The National Interest Waiver (NIW) is a great option for a permanent resident application if you qualify. It is a program that actually by-passes the Labor Certification (PERM) process. It offers the added benefit of putting the applicant in the employment based, second preference (EB-2) category. With the PERM process, the applicant must have an approved labor certification and a job offer. Using the NIW option, the applicant can apply without a job offer and most importantly, without going through the labor certification process.
What are the qualifications for a National Interest Waiver?
In order to qualify for the NIW program, an applicant must work in a field that is considered to be in the “National Interest.” The concept behind the NIW program is that the applicant is requesting that the job offer requirement be waived for the sake of the U.S. “National Interest.” There are three major requirements for approval of a National Interest Waiver application.
- The first is that an applicant must be seeking work in an area that is defined to have “substantial intrinsic merit” to the United States.
- The second is that the benefit from the applicant’s proposed activity will be national in scope.
- And third that the U.S. National Interest would be adversely affected if a Labor Certification were required for the applicant.
To clarify, with the National Interest Waiver (NIW) program the PERM process itself is waived. As such, the applicant, even if they have no employer, can file a, NIW petition on their own, without a designated company or institution acting on their behalf. Even so, it should be noted that a U.S. employer can file a National Interest Waiver for an employee acting as the petitioner. The petition can be filed either way, with an employer or without.
The most difficult part of the National Interest Waiver process is building the case that the work that the applicant is doing is in the National Interest. Work that qualifies must be national in scope, having ramifications that are felt not just locally or statewide but on a national level.
In general of the types of work that would qualify based on the National Interest are scientific research in fields that have received U.S. government funding but there are other areas of employment that may qualify as well. It is important that you get assistance in preparing your National Interest Waiver (NIW) application because of the complexity of the issues and standards involved. The Ranchod Law Group legal team has successfully handled many National Interest Waiver cases over the years and our experience can be the key to your success.
If you think that you might qualify for a National Interest Waiver petition please contact our team at 415-986-6186, we would enjoy discussing your possibilities with you.