What is EB2-NIW green card?
The EB-2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) is a category of green card that allows foreign nationals who are members of professions with advanced degrees or exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business to apply for permanent residency in the United States without needing an employer to sponsor them.
Normally, to obtain a green card in the EB-2 category, the applicant must have a job offer from a U.S. employer who is willing to sponsor them. However, the EB-2 NIW allows individuals to bypass this requirement by demonstrating that their presence in the United States would be in the national interest, and that they have the qualifications to advance their field of expertise.
To qualify for an EB-2 NIW green card, the applicant must demonstrate that they have exceptional ability in their field, that their work has substantial merit and national importance, and that it would benefit the United States to waive the requirement of a job offer and labor certification. This can be demonstrated through evidence such as publications, patents, awards, media coverage, or letters of recommendation from experts in the field.
If approved, the EB-2 NIW green card allows the applicant to live and work permanently in the United States without the need for employer sponsorship.
There is no specific age limit for the EB-2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) category of the green card. As long as the applicant meets the eligibility criteria for the category, including having an advanced degree or exceptional ability in their field, and demonstrating that their presence in the United States would be in the national interest, they can apply for the EB-2 NIW at any age.
However, it’s worth noting that age may be a factor in demonstrating exceptional ability, particularly in fields that require physical stamina or youthfulness, such as professional sports or modeling. Additionally, older applicants may face more challenges in finding employment in the United States after obtaining their green card, as some employers may prefer to hire younger workers.
Ultimately, the determination of an applicant’s eligibility for the EB-2 NIW category will depend on a variety of factors, including their education, work experience, achievements, and the specific field they work in. It’s recommended that applicants consult with an experienced immigration attorney to assess their eligibility and prepare a strong application.
The fee for an EB-2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) green card includes a USCIS filing fee and a fee for biometric services. As of 2021, the USCIS filing fee for the EB-2 NIW is $700, and the fee for biometric services is $85.
How to apply
To apply for an EB-2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) green card, applicants must file a Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The form can be filed either online or by paper, depending on the preference of the applicant. However, filing online is generally faster and more efficient, and allows for real-time updates on the status of the application.
The processing time for an EB-2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) petition varies, but it generally takes between 4 to 12 months. However, premium processing is available for an additional fee, which guarantees a response from USCIS within 15 calendar days. It’s worth noting that processing times can be affected by various factors, including the workload of USCIS, the complexity of the case, and any requests for additional evidence.
The following are some of the key documents that are generally required when applying for an EB-2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) green card:
Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker
Evidence of advanced degree or exceptional ability in the field
Evidence that the applicant’s work is of substantial merit and national importance
Evidence that waiving the job offer and labor certification requirements would be in the national interest
Letters of recommendation from supervisor, mentor, or colleague
Academic and professional credentials, such as diplomas, transcripts, and licenses
Evidence of publications, patents, presentations, or other achievements in the field
Evidence of membership in professional associations or organizations
Evidence of work experience and job offers, if applicable
Payment of the USCIS filing fee and biometric services fee.
It’s important to note that the specific documents required may vary depending on the unique circumstances of each case. It’s recommended that applicants consult with an experienced immigration attorney to ensure they are providing all the necessary documentation for a strong application.