Tampa

Providing Legal Representation to Foreign Nationals Seeking NIWs for Employment-Based Immigrant Visas

Immigrants hoping to come to the US to pursue the American dream via employment-based immigration must meet several eligibility requirements. In most cases, applicants hoping to obtain a green card via employment-based immigration must meet certain conditions, such as having a qualifying job offer from a US employer and passing all labor certification requirements. However, there is an exception to these rules. An alternative route for employment-based immigration allows foreign nationals to get an exemption from the need for labor certification or job offers from US employers. This route is achieved by applying for a National Interest Waiver (NIW).

NIWs are ideal for foreign workers who have exceptional abilities in their area of expertise that could benefit the US economy or be of national importance. Alternatively, the foreign worker could have an advanced degree and be considered worthy of recognition in their field. If the immigrant shows that they might be of substantial merit to the United States of America, they may be approved for a National Interest Waiver, granting them the legal right to enter the United States and achieve lawful permanent residency.

What is a National Interest Waiver (NIW)?

National Interest Waivers are available to foreign nationals who possess extraordinary abilities in the arts, business, and sciences, as well as advanced degree professionals. PhD students may also qualify.

The National Interest Waiver program is designed to help applicants bypass the time-consuming Department of Labor PERM labor certification process. This process is normally a prerequisite for those seeking to obtain a second preference EB-2 employment-based green card.

The National Interest Waiver also allows the Attorney General to waive the requirement for an existing job offer from a US employer, which is otherwise asked of all other EB-2 immigrants when applying.

What Are the Benefits of National Interest Waivers?

In most employment-based immigration cases, the US employer hiring the alien worker must first undergo a cumbersome labor certification process. With the National Interest Waiver, it is possible to skip this labor certification.

Additionally, whereas most EB-2 employment-based immigration cases involve the US employer acting as a sponsor, the National Interest Waiver allows the foreign individual to self-petition with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Also, the standard of proof for national interest waivers is less than that for employment first preference category immigration.

Do You Qualify for a National Interest Waiver?

To be eligible to receive a National Interest Waiver, the foreign national’s proposed endeavor in the United States must be considered to be of benefit to the nation or its economy. The applicant should also show unique skills in their proposed endeavor and the ability to achieve their objectives.

Three basic requirements are set for immigrants seeking NIWs:

  • Proof that the proposed endeavor has intrinsic merit to the United States of America.
  • Possess an advanced degree, such as a Master’s degree. Alternatively, demonstrate exceptional abilities in business, the sciences, or the arts.
  • Show evidence that the proposed endeavor is of national interest to the United States. Also, show that national interest would suffer if foreign nationals were subjected to the labor certification process.

Contact experienced immigration attorneys for legal guidance in the application process. Our law practice has extensive knowledge and experience helping clients with complex immigration cases, including National Interest Waiver cases. To learn more, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our law firm for a free initial consultation.

What is the NIW Process?

If you would like to qualify for a National Interest Waiver, you must have a proposed endeavor that would be beneficial to the United States as a whole. Even though your entrepreneurship will be centrally located at a particular location, the endeavor should be beneficial on a national level. The USCIS’ decision on whether you are well-positioned to meet your immigration goals via your proposed endeavors will be based on your education, previous work experience, and knowledge in your field. A well-thought-out business plan, the interest of potential investors, and pre-established customers may also benefit your application.

The USCIS will consider whether your endeavor would benefit the United States. You should also attempt to prove that it would be of national interest for you to forgo the labor certification process.

In some cases, you may be required to prove that if a US employer denied your service and gave your job to a less qualified worker, that would be against the national interest.

What Supporting Evidence is Required for the NIW Immigrant Visa Application?

Together, supporting evidence to prove that your application is of substantial merit and national interest to the United States is critical to getting approved for a National Interest Waiver.

Examples of useful supporting evidence and documentation include:

  • Advanced degrees.
  • Current employment contract.
  • Publications.
  • Sponsorship.
  • Letters of recommendation.
  • Current and previous visa stickers.
  • Memberships in organizations of noteworthy relevance.

Please contact us for legal assistance in gathering useful evidence for your case.

Do You Need Letters of Recommendation?

Obtaining convincing letters of recommendation can be all-important to getting your National Interest Waiver application approved. Letters should come from persons who do not have a direct relationship with you but rather who are professionals in your field who can vouch for your success and provide recognition of your status.

Letters of recommendation should demonstrate the following:

  • The applicant seeks employment in an area of expertise that would be of substantial intrinsic merit to the US.
  • The candidate possesses unique skill sets, extraordinary abilities, and work experience that set them apart from their professional peers.
  • The foreign alien worker will utilize their unique talents and endeavors that significantly benefit the field of practice.
  • The proposed endeavor and its benefits would be national in scope.
  • It would be beneficial to the United States and its economy because it would waive job offers and labor certification requirements.

What is Considered ‘Exceptional Ability?’

To qualify for a National Interest Waiver under the EB-2 exceptional ability category, an applicant must prove at least three of the following criteria:

  • Letters documenting at least a decade’s worth of full-time experience in your occupation and field of choice.
  • An official academic record showing that you have a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, or school related to your exceptional ability.
  • A valid license to practice your profession or a certification of your profession or occupation.
  • Adequate evidence that you commanded a salary for services that demonstrate your extraordinary ability.
  • Membership in noteworthy professional associations.
  • Recognition of your achievements and contributions to your industry by your peers, government entities, or business organizations.
  • And other comparable evidence of eligibility.

What Are ‘Advanced Degrees?’

To qualify for an EB-2 National Interest Waiver, you must either demonstrate exceptional abilities in your field or possess an advanced degree.

Advanced degrees may include master’s degrees, PhD degrees, or their equivalents. A bachelor’s degree plus five years of work experience may also be acceptable.

Do Physicians Get Special Considerations with National Interest Waivers?

Physicians receive special eligibility with the National Interest Waiver program. When a foreign doctor demonstrates an ability and willingness to work in underserved areas of the United States, they generally receive greater favor from the USCIS officials. Any foreign physician approved for an NIW should expect to commit at least five years of their professional career to work medically in an underserved area.

Contact our law firm for legal assistance if you are a foreign national doctor interested in immigrating to the United States with the help of a National Interest Waiver.

Will Your Family Members Also Enjoy the Benefits of an NIW?

Once your EB-2 priority date is current, your foreign spouse and minor children will be able to file I-485 adjustment of status applications as part of your National Interest Waiver green card application process. If approved, your family members will be granted their own green cards.

How Can National Interest Waiver Lawyers in Tampa Help Your Immigration Case?

The EB-2 National Interest Waiver program is fairly complex, and not everyone qualifies for it. It is highly recommended that you retain professional legal representation when seeking any type of immigration legal action.

National Interest Waiver attorney Ernesto Buitrago and his highly skilled legal team are proud to help clients navigate the complicated immigration system from beginning to end. We will help you gather the necessary documentation required to prepare for the USCIS interviews, as well as help you complete and file the necessary paperwork.

Our law firm is dedicated exclusively to the practice of immigration law, and we are passionate about getting good results for our clients and their immigration dreams. To learn more, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our law firm for a free consultation.

Schedule a Free Consultation with an Attorney Well-Versed in Complex Immigration Law Today

In hopes of being approved for the National Interest Waiver, it is highly recommended that interested applicants first consult with experienced immigration lawyers. Our South Florida law firm, led by immigration attorney Ernesto Buitrago, dedicates a large amount of our focus to helping foreign professionals apply for National Interest Waivers. We feel confident that we can provide valuable legal assistance in your immigrant petition process so that you have a better chance of receiving the National Interest Waiver and its many benefits.

Persons interested in applying for National Interest Waivers first need to determine whether they meet the minimum basic requirements. To discuss your immigration case in more detail, please contact our Tampa, Florida, law offices to schedule your free case evaluation today. 866-519-3545.