EB 2 NIW: Employment-Based, Second Preference Immigration, National Interest Waiver

Brief Introduction 

NIW (National Interest Waiver) is an employment-based (EB-2) green card petition for an alien who is seeking a waiver of the offer of employment and waiver of labor certification by establishing that his or her admission to permanent residence in the U.S. will be in the national interest. The applicants of NIW category are usually Ph.D. students, researcher, postdocs and other advanced degree professionals.


  • Applicants do not have to file a labor certification;
  • Applicants are not required to have a specific offer of employment;
  • Applicants can self-petition;
  • Applicants can be F-1 status;
  • Faster than regular EB-2 filing process 


NIW petitioner need to be qualified for the following two conditions:

  • Before a foreign national considers whether petitioning under NIW is an ideal category, the foreign national first needs to see if he/she qualifies for the EB-2 category.
  • Once a foreign national petitioner has established his/her basic eligibility under the EB-2 preference category, he/she must further establish that he/she is qualified for the NIW (thus avoiding the requirement of a job offer, a labor certificate (so that he/she can self-petition for his/her own green card)) by showing that the petitioner’s contributions are of such high value that it would benefit the U.S. to waive labor certification, even if other qualified U.S. workers were available.

Requirements for an Advanced Degree (Either of the following criteria): 

  • Petitioner holds an academic or professional degree above the baccalaureate level (from U.S. or foreign countries). 
  • Petitioner holds a U.S. Bachelor’s degree or foreign equivalent plus at least five years of progressive post-baccalaureate professional experience. (USCIS considers the combination of the Bachelor’s degree and five years of relevant experience to be the equivalent of a Master’s degree.)

Proof of Exceptional Ability:

If the petitioner doesn't have an advanced degree, he/she should be evaluated and determined that if he/she has such exceptional ability in his/her claimed area of expertise that it is significantly above his/her peer in the area of science, art, or business.  He/she must demonstrate that he/she is qualified for at least three out of the seven criteria below:

  • Official academic record showing that you have a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution of learning relating to your area of exceptional ability
  • Letters documenting at least 10 years of full-time experience in your occupation
  • A license to practice your profession or certification for your profession or occupation
  • Evidence that you have commanded a salary or other remuneration for services that demonstrates your exceptional ability
  • Membership in a professional association(s)
  • Recognition for your achievements and significant contributions to your industry or field by your peers, government entities, professional or business organizations
  • Other comparable evidence of eligibility is also acceptable.

Proof for National Interest Waiver (three-prong test):

The following three determinations are the basis for the three-prong test that now governs the NIW process. Like the petitioner had done in Dhanasar, all NIW petitioner must now establish:

  1. that the foreign national’s proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance; and
  2. that the foreign national is well-positioned to advance the proposed endeavor; and
  3. that, on balance, it would be beneficial to the United States to waive the requirements of a job offer and thus of a labor certification.


  • First step:
    • File Form I-140, Petition for Immigrant Worker;
    • File Form ETA-750B, Application for Alien Employment Certification (Part B);
    • Submit supporting documents which prove that the beneficiary is an “Advanced Degree Professionals” or an “Alien of Exceptional Ability,” such as letters of recommendation, proofs of past achievements, etc.
    • Must wait for priority date (your priority date is the date USCIS receives your petition).
  • Second step:
    • If outside the U.S., one-on-one interview with consulate is required;
    • If inside the U.S., using I-485 to file an Adjustment of Status.


  • Currently overall takes more than 11 months to process
  • Once the petition approved, you must wait for your priority date to be current – it will be current in most countries except China and India, as it may be several years before your priority date is current in those two countries
  • I-485 will then be submitted which takes around 11 to 35 months to process, depending on which service center the case is submitted to.​​  




NIW(国家利益豁免)是基于美国国家利益的考虑而为那些为美国国家利益做出或有能力做出重要贡献的外籍人士设计的就业型(EB-2)绿卡申请,申请人可以不需美国雇主提供永久性工作的承诺 (Permanent Job Offer) , 也不需美国雇主为其向劳工部(Department of Labor, 简称DOL)申请劳工证(Labor Certification,简称LC) 和劳工证明申请, 使他们可以直接向移民局提出移民申请获得绿卡。 NIW类别的申请人通常是博士生,研究员,博士后和其他高级学位专业人士。


  • 申请人无需提交劳工证明;
  • 申请人无需提供具体的工作的承诺;
  • 申请人可以自行申请;
  • 申请人可以是F-1身份;
  • 比常规EB-2申请流程更快。



1. 由于国家利益豁免属于职业移民第二优先(EB-2),申请人必须符合申请EB-2的条件,也就是拥有“高等学位”或者“特殊技能”

2. 申请人的工作和贡献可以为美国带来巨大的利益,这种巨大的利益超过了美国政府保护美国劳工利益的需要,出于国家利益的考虑,美国政府同意豁免其劳工证的申请,容许直接申请移民并获得绿卡。



  •  拥有硕士及以上学历;或者
  • 拥有学士学位,并同时拥有5年以上相关专业领域的工作经验


( 如果没有以上的“高等学位”, 申请人是否在科学、艺术或商业领域,拥有超过一般同行的特殊技能, 即是否符合以下标准中的任意三项 ):

  • 官方学术档案证明您拥有学院,大学,学校或其他学习机构颁发的与您的杰出能力领域相关的学位,文凭,证书或类似奖项,
  • 记录您在申请职业方面拥有至少10年全职工作经验的信函,
  • 在您的相关行业执业的执照或证书,
  • 出示您已获得的工资或其他报酬的证明,以证明您的卓越能力,
  • 专业协会的会员资格,
  • 您的同行,政府机构,专业或商业组织为您在您的行业或领域所取得的成就和重大贡献的认可,
  • 其他可比的资格证明也是可以接受的。


  • 申请人所从事的专业领域必须同时具有实质性价值并为美国全国范围内带来重大影响;
  • 申请人已有贡献和成就处于推动其领域发展的有利位置;
  • 豁免申请人的工作承诺和劳工证要求,是有益于美国国家利益的


  • 第一步
    • 申请人必须填写并提交I-140表格(外籍劳工移民申请)
    • 申请人必须填写并提交ETA-750B (外国人聘用证申请表B表)
    • 等待优先排期(根据劳工部收到申请时的情况)​
  • 第二步
    • 如果在美国境外,需要与领事馆进行一对一的面试
    • 如果在境内,只需提交I-485调整身份申请书



  • 整体需要11个月甚至更多的时间处理
  • 得到批准后,您需要等待优先排期,除了中国和印度以外的大部分国家是无需要等待排期的,这两个国家的优先等待排期 可能要几年​
  • 然后是递交调整身份申请表(I-485),大约需要11到35个月的时间来处理,具体时间取决于提交申请的服务中心。