National Interest Waiver

The National Interest Waiver (NIW) is a uniquely useful category for qualified immigrants. Although falling within the employment-based categories, the NIW category is one of few visa preferences that does not require an employer/sponsor. At the Law Office of Matthew I. Hirsch, we can help to evaluate eligibility for national interest filings and to prepare a persuasive and well-documented petition with the legal requirements for NIW cases.

The National Interest Waiver falls within the Second Employment-based Visa Preference (EB-2) category. Most applications within the EB-2 category require a job offer and subsequent certification from the U.S. Department of Labor (a “Labor Certification”) with proof that the Employer/Sponsor has tested the labor market and determined that there are a lack of able, willing, qualified and available U.S. workers. The NIW is a a “waiver” of the job offer requirement. This means that eligible immigrants may “self-sponsor” and are not required to have an offer of full-time, permanent employment.

The NIW category is most often used by post-doctoral fellows and researchers, scientists and scholars and other advanced degree professionals whose work will “substantially and prospectively” benefit the national economy, cultural or educational interest or welfare of the United States.

To qualify, the applicant must show:

  • that he/she is working in an area of substantial intrinsic merit; this means that the person’s work must make a meaningful impact in an area of national interest i.e. education, energy, technology, science, defense, economy, etc;
  • that the work provides a benefit which is or will be national in scope; this means that the applicant’s work must benefit the nation as a whole, rather than a city, state or region;
  • that he/she is serving the national interest to a substantially greater degree than a U.S. worker having the same minimum qualifications; this means that requiring a “Labor Certification” would be adverse to U.S. national interests.

At the Law Office of Matthew I. Hirsch, we have an excellent track record of success with NIW cases. We have worked with many accomplished scientists and other professionals to achieve their immigration goals through the NIW category. For examples and to discuss your eligibility for an NIW filing, please contact us.