National Interest Waivers


The national interest waiver is a type of visa that individuals can use to petition for U.S. permanent residence, or a green card. Either an employer can sponsor an individual for this type of visa, or the individual can self-petition. There is no labor certificate required for this type of immigrant visa.

There may be a wait to obtain this type of visa, because the national interest waiver falls within the second employment-based preference category. A visa backlog is not unusual, as there are only a limited number of green card visas available each year.

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National Interest Waivers

Since no immigration laws or regulations define “national interest,” the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) has developed a list of factors that determine eligibility for a national interest waiver through its caselaw. In order to be eligible for a national interest waiver, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can consider evidence that the presence of an individual will improve:

·         The national economy

·         Working conditions and wages of U.S. workers

·         Education for U.S. children and training programs for workers with few qualifications

·         U.S. health care

·         Affordable housing for young, elderly, and poor individuals in the U.S.

·         The U.S. environment and natural resource usage

Another potential factor that USCIS may consider for national interest waiver eligibility is if a U.S. government agency receives a request regarding the individual.

Furthermore, another AAO decision outlines a framework to help USCIS determine whether to grant a national interest waiver visa. According to this decision, the individual petitioning for the visa must show the following by a preponderance of the evidence:

·         The proposed endeavor has substantial merit and national importance.

·         The individual is well-positioned to advance the proposed endeavor.

·         On balance, it would be beneficial to the U.S. to waive the requirements of a job offer and labor certification for the individual.

If you or your family is facing a visa problem or another type of immigration law issue, we may be able to help. As experienced Texas immigration attorneys, we have the knowledge needed to help you navigate through the often-complex process of immigration proceedings. Call us today at (512) 399-2311 and schedule an appointment with one of our immigration lawyers and learn how we can assist you.

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