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National Interest Waiver (NIW) for EB-2 Visas

The EB 2 Visa is awarded to individuals with extraordinary abilities (EB2 A)  or advanced degrees (EB2 B). It is also given to people who can obtain a National Interest Waiver (EB2C.) There are only 40,000 of these special types of green cards issued every year in each of these categories. If you want to know when your visa will be available, you can simply check the EB2 Visa Bulletin.

What is a Visa Bulletin?

The Visa Bulletin is a monthly publication issued by the state department. It shows which EB 2 applications can proceed and gives you an idea of how long it will take to get your visa. It will also show you where you are in line. 

EB2A Visa

A person who qualifies for an EB2A will have an advanced degree in a certain profession. They are required to have a job offer from a company in the United States, which must clearly state that the applicant is required to have an advanced degree. 

An employer must file a Labor Certification Application, which will allow them to hire foreigners to work on a full-time permanent basis. They must prove that they are unable to find an American Citizen to do the job.

The USCIS considers an advanced degree to be a Master’s, Ph.D., Juris Doctor, or an M.D.

Suppose a foreign national only has a bachelor’s degree or the foreign equivalent, a baccalaureate degree. In that case, they may still be able to get this type of visa if they have at least five years of experience working in their field. A person’s knowledge, skills, and abilities must have increased over those five years. 

The applicant must have obtained their five years of increasing experience before they apply for the job, but after they have recieved their degree. 

National Interest Waiver

A National Interest Waiver can be utilized if you are doing work or have a special project that would benefit the American health or education system, the national economy, or the culture.  If you have a National Interest Waiver, you do not have to prove that you personally have an exceptional ability. You just have to prove your work is of national interest. 

Proving that your work has exceptional benefits to society may be difficult. It is a self-sponsored form of immigration, and it is subject to an extra level of scrutiny. It is not enough if it just benefits a single community. 

A person may be awarded a National Interest Waiver based on the needs of society at a certain juncture in history. For example, If your work has to do with the COVID-19 Virus, you may have a good chance of receiving a National Interest Waiver. 

You will have to clearly establish that your endeavor has substantial merit and is of national importance.

One of the most challenging things about getting a National Interest Waiver is proving that a foreign national’s work will benefit the country in a way that an American’s work would not. The other challenge is to prove that the country would be negatively affected if the foreign national did not go through the regular labor certification process. 

The ease of obtaining a National Interest Waiver may depend on the nature of your project. If an applicant is working on a project related to COVID-19  or another medical emergency, it would be easier to get this type o visa than it would be if you were doing artistic or intellectual work. 

An attorney who is trained in immigration will understand how to convince an immigration officer of the merits of your work. The lawyers at Extraordinary Immigration have years of experience handling National Interest Waiver applications. We know the kind of documentation the government will look for when determining if a project will benefit Americans. Our legal research team will work hard to prove the benefits of your proposed endeavor and present them in a way that will clearly illustrate those benefits.


EB2B visas are for people who have exceptional ability in certain fields. People who qualify for this kind of visa will work in the fields of arts, science, or business. They will need to have a business or official academic record showing this. In order to receive this type of visa, an applicant must meet at least three of the following qualifications:

  • Ten years of working experience in a profession.
  • A certificate or license that allows a person to work in a certain field.
  • A high salary that has been awarded for exceptional ability.
  • Membership in a professional club or organization.
  • Recognition from experts in the field in which they work.
  • Other equivalent evidence of exceptional skills. 
  • A degree in the field in which they want to work.

The immigration officer investigating the case will need physical evidence of the applicant’s qualifications. A person applying for an EB2 B will need to present such things as their official academic record, paperwork establishing they are a member of a professional organization, or copies of professional licensure.

There is plenty of controversy when it comes to EB2 Benefits. Critics say that it is a way of discriminating against economically disadvantaged people. However, academia needs educators and innovators from other countries. They are essential to keeping our universities competitive.

Chart showing immigrant teacher percentage coming through with a visa


EB2 Benefits 

Recipients of an EB2 will have an expedited application process. It generally takes around a year to get a regular work visa in the United States, but it only takes around six months to get an EB2 visa. 

If you go to college on an EB2 visa, you will qualify for benefits like in-state tuition. You will be able to apply for permanent residence at the same time that you apply for an EB2 Visa. When you have permanent residence in the United States, you will be on your way to becoming an American citizen.

What paperwork will I need?

There are three basic forms associated with an EB2 application. The first is the PERM labor certification that your potential employer will fill out. The form is issued by the Department of Labor. The Department issues a Labor Certificate which states that there are no qualified American workers to do the job. You will not need this document if your application falls into the national interest category.

It can take two to four months for a PERM form to go through the approval system. The Department of Labor must go through a Prevailing Wage Determination to assess the average wage rate for the job. The good news is that you do not have to pay for the PERM filing.

PERM applications may be audited, and that can slow down the application process. Government audits are often done on a random basis, but they can also target individual applications that they have concerns about.

If your potential employer’s PERM application is audited, it can delay the process by months, and they may deny you entirely. These audits can require a great deal of proof. The sponsoring company might have to go through multiple interviews and produce various documents and evidence to prove that they cannot find an American to fill the job.

The attorneys at Extraordinary Immigration are well versed in these types of applications and the auditing process. We will be by your side to help you with any problems that arise with the PERM application. 

Anyone who wants to work in the United States must fill out an I-140 form. It will ask you for basic identifying information about yourself and your family. It will ask you what kind of work you intend to do in the United States and for whom you would like to work. There is a $700 filing fee for this form.

After you have completed the I-140 form, you will be given a priority date. You can officially apply for your visa on that date. The wait time will depend on your country of origin. 

You can apply for your visa through the US consulate in your home country. If you are already in the United States, you can begin your application process online.

An EB2 visa requires that you fill out an adjustment of status form, which is the third form required in this process. This will give you priority over other applicants. 

Premium Processing 

If you need to speed up the immigration process, you can apply for premium processing. If you apply for this processing, you may have your visa in weeks instead of months. You should know that the fee for this kind of application is $2500. The US citizenship and immigration services will process this type of application in 45 days.

Background Check for Immigration 

Anyone who is immigrating to the United States will have to undergo a background check. The USCIS will conduct a variety of criminal background checks on an applicant. 

An applicant will normally have to go through a Biometrics appointment when they apply for a visa or a green card. They will take the applicant’s fingerprints at this appointment as well as a photograph and signature. The biometrics appointment is $85.00. Although the government used to waive fingerprinting for those individuals who are over 75, the government now requires people of all ages to undergo fingerprinting. You may receive a waiver for certain medical conditions such as essential tremors. You must complete your application within 15 months after your biometrics appointment.

They will also do a name check with the Federal Bureau of Investigations. They will look for any criminal history of the applicant in the United States and in their country of origin.

Medical Exam for a Green Card

If you want a work visa or green card, you will need a medical exam. You will have to find a doctor who is approved to do these examinations. 

The exam will consist of four basic parts:

  1. The doctor will review your medical history. They will validate your immunization records and let you know if you need any additional shots. 
  2. They will perform a physical and mental evaluation. 
  3. They will give you a complete drug test. 
  4. They will test you for diseases or illnesses that may cause a health risk to others if you were to immigrate to the country. 

It costs $275 for a visa medical examination.

Why You Need an Attorney

The immigration process is very time-consuming and expensive. If you are applying for an expedited visa such as an E2, the expense will only be greater. You need a trained immigration attorney to help you with paperwork and negotiate with the USCIS on your behalf.

Less than a quarter of people issued work visas in the United States will get an E2 visa. The competition can be fierce, and an immigration attorney will give you the edge you need to obtain the visa you must have to do your important work.

Why You Should Hire Extraordinary Immigration 

Extraordinary Immigration employs some of the most qualified immigration attorneys in Coral Gables, Florida. We specialize in work-related visas and green cards with a special focus on applicants with exceptional abilities. Our attorneys understand what corporations look for and why companies must incorporate the knowledge, skill, and abilities of foreign workers to be successful.

You can start by filling out a simple form on our website. We will get back to you immediately and request any paperwork we need from you. Your initial consultation with us is free. We will decide if we can take your case, and you can decide if we are the right law firm to represent you. 

If we take your case, we will begin filing your paperwork right away. We will keep you apprised of the immigration process every step of the way, and will be here to answer any questions that you have during the process. 

Extraordinary Immigration has a great reputation with the Florida State Bar and all of the many clients we have helped over the years.

America is a land of immigrants, and we would be nowhere without the knowledge, creativity, and diversity that they bring to our shores. We know that you have much to contribute to the United States. Give us a call today.

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