Self Petitioning for a Green card: National Interest Waiver

Exceptional Ability National Interest Waiver

Got Exceptional Ability? Then maybe you’ve got what it takes to self petition for your green card.

There is another employment based immigrant visa for which you can self petition. It is called the EB-2 visa or National Interest Waiver. You can submit the I-140 Petition on your own behalf through the National Interest Waiver application. The National Interest Waiver also enables you to request that the Labor Certification be waived if you can show such a waiver is in the interest of the United States.

Though types of jobs or areas that qualify for a national interest waiver are not defined by statute. However, the national interest waivers are usually granted to those who have exceptional ability and whose employment in the United States would greatly benefit the nation.

Who Has Exceptional Ability

Those with exceptional ability have “a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business.” Applicants who aim to prove exceptional ability must show at least 3 of the total criteria. Such criteria laid out by the USCIS include:

  • An Official academic record showing that you have a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution of learning relating to your area of exceptional ability
  • Letters documenting at least 10 years of full-time experience in your occupation
  • A license to practice your profession or certification for your profession or occupation
  • Evidence that you have commanded a salary or other remuneration for services that demonstrates your exceptional ability
  • Membership in a professional association(s)
  • Recognition for your achievements and significant contributions to your industry or field by your peers, government entities, professional or business organizations
  • Other comparable evidence of eligibility is also acceptable.

EB-2 National Interest Waiver Immigrant Visa Process

Step 1: Submit self petition I-140 Petition to the USCIS, with supporting documentation and applicable fees.

Step 2: Upon approval, do Adjustment of Status process (if in U.S. and applicable) or consular processing.

Step 3: Attend Final Interview

NOTE: As always this is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. Consult an attorney for advice regarding your particular circumstances.


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