What is a National Interest Waiver?

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Obtaining an employment-sponsored green card is often a long and challenging process. However, specific individuals may qualify for the national interest waiver. This method has several benefits, including obtaining work-based U.S. lawful permanent residence without a U.S. employer as a sponsor. Please continue reading to learn who qualifies for a national interest waiver and how a dedicated Middlesex County, New Jersey, Business Immigration Lawyer can help guide you through this process. 

Who Qualifies for a National Interest Wavier?

In most cases, a U.S. company can hire a foreign worker as long as it has received approval from the U.S. Department of Labor and has “tested” the labor market to see if any qualified U.S. workers are available. The employer must complete a labor certification on your behalf. Generally, an EB-2 category green card process requires an employer to sponsor a foreign worker by offering a permanent job. It’s important to note that a case can be rejected or denied if the agency finds that the employer identified a suitable U.S. worker but did not offer the job to that person or there were inconsistencies with the application process.

With the national interest waiver, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) decided that the foreign worker’s work is so vital to our country that there is no need to give first priority to a U.S. worker. USCIS will “waiver” or set aside the requirements of employer sponsorship and labor certification. Essentially, through the national interest waiver, foreign nationals with skills and abilities in science, arts, business, and other professions may self-petition for a green card. The requirement that you have a full-time job offer and a U.S. sponsor is completely waived.

To be eligible for a national interest waiver, you must first apply under the EB-2 immigrant category with an advanced degree or exceptional ability in a particular field. In addition, your proposed endeavor in the U.S. must have substantial merit and national importance. You must be well-positioned to advance the proposed endeavor and show that it would benefit the U.S. to waive the requirement that you have a job offer and that a U.S. company undergo the labor certification process.

What Are the Advantages?

As mentioned above, the primary benefit of the national interest waiver is the ability to self-petition. You don’t need to find an actual job or have an employer sponsor your application for an employment green card. This can give you flexibility if you plan to start your own company or change employment shortly without jeopardizing your immigration status.

Furthermore, that national interest waiver will speed up the often lengthy and expensive process of obtaining an employer-sponsored green card. U.S. employers must undergo various recruitment obstacles to get an approved labor certification from the Department of Labor. This can take several months to complete. However, you can avoid the labor certification process with the national interest waiver. You will have the ability to file your immigration petition directly, which can save a significant amount of time.

For more information about the national interest waiver, please don’t hesitate to contact a determined lawyer from the Law Offices of Aditya Surti, LLC, who can help guide you through the process ahead.

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