Understanding EB-2 National Interest Waivers
EB-2 national interest waivers allow someone whose work stands out as extraordinary and who will benefit the nation to obtain permanent residency without filing a labor certification with the Department of Labor. This can save an enormous amount of time and money.
What Does ‘National Interest’ Mean?
Since there is no statute or regulation that defines “national interest” the term is defined by case law. Case law provides a non-exhaustive set of criteria that can be used to establish work that is in the national interest. While these factors are helpful guidelines, it is important to note that not all the requirements must be met. The following are examples of work that is in the national interest:
- Work that improves the U.S. economy and/or wages and working conditions of U.S. workers
- Work that improves education for U.S. children and/or training for underqualified workers
- Work that improves the health of the U.S. population or improves the U.S. health care system
- Work that provides affordable housing for vulnerable U.S. residents
- Work that improves the environment and/or makes more efficient use of natural resources in the U.S.
- Work that has been requested because of the national interest by a U.S. government agency
In the absence of a definition of “national interest” under U.S. Immigration law, the immigration service relies heavily on a three-pronged test established in a 1998 Administrative Appeals Office decision called Matter of New York State Department of Transportation. Relying on this decision, the government will consider the following three considerations to determine if an applicant qualifies for the national interest waiver: whether (1) the field is of substantial intrinsic merit; (2) the applicant’s proposed work is national in scope, and if (3) waiving the labor certification is in the national interest.
What is Filed with a National Interest Waiver Green Card Petition?
The National Interest waiver is submitted by filing form I-140, along with supporting evidence such as letters of support from experts in the field of endeavor, evidence of the applicant’s extraordinary work of national interest and other forms. Sometimes the I-140 can be concurrently filed with the I-485 green card or Application for Adjustment of Status. When the I-485 is filed the applicant can also file an application for employment authorization.
We Can Help You Prove Your Work is in The National Interest
At Becker & Lee LLP, business and employment-based immigration is one of our primary focus areas. Our attorneys have advised a range of talented individuals whose work is in the national interest, including scientists, medical researchers, investors / business people, and others.
Our EB-2 national interest waiver lawyers offer comprehensive representation to help increase chances of success in the visa application process. Contact our San Francisco law firm to learn more about your options.