Applying for a National Interest Waiver (NIW) Visa is increasingly a common way to obtain U.S. residency, particularly in sectors of the economy where shortages are common or for people with degrees in Science, Technology, Education, or Mathematics (STEM). These green cards are intended for people with an advanced degree, a bachelor’s degree with 5 years of equivalent progressive experience, or those who can prove that they possess exceptional abilities in their field. Because of its nature, not many people apply and the approval rates are better than many other visa types.
According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), to be considered a person of exceptional ability, you must demonstrate that your expertise is well above that of most people in the arts, sciences, or business field. You must also meet at least three (3) of the following criteria:
Although the benefits are the same, the EB-2 NIW is considered a special category of EB-2 visa. When you apply for a National Interest Waiver, you do not need a job offer. You can initiate the application yourself without an employer or sponsor.
The Form I-140, Immigrant Worker Petition, form has a $700 filing fee. Next, the Form I-485, Application for Adjustment of Status, has a filing fee ranging from $750 to $1140, depending on the applicant’s age and there may be an $85 biometric fee. Finally, the DS-260 form has a filing fee that will be invoiced by the U.S. department of state upon approval of the Form I-140 if consular processing is selected.
The usual processing time for this type of visa is 6 to 12 months, but this can vary widely based upon current caseloads.
The government recently announced that it may be possible soon to remit a $2,500 filing fee for the Form I-907 to access the premium processing service. With this service, USCIS guarantees that your case will be processed within 15 calendar days or the fee will be refunded.
Yes! Your spouse and children under the age of 21 can fill out Form I-485 Adjustment of Status Application as part of your NIW green card process or seek consular processing. This will allow them to obtain their green cards.
Are you skilled in your field of work and would like to turn your ability into a visa? Contact Symphorien-Saavedra Law at 407-802-1717 and schedule a consultation with our EB2 visa attorney. Our law firm has extensive knowledge and experience in all aspects of U.S. immigration and nationality law matters. Attorney Frank Symphorien-Saavedra, our founder, is Board certified as expert in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Florida Bar and has helped many clients in the past with their immigration cases, including National Interest Waiver Visas. We are dedicated professionals and first-generation immigrants or direct descendants from Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, Argentina, Cuba, and Colombia, and can communicate with you in English, Spanish and Portuguese.
(*) This information is provided for general purposes and is not a substitute for individualized advice. You should schedule a consultation to discuss your specific situation.