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Visa Business Plans

EB-2/National Interest Waivers- What Are They, and What Exactly Does "National Interest" Mean?

In recent years, immigrants who are EB-2/NIW petitioners have been able to expedite the immigration process by establishing that they should be granted a “national interest waiver.” The National Interest Waiver (NIW) allows prospective immigrants to self-petition, and file an I-140 on behalf of himself/herself without needing to be sponsored by an employer, and without the need of a labor certification application.[1]

For many years, these National Interest Waivers were limited and difficult for attorneys to process. However, on December 27th, 2016, the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) revised the former approach to be more lenient, and allow a wider range of petitioners to be granted a National Interest Waiver. Called the matter of Dhanasar, this new case established a different, three-prong approach for determining whether a petitioner is a good fit for a national interest waiver.[2]

Using the guidelines established by the Matter of Dhanasar case, the USCIS may grant a National Interest Waiver based on three key points which the applicant must meet:

  • The foreign national’s proposed endeavor must have both substantial merit and national importance
  • The foreign national is well-positioned to advance the proposed endeavor;
  • 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.

At Visa Business Plans, we specialize in preparing impact analysis reports and business plans that attorneys use to address the first two points of these guidelines. With years of combined experience, we focus on:

  • Presenting a detailed description of the proposed endeavor, establishing that every relevant aspect of the case is discussed.
  • Explaining why the proposed endeavor will have national implications within a particular field. For example, we identify matters that the federal or state government has described as having national importance, and stress how the petitioner will achieve these matters.
  • In addition, Visa Business Plans performs comprehensive, exhaustive research that thoroughly explores the “problem” or “opportunity” deemed to be of national interest. We then quantify the impact of the proposed endeavor, whether in monetary value, or in terms of other benefit to the United States.
  • Demonstrating that the proposed endeavor has significant potential to employ U.S. workers. To this end, we include a detailed 5-year staffing plan and we make clear reference to indirect job creation.

Navigating the finer points of providing evidence to support a National Interest Waiver can be tricky. Visa Business Plans can help your attorney by preparing comprehensive impact analysis reports and business plans that improve the odds of success. Contact us today to learn more.

Visa Business Plans is led by Marco Scanu, a certified coach from the University of Miami with a globally-based practice coaching Fortune 1000 company executives, entrepreneurs, as well as professionals in 4 different continents. Mr. Scanu advises clients on turnaround strategies and crisis management.

Mr. Scanu received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (Cum Laude) from the University of Florida and an MBA in Management from Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. Mr. Scanu was also a Visiting Scholar at Michigan State University under the prestigious H. Humphrey Fellowship (Fulbright program) with a focus on Entrepreneurship, Venture Capital and high-growth enterprises.

At present, Mr. Scanu is the managing partner and CEO at Visa Business Plans, a Miami-based boutique consulting firm providing attorneys and individuals with business planning services in the areas of immigration and SBA loans.


[1] https://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/permanent-workers/employment-based-immigration-second-preference-eb-2

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