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Working in Oil and Gas Can Build a Strong EB-2 NIW Case! Here’s What You Need to Know.

While there’s a lot of excitement around renewable energy and the importance of the energy transition to the American economy and broader environmental sustainability and thus its global impact, oil and gas production continues to be of great national importance to the US. Whether from the perspective of energy independence and related geopolitics  or simply, America’s GDP, the oil and gas sector continues to break records

Therefore, the knowledge and expertise of oil and gas professionals continue to hold immense national value. This translates to a potentially unique opportunity for skilled foreign nationals: securing a green card through the EB-2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) program. This article dives into what an EB-2 NIW is and why having oil and gas experience can help qualify for such a green card.

What is an EB-2 NIW, and how does it work? 

The EB-2 NIW program offers a streamlined path to US permanent residency for foreign professionals who possess “exceptional ability” in their field and whose continued presence in the United States is deemed in the national interest. Unlike traditional EB-2 pathways, which typically require an employer sponsor and labor certification, the NIW allows individuals to self-petition, bypassing these often-lengthy steps. This also removes the need to request sponsorship from an employer. 

While “national importance” can have a somewhat flexible definition, it essentially boils down to the the widerpotential impact of the applicant’s work on the national progress or security of the US as a whole. Expertise and unique value can be demonstrated in many ways, such as through education, work experience, awards, research, and publications. 

Because the energy sector is a huge industry in the US, oil and gas workers who can demonstrate their advanced knowledge and skills with an advanced degree, accolades, and significant work experience in the field are in a good position to apply. 

The national importance of oil and gas in the US

As the world’s largest oil producer, directly employing millions of Americans in the oil and gas industry across the country, the national importance of oil and gas expertise in the US cannot be overstated.

The growth of the US oil market is massively important to the economy, reducing previously rising energy costs, fueling private sector investment and economic growth, and pumping approximately $1.6 trillion in federal and state tax revenue. 

With 80% of US energy needs currently met by fossil fuels, maintaining reliable fossil fuel power is essential for national security. Maintaining energy security in the near term reduces dependence on foreign sources and allows for investment in carbon capture technologies, paving the way for a cleaner energy future.

Fossil fuels also continue to fuel diverse industries like plastics, transport, and pharmaceuticals that rely on oil and gas production. There are also many surprising industries where petroleum isn’t necessarily a raw ingredient but is still needed as a means of production, such as the fashion and beauty industry.

Recognizing this inherent value of the oil and gas industry to the United States, professionals with experience and expertise in the oil and gas industry, whether directly in production, sourcing, or engineering or indirectly in finance, marketing, legal, or otherwise, should actively explore the EB-2 NIW pathway as an option.

If you’re an oil and gas professional looking to increase your chances of qualifying for EB-2 NIW, we can help

If you are an energy sector professional with expertise in oil and gas and are interested in immigrating to the United States, please contact EO Immigration to discuss your options. We have a team of experienced immigration attorneys who can help you navigate the process,  strategize how to gain experience to have a strong EB2-NIW application, and increase your chances of success.

For more information, contact us at info@eoimmigration.com or call us at (305) 391-2105.