A national interest waiver allows immigrants to bypass the requirement for labor certification to enter the United States to preserve the "national interest." This can greatly cut down on the wait time to get into the U.S. provided that you meet the requirements for a national interest waiver. For most temporary visas, applications require a labor certification and the proof of a permanent job.

Labor certification can be difficult to obtain. The certification must be granted by the government after your employer proves there are no qualified Americans who are willing to do the job When this has been accomplished, you have labor certification, which allows you to apply for residency to live and work in the United States.

The national interest waiver bypasses the labor certification process completely, but you must prove several things to gain entry. More than anything, you need to prove that your presence to the United States is paramount to the country's progress and, if you are kept out, it will be detrimental to progress.

What do I need to get a national interest waiver?

You must possess "exceptional abilities."

The United States Center for Immigration Services (USCIS) will only give a national interest waiver to those who are deemed to have special abilities. These special abilities are defined as unable to be performed by anyone else. Additionally, the ability must have a background in business, arts, or the sciences. Some ways to prove you have exceptional abilities would include:

  • A letter of reference from a coworker, advisor, or close figure describing your work and its value*
  • Proof that you have worked in your chosen field for more than 10 years
  • Any licenses you have for your work
  • Any published works which may discuss your achievements or your life

Your exceptional ability must benefit the United States.

While many artists, businesspeople, and scientists are let into the country each year, very few have benefits which could be declared as helping the entire country. To get a national waiver, you must prove that your services will assist the nation as a whole. To show that your presence would benefit the country, you could submit the following to the proper officials:

  • Articles or media describing the benefits of your service in the field of your choice
  • Official studies or documentation that describe the impact your work has had
  • Letters of recommendation from trusted colleagues, officials, and advisors*

You must prove that waiving the labor certificate benefits the United States.

While it is one thing to prove that your service will benefit the U.S. at large, it is another thing to suggest your labor certification be waived as well. The labor certification is intended to allow U.S. citizen workers the preference to work in their respective fields. If you are coming to work in a related field and seek to avoid certification, you must demonstrate a compelling reason for doing so. To prove that waiving your labor certificate will help the entire country, here's what you can provide:

  • A published article or piece of media which shows how impactful your work can be
  • Documentation which clearly shows that your work is being used by others
  • Letter of recommendation which states the benefits of the immediacy of your entrance into the United States*

* Note: any letters of reference must come with its own explanation of the source's credentials.

EB-2 National Interest Waiver

When you have fulfilled the requirements above, you are eligible to obtain the EB-2 National Interest Waiver, which is the official document waiving the certification requirement. Your employer is the one that must file to get you an EB-2, though. Your employer will need to fill out the I-140 form supplied by the USCIS. Also, for anyone that holds an EB-2 Visa, they are allowed to bring in family. However, they are only allowed to bring in a spouse and children. While they are here, they are allowed to apply for status as a permanent resident of the United States as well as an Employment Authorization Document.

How Can Salmón-Haas Help Me Get a National Interest Waiver?

At Salmón-Haas, we have experience in many fields of immigration law, including helping those who apply for National Interest Waivers. We have worked with many people who come to the U.S. every day. We know the triumphs of starting a new life in a new place. We want to help you work towards achieving that dream any way possible.If you want to explore this option to improve your chances of immigrating to the U.S., contact the team and schedule a free consultation.

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