National Interest Waiver


National Interest Waiver is a section under the Second Employer Preference category, and requires at least a Master’s degree or above, or a that a personal have exceptional ability in sciences, arts, or business. The national interest waiver is a good option for those applicants who do not wish to wait for labor certification (PERM), or those who do not wish to be tied to a specific employer during labor certification (PERM). The regulations for the National Interest Waiver, found at 8 CFR 205.4(k)(4)(ii) are very vague and open to the interpretation of each individual United States Citizenship Service (USCIS) examiner who reviews a National Interest Waiver file.

In general, petitioners must prove two elements in order to obtain a National Interest Waiver:

  1. The petitioner’s employment position is in the national interest of the United States. This means that the position must be important to the whole United States and not just one individual company, city, or region.
  2. The petitioner must make a real “contribution” or “impact” in their area of employment. A successful National Interest Waiver applicant must also be “above,” or more qualified and accomplished than the average person working in that same field of national interest.

Some fields consist of numerous highly intelligent and very successful workers. However, a successful candidate for a national interest waiver must convince the USCIS examiner that he/she has made contributions in excess of their peers. Further, a successful national interest waiver applicant must show they possess a “reputation” for making contributions that are being used by other people in the field. Thus, a successful national interest waiver candidate will be able to show evidence of novel discoveries or ground breaking new methods that are being utilized by other researchers.

In considering whether or not an individual’s work is in the national interest, the USCIS, through its Administrative Appeals Unit (AAU), has suggested seven factors to be considered by the Service. These factors are:

  1. improving the U.S. economy;
  2. improving wages and working conditions of U.S. workers;
  3. improving education and programs for U.S. children, and under-qualified workers;
  4. improving health care;
  5. providing more affordable housing;
  6. improving the U.S. environment, and making more productive use of natural resources; and
  7. an interested government agency request

Please note that these factors are not all-inclusive; other factors can and should be presented to the USCIS in all National Interest Waiver cases.

An extraordinary benefit of the national interest waiver process is that the national interest waiver applicant sponsors him or herself and is not required to have a job. National interest waiver applicants may file additional applications while their national interest waiver petition is pending. For example, a national Interest waiver applicant can file an EB-1 outstanding researcher petition if his/ her employer is willing to do so. Further, a National Interest waiver applicant can file the PERM/ Labor certification in their employer is willing to do so.

Learn more about a National Interest Waiver.

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The national interest waiver is a great way to avoid the arduous PERM process. However, it must be done correctly to prevent a dreaded “request for evidence” issued by USCIS. The Fleischer Law Firm LLC has developed a strong strategy for filing a successful national interest waiver petition.

Therefore, each national interest waiver candidates cases begins with a thorough evaluation and analysis of the national interest waiver candidate’s credential’s This is usually done by reading and evaluation a national interest waiver candidate’s resume (C.V.) Our attorneys are candid with potential national interest candidates credentials during the evaluation process.

When a researcher, physician, scientist or other qualifying professional files a national interest waiver petition, there is rarely, if ever, an “interview” with an USCIS adjudicator. Therefore, the Fleischer Law Firm requires all of their clients to write a “personal statement” in support of their National Interest Waiver petition. This person statement is a chance for an applicant to “speak” to the adjudicating officer. The purpose of the personal statement is to fully demonstrate your qualifications, achievements, status as one of the top professionals in your field, and why your work is of a National Interest.

Personal Statement

The attorneys at The Fleischer Law Firm try to be extremely candid with our clients in order to get exactly what is needed in of the personal statement. The personal statement for the national interest waiver will be reviewed by our attorneys as many times as necessary to make whatever beneficial corrections are needed to our valued national interest waiver clients applications.

This evaluation process and preparation of the national interest waiver personal statement is critical so that the USCIS examiner will know exactly in what field the national interest waiver applicant is working and why that field is important to improving the economy, education or overall well being of the United States. The personal statement is also necessary so that the petitioner may articulate his or her reputation in the field and the contributions he or she has made to the field.

While using language a lay person could understand (i.e. minimal scientific or field-specific jargon), a successful national interest waiver applicant should clearly elucidate the IMPACT made on his or her field, and how the applicant’s work relates to the criteria listed above.

Strong personal statements should include statements such as:

National Interest Waiver Personal Statement Sample #1
“I have outlined my credentials as an outstanding researcher with an international reputation for research on XXX and characterization in the XXX and XXX health. I have published more extensively than my peers of similar experience and qualifications, and one of my papers has received a major award from the National Institute for XX and X. I have also been nominated for the X Award by the Center for X and X. Another major award has given to me from the National Academies. The importance of my work is demonstrated through external recognition by other distinguished scientists, by frequent citations of my scholarly articles in the peer-reviewed journals, by invited presentations, by participating as the judge of the work of others in the field, and through the awards and research fellowships granted to me in competition with other scientists…My research into X is essential to protecting workers in the United States against possible risks of emerging nanotechnologies, and thus underpinning their economic viability. My research is significant and important to the national interest of the United States of America.”

National Interest Waiver Personal Statement Sample #2
“I have made many significant contributions to X science, and consequently have risen to become one of the best scientists in the field today. I have presented and published my research at the highest levels, and more extensively than other scientists with similar qualifications and experience. Recognition and awards from my peers, and funding by the X Association, unequivocally demonstrate the significance and importance of my work. Moreover, my expertise has been drawn upon for the assessment of other people’s scientific findings, and I have become an invaluable member of the scientific peer-review process.”

National Interest Waiver Personal Statement Sample #3
“My research is of huge significance and impact to the American public as it addresses the X process underlying X disease, the number 1 killer in the United States. Furthermore, my research is aimed at finding mechanisms by which X disease can be cured, or even prevented. Therefore, the continued success of my research will lead to the generation of new powerful therapies that will greatly improve the American peoples’ health and productivity, and benefit the Untied States economy. In light of these facts, I firmly believe that I meet the requirements for the National Interest Wavier.”

In addition to the personal statement, a successful national interest waiver petition includes:

  1. All publications, whether from Conference Abstracts or more importantly, international Peer Reviewed Journals. Impact ratings of the journal are also very important.
  2. Book chapters and books.
  3. Citations- any proof that the petitioner work has been cited (and where it has been cited) shows the impact of the petitioner’s work.
  4. Presentational international conferences, whether as a key note speaker or publication of an abstract or poster.
  5. Comments on the petitioner’s published works by critics/journal referees.
  6. Proof the petitioner have acted as a referee or reviewer, or acted as the judge of the work of others.
  7. Requests for reprints of the petitioner’s publications.
  8. Patents.
  9. Evidence of awards or honors received including scholarships, travel awards.
  10. Evidence of membership in professional associations.
  11. Use of the petitioner’s work by others in academia, research, or commercial use.
  12. Details of the funding for the petitioner’s research projects or grants.
  13. Press coverage of the petitioner’s work in “popular media” including newspapers, popular magazines, internet, or television.
  14. Recommendation letters from expert in the petitioner’s field attesting to the impact of his or her work in the field. These letters should be written both by those who the petitioner knows PERSONALLY, and especially by those who do not know the petitioner personally but rather only through your “reputation” in the field. These letters are of the utmost importance in successfully filing for a national interest waiver.

The Fleischer Law Firm LLC will help guide petitioners through this National Interest Waiver process. We will work closely with any petitioner to develop his or her personal statement, and will provide the appropriate criteria and samples to peers writing recommendation letters for him or her. What our attorneys are looking for is quality letters as opposed to quantity, but we still want to get as many as possible. Our attorneys want to get letters of recommendation for national interest waivers from experts in the United States, and, if possible, from experts outside the United States.

Letters of Recommendation

These letters of recommendation for the national interest waiver should state the national waiver applicant’s impact on their field. While being a diligent and hard working team worker may be important in hiring for a job, it is not a quality relevant to qualification for a national interest waiver. The letters of recommendation for the national interest waiver should not just say that the petitioner have discovered something, or devised a new method. Instead, the letters should detail HOW the petitioner’s discoveries and methods are actually used by other people. This is necessary because the USCIS examiners generally do not find it sufficient to have simply discovered something. USCIS examiners look for the applicant’s importance in the field, which can be evidenced by the fact that other people, places, or institutions are using what the national interest waiver applicant discovered.

Strong letters of recommendation should include language such as:

National Interest Waiver Letter of Recommendation Sample #1
“Though I have never worked with Dr. X or been his supervisor, I am very familiar with his work through review of his papers and from presentations at research conferences.”

National Interest Waiver Letter of Recommendation Sample #2
“Dr. X, personally, is a stranger to me. However, I am aware of her work because our research areas are relevant.”

National Interest Waiver Letter of Recommendation Sample #3
“Dr. X’s original work has been published in the Journal of Aerosol Science and has been used by other researchers in their research. Researchers have approached him to seek his advice for setting up similar … systems in their labs for the monitoring of nanoparticle exposures. In addition, one researcher from the University of X has used the same system as Dr. X’s to generate nanoparticles with different shapes for his application.”

National Interest Waiver Letter of Recommendation Sample #4
“This discovery has become a novel work and has been cited and honored by a lot of researchers around the world.”

“Dr. X’s work is often cited as one of the key emerging areas of X research in the next 20 years…Scientists there often cite his work as particularly significant to this project, both in internal presentations and internationally.”

National Interest Waiver Letter of Recommendation Sample #5
“Dr. X’s contributions to peer-reviewed, high impact journals in biomedicine further authenticates her outstanding abilities. She has an invited review published in X in 2005 and an original report published in X Journal in 2006. Her work/findings have been presented at International and national meetings. Namely, she has been invited for oral presentations at the X Workshop.”

The Fleischer Law Firm LLC provides its clients with samples of strong recommendation letters, along with sample personal statements and unparalleled insight into the very complicated process of successfully filing for a national interest waiver.

The Fleischer Law Firm has successfully obtained successful petitions for national interest waivers, outstanding researchers and aliens of extraordinary ability for research scientists, physicists, physicians, historic scholars, engineers, dancers, musicians and other occupations.

Over the past 30 years, we have helped scholars and researchers obtain National Interest Waivers from:

  • University of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, OH)
  • Ohio State University (Columbus, OH)
  • University of Kentucky (Lexington, KY)
  • University of Louisville (Louisville, KY
  • Duke University (Durham, NC)
  • Wayne State University (Detroit, MI)
  • Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Boston, MA)
  • Virginia Tech University (Blacksburg, VA)
  • University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA)
  • Tulane University (New Orleans, LA)
  • Indiana University (Bloomington, IN)
  • University of Chicago (Chicago, Illinois)
  • Ohio University (Athens, Ohio)
  • Wilberforce University and Central State University (Wilberforce, OH)
  • Northern Kentucky University, (Highland Heights, Kentucky)
  • Purdue University (West Lafayette, Indiana)
  • University of San Francisco (San Francisco, California)
  • University of California – Berkeley (Berkeley, California)
  • University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth (Dartmouth, Massachusetts)
  • Indiana State University (Terre Haute, Indiana)
  • Florida State University (Tallahassee, Florida)
  • University of Arkansas (Fayetteville, Arkansas)
  • Iowa State University (Ames, Iowa)
  • West Virginia University (Morgantown, West Virginia)
  • New York University (New York City, New York)
  • Manhattan University (New York City, New York)
  • University of Colorado(Boulder, Colorado)
  • University of Texas (Austin, Texas)

Since Immigration law is Federal Law, we can help you obtain a National Interest Waiver wherever you are located. We have represented Universities and individuals throughout the country for over 30 years. Our attorneys have over 40 years of experience solely practicing Immigration Law. Our focus and dedication to detail and our client’s need will make the National Interest Waiver process as smooth as possible. Because our attorneys are members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), we keep abreast of the latest trends and strategies in the national interest waiver process. Our attorneys look forward to counseling you on the National Interest Waiver process.