An Experienced Employment Immigration Attorney Explains the National Interest Waiver


Immigration laws to enter the U.S. legally are complex. Several immigrant and non-immigrant applications are available. As of January 21, 2022, Executive Order 14012 expanded inclusion efforts by the government to make entry easier for specific groups of visa applicants, including those with STEM degrees.

If you are seeking an employment-based visa as a professional with an advanced degree or exceptional ability, the ability of U.S. organizations to source talent from the local economy can impede your efforts. Read below to learn how the National Interest Waiver (NIW) is an exception to the job offer requirement that may be available to help you to surpass this obstacle when you are petitioning for an EB-2 employment-based visa. Contact an experienced National Interest Waiver attorney at Fayad Law to schedule a consultation and determine how the NIW may aid you in attaining an EB-2 visa.

Qualifying for an EB-2 Visa

To qualify for the national interest waiver (NIW), you must first qualify for the EB-2 visa. To qualify for the EB-2 visa, you must either:

  • Have a U.S. baccalaureate degree or foreign equivalent, plus five years of experience in the field OR a U.S. doctorate or foreign degree equivalent. You must support your experience with letters from employers to demonstrate skills and training.


  • Have proven exceptional ability in the arts, science, or business, as demonstrated by at least three of the following documents:
    1. Official academic transcripts in a relevant field of study
    2. Letters from current or previous employers verifying that you have ten years or more of full-time experience in the field
    3. A professional certification or license to practice in the field
    4. Authoritative recognition from professional organizations for significant achievements or contributions to the field
    5. A membership with a professional organization or association in the field
    6. Salary or other compensation that demonstrates exceptional ability
    7. Comparable documentation for any of the certifications or awards listed above

Generally for employment-based categoies, your U.S. employer normally needs to sponsor you by filing an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Form I-140. Your prospective employer would also need to submit a PERM application (ETA Form 9089) to prove that they cannot easily fill the position with an equally skilled U.S. citizen employee. However, you may be able to bypass these requirements from a U.S. employer if you qualify for the National Interest Waiver. If you wish to qualify for an EB-2 visa, contact an experienced immigration attorney at Fayad Law to schedule a consultation so we can plan a strategy for completing your I-140 form and a possible petition to qualify under the NIW.

Should You Qualify for the National Interest Waiver?

The National Interest Waiver (NIW) waives the requirement for an employer sponsor if your immigration as a professional of exceptional ability would be in the best interest of the United States. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services considers three factors for the NIW, including whether:

  1. Your proposal to immigrate while waiving the employment offer requirement has merit and is of national importance.
  2. You are in a position financially, socially, or culturally to advance the proposal if approved.
  3. Your presence in the United States would benefit the country, and waiving the job offer and labor certification requirements would allow you to enter the country expeditiously.

The NIW allows entrepreneurs, medical professionals, and STEM field workers to enter the U.S. and look for work or start their own businesses. Once you have your EB-2 visa, your spouse and children under 21 may apply to immigrate to the U.S. as derivatives.

When applying for the NIW, seek assistance from a National Interest Waiver attorney or employment-based immigration lawyer since immigration lawyers who primarily work with family-based immigration may not be as familiar with employment-based immigration issues.

Securing Your Immigration Status With an EB-2 Visa

An EB-2 visa would grant you permanent resident status as a permanent worker living and working full-time in the United States. Immigration laws can be complex, and errors can set you back or prevent you from being awarded a visa.

Work closely with an immigration attorney at Fayad Law to ensure you file the correct forms and submit the appropriate documentation. You stand to benefit from guidance based on many years of experience helping many other professionals like you, which can make the process progress much more smoothly.

Find The Right Immigration Lawyer for EB-2 Visa with a National Interest Waiver

If you are seeking to immigrate to the United States with an EB-2 Visa, you need more specific resources that you might find by simply searching for an “immigration lawyer near me.” You need a firm that has worked extensively in business-oriented immigration, helping many professionals to gain visas in coordination with their employers’ contribution of the appropriate documentation or through a National Interest Waiver.

If you speak a language besides English, you should also seek a law firm with an immigration attorney that speaks your primary language. Immigration lawyers who were once in your shoes have a deeper appreciation and understanding of your experience and needs as you progress through the immigration process.

At Fayad Law, many members of our immigration law team immigrated to the United States. Founding Attorney Nash Joseph Fayad has been helping immigrants from his Virginia-based offices since 2004.

Contact Fayad Law, P.C., for Help and Guidance from a National Interest Waiver Attorney

For international help from an experienced employment immigration attorney, contact our offices at Fayad Law, P.C. We speak six languages and serve clients worldwide while offering focused boutique law services from our offices in Richmond and Fairfax, Virginia.

Call us at (804) 249-4747 to schedule a consultation or fill out our online form. If applicable, we can guide you through the steps to seek an EB-2 visa, including a National Interest Waiver. We help you achieve the American Dream.

Copyright © 2022. Fayad Law, P.C. All rights reserved.

The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

Fayad Law, P.C.
8501 Mayland Dr Suite 101
Richmond, VA 23294
(804) 249-4747

Fayad Law, P.C.
8315 Lee Highway Suite 620,
Fairfax, VA 22031
(703) 998-5390