Which Occupations Qualify for the EB2 National Interest Waiver?

Welcome to the Kazi Law Firm! We are a boutique law firm steeped in Texas tradition personifying the warmth and congeniality consistent with southern hospitality. We believe in preserving integrity and professionalism with true Texan charm, staying true to our roots, while providing essential, affordable legal services to all. Located just north of Dallas, Texas in the rapidly growing suburb of Frisco; the Kazi Law Firm concentrates on contracts drafting and review, immigration law, will & estates, real estate law, landlord, tenant, mediation, and general business law needs.

Have you heard of the EB2 National Interest Waiver (NIW)? We often receive questions on which professions qualify for this waiver.

What Professions Qualify for the EB2 NIW?

EB-2 visas are a second preference employment visa. Many foreign nationals find these visas attractive, as they are a path to permanent residency, allow them to bring their spouse and children to the United States, and can be obtained relatively quickly. However, a standard EB-2 visa requires a job offer from a U.S.-based employer. This employer must file the petition on behalf of the foreign national and undergo the Labor Certification process. As an alternative, many foreign nationals choose to self-petition through the EB-2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) process.

What Is the EB-2 National Interest Waiver Visa?

The National Interest Waiver visa recognizes that it may be in the “national interest” of the United States to waive the job offer and Labor Certification process for some foreign nationals. In these specific instances, an applicant can self-petition for an EB-2 NIW visa. These visas are often approved more quickly than standard EB-2 visas because the applicant does not need to go through the lengthy Labor Certification process. However, due to the USCIS’ scrutiny of these applications more closely, any foreign national considering an EB-2 NIW visa should consult with a seasoned NIW lawyer.

Who Qualifies for an EB-2 National Interest Waiver Visa?

EB2 visas are generally available to foreign nationals who have an advanced degree or the equivalent in professional fields, or to those who have exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, business, or athletics. For purposes of an EB-2 visa, an advanced degree is any degree above a bachelor’s degree or the foreign equivalent. Alternatively, a bachelor’s degree combined with at least five years of progressive experience will be sufficient to meet the requirement of having an advanced degree. To show exceptional ability, an applicant must have a degree of expertise above that ordinarily encountered in his or her field.

A foreign national who meets these criteria, holding an advanced degree or having an exceptional ability, may qualify for an EB-2 visa. To obtain an EB-2 NIW visa, the foreign national can either self-petition, or an employer can petition on his or her behalf.

Is the EB-2 National Interest Waiver Limited to Certain Professions?

A professional in any field may qualify for an EB-2 NIW visa. The key is to meet the qualifications set forth by USCIS. For aliens with exceptional ability, an applicant must document at least three of the following to show that he or she qualifies:

  • An official academic record showing that the foreign person has a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution of learning relating to the area of exceptional ability
  • Evidence in the form of letters from current or former employers showing that the foreign person has at least 10 years of full-time experience in the occupation
  • A license to practice the profession or certification for a particular profession or occupation
  • Evidence that the foreign person has commanded a salary or other remuneration for services that demonstrate exceptional ability;
  • Evidence of membership in a professional association
  • Evidence of recognition for achievements and significant contributions to the industry or field by peers, governmental entities or professional or business organizations

Accordingly, there are a wide variety of occupations that can be utilized for the NIW if the criteria are met including (but not limited to) the following: researcher, scientist, artist, animator, musician, singer, physician, dentist, pilot, entrepreneur, engineer, designer, lawyer, therapist, economist, professor, business person, veterinarian, nurse, pharmacist, urban planner, consultant, manager and architect. While this is by no means an exhaustive list it also must be noted but merely because an applicant works in one of these roles they are not necessarily eligible for the EB-2 NIW. Instead they must demonstrate their unique position and how it serves the national interest.

I built my law practice on the premise of being a life raft in a sea of sharks. I want to be an advocate for those that have been wronged and are too intimidated to seek help. My firm is here to explore your options, guide you through your legal journey, and give you that safe space to ask questions! There’s no such thing as a stupid question…Only the ones you don’t ask. So, my question to my clients is not “do you have any questions?” But rather “what questions do you have?”

As always, the Kazi Law Firm is standing by to help you in your time of need. Don’t hesitate to contact us today. We specialize in real estate law, landlord-tenant disputes, immigration, and wills & estate planning. Family is at the core of our practice. Just as we treat our family with respect and understanding, we treat yours. Come join the Kazi Law Firm family today!

Why swim alone in shark-infested waters when you don’t need to?

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