Last month, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) announced new, less subjective, requirements for foreign individuals seeking U.S. lawful permanent residence (“green card”) under the EB-2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) category. The NIW category allows foreign nationals in the second employment-based immigration category to bypass the lengthy and sometimes difficult “labor certification” process, if they can show that their immigration to the U.S. is in America’s “national interest.”
In order for a foreign national to prove “national interest” under the new criteria, he or she must demonstrate that:
- the proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance;
- he/she is well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor; and
- on balance, it would be beneficial to the United States to waive the requirements of a job offer and thus of a labor certification.
In order to prove these criteria, the foreign national will have to show their work has national or global implications. One example of this can be proof that the foreign national’s work “has significant potential to employ U.S. workers or has other substantial positive economic effects, particularly in an economically depressed area…”. The applicant will also have to show that he/she is able to succeed with their plan by demonstrating that they have the ”education, skills, knowledge and record of success in related or similar efforts; a model or plan for future activities; any progress towards achieving the proposed endeavor; and the interest of potential customers, users, investors, or other relevant entities or individuals." Lastly, the foreign national will have to prove that “in light of the nature of [their] qualifications or proposed endeavor, it would be impractical either for the foreign national to secure a job offer or for the petitioner to obtain a labor certification."
This decision is fantastic news for U.S. employers, international entrepreneurs, startups, and professionals, and provides greater flexibility for foreign nationals seeking to qualify for EB-2 National Interest Waivers.
For more information, feel free to contact us.