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NIWs (National Interest Waivers): What's So Special About Them?

Navigating the changing standards of the NIW (National Interest Waiver) can be a complicated, stressful process. Fortunately, Visa Business Plans is here to provide research-driven business plans that will help attorneys build the best case possible.

The NIW is a petition for an employment-based immigrant visa under the second preference ("EB-2"), usually reserved for members of the professions holding an advanced degree or its equivalent, or a foreign national who has exceptional ability in their field. Many of these are self-petitions, which we specialize in.

The EB-2 labor certification process can be a very time consuming and costly undertaking for potential employers. However, under the “National Interest Waiver” (NIW) provision for EB-2 visas, an individual may waive this requirement of employment by proving that his or her admission to the U.S. would be in the so-called "national interest."

But What Exactly Does Serving the “National Interest” Mean?

There has been much legal debate about the precise meaning of the term, leading to confusion even among immigration adjudication officers.

Thankfully, USCIS has recently adopted a new framework for adjudicating national interest waiver petitions which provide greater clarity and flexibility to petitioners. The landmark decision was the Matter of Dhanasar, which made standards for the EB-2 visa more attainable.

Under the new framework, USCIS may grant a National Interest Waiver if the petitioner demonstrates three key points:

1. That the foreign national’s proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance;

2. That the foreign national is well-positioned to advance the proposed endeavor;

3. That, on balance, it would be beneficial to the United States to waive the requirements of a job offer and thus of a labor certification. If these three elements are satisfied, USCIS may approve the National Interest Waiver as a matter of discretion.

The Expertise and Knowledge of Visa Business Plans

Our EB-2 (NIW) business plans are informed by hours of research and investigation as well as extensive analysis. While working on a project, our experienced team will identify the critical issues and topics relevant to each case and develop a strategy. Visa Business Plans will then produce a thoroughly outlined and researched case quantifying how the proposed endeavor will have a positive impact on the U.S. or U.S. economy, supported by reputable sources.

Previously, adjudicators would deny applicants whose ventures and undertakings focused on only one geographic area of the United States. However, under the new standard, these applicants may now potentially be considered to have national importance. Our thorough work includes locating specific pain points for the U.S. or the U.S. economy, and detail how the petitioner’s contributions will assist them.

NIW Success Stories

Visa Business Plans has an extensive track record of successful NIW business plans. Listed below are just a few of the previous successful cases where Visa Business Plans proved an applicant’s work was of national importance to the U.S.

  • We successfully won a NIW for a dentist whose practice was based on providing health education to local rural communities, focusing on the link between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease. In our research, we found studies showing that mouth bacteria causing periodontal disease can move into the bloodstream, leading to an elevation in C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation in the blood vessels. These changes can, in turn, increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, issues that affect the U.S. as a whole.
  • In another case, Visa Business Plans’ award-winning business consultants and financial managers proved how a small business consultant could have a positive impact on the survival rate of small companies, which in turn translates into higher employment rates.

With more than ten years of experience, Visa Business Plans knows how to present a customized approach for a successful NIW case. If you’re struggling with questions related to the EB-2 or NIW business plan, do not hesitate to contact us for more information.