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National Interest Waiver

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Applying for a National Interest Waiver in Los Angeles

This type of visa will allow you to obtain the Green Card for you, your spouse and your unmarried children under 21 years old.

If you are a person who is highly accomplished and of exceptional ability, and the United States could benefit from your expertise you may be able to qualify for a National Interest Waiver. Since the United States highly values these persons, the approval of this visa can be very fast. Normally, you would need to apply for what is known as a Labor Certification which could take years. If a National Interest Waiver is granted, you essentially bypass the entire Labor Certification process. to get your green card.

People who qualify for this type of visa are given special preference. Therefore, unlike many other types of visas that take years to obtain, this one is given special priority.

Employer or Applicant Can Sign Petition—To qualify for a national interest exemption an ETA-9089 must be submitted with statement supporting national interest claim.

Waiver Available Only to EB-2s—An NIW is not available in the EB-1 category.

Evidentiary Criteria—The “national interest” exemption must be significantly higher than that required to establish prospective national benefit for all persons seeking “exceptional” status. In Matter of New York State Dep’t of Transp. (NYSDOT), 22 I&N Dec. 215 (Acting AC 1998), legacy INS provided guidance as to the threshold criteria for a waiver: (1) the person seeks employment in an area of substantial intrinsic merit; (2) the benefit will be national in scope; and (3) the national interest would be adversely affected if a labor certification were required. Having exceptional ability is not by itself sufficient to grant the waiver. Nor would work such as local pro bono lawyering, teaching in a single school, or providing nutritional information in a localized setting be sufficient to meet the national criteria. An NIW is not warranted solely to ameliorate a local labor shortage. The petitioner must prove that the benefit his unique skills would provide substantially outweighs the inherent national interest in protecting U.S. workers through the LC process.

 

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