National Interest Waiver (NIW)

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The second employment-based preference applies to those aliens who possess advanced degrees in professional fields or who have exception ability in the arts, business, or sciences. One of the requirements of this preference is a job offer. However, the INS may waive this requirement if admitting the alien would be in the national interest.

The following factors must be considered when evaluating a request for a national interest waiver (NIW):

  1. Whether the alien seeks employment in an area of substantial intrinsic merit;
  2. Whether the proposed benefit will be national in scope;
  3. Whether the benefit derived from the particular alien’s participation in the “national interest” field of endeavor “considerably” outweighs the “inherent” national interest in protecting U.S. workers through the labor certification process.

What factors are considered to determine whether admitting an alien would be in the U.S.’s interest?

  1. Improving the U.S. economy;
  2. Improving wages and working conditions for U.S. workers;
  3. Improving education and programs for U.S. children and underqualified workers;
  4. Improving health care;
  5. Providing more affordable housing;
  6. Improving the U.S. environment and making more productive use of natural resources; and
  7. Interested government agency request.

Aliens who are successful in obtaining a national interest waiver tend to present cases which establish them has having some kind of unique experience, skill, or knowledge which sets them apart from their peers.