National Interest Waiver

National Interest Waiver Lawyers in Cincinnati

Serving Clients Nationwide

The National Interest Waiver is a section under the Second Employer Preference category, and it requires at least a Master’s degree or a demonstrably 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 be tied to a specific employer during that process. The regulations for the National Interest Waiver, found at 8 CFR 205.4(k)(4)(ii), are vague and open to the interpretation of each USCIS adjudicator.

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

  1. The petitioner’s employment position is in the national interest of the United States. The position must be important to the entire nation 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 generally must be more qualified and accomplished than the average person working in that same field of national interest.

Essentially, a candidate for a National Interest Waiver must convince the USCIS examiner that they have made contributions beyond those of their peers. These contributions should be benefiting and/or used by other people in the field. Successful National Interest Waiver candidates typically show evidence of novel discoveries or ground-breaking new methods that are being utilized by other researchers.

In determining whether or not an individual’s work is in the national interest, the Administrative Appeals Unit (AAU) of USCIS looks for evidence that the individual is:

  • Improving the U.S. economy
  • Improving wages and working conditions of U.S. workers
  • Improving education and programs for U.S. children, and under-qualified workers
  • Improving health care
  • Providing more affordable housing
  • Improving the U.S. environment and making more productive use of natural resources

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

A great benefit of the National Interest Waiver process is that the applicant sponsors themselves and is not required to have a job. Applicants can also file additional applications while their petition is pending. For example, a National Interest Waiver applicant can file an EB-1 outstanding researcher petition and/or the PERM certification if their employer is willing to do so. The National Interest Waiver is also a great way to avoid the arduous PERM process entirely.


Do you believe you might qualify for a National Interest Waiver? Get in touch with The Fleischer Law Firm LLC online or call (513) 880-9969 for a complimentary case evaluation.


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The National Interest Waiver Application Process

The National Interest Waiver adjudication process rarely involves an interview with USCIS. As such, we require all clients to write a personal statement in support of their petition. This gives applicants the opportunity to fully explain their situation to the adjudicating officer. The statement can comprehensively demonstrate qualifications, achievements, reputation, and other evidence of their work advancing the United States’ interests.

When we help our clients draft their personal statements, we provide candid and direct counsel. We have an in-depth understanding of what USCIS needs to see in order to grant a National Interest Waiver, and we use this knowledge to help our clients succeed. This evaluation and preparation process is critical because we need the USCIS examiner to understand exactly why each client’s work is important to improving the nation’s economy, education, or overall wellbeing.

In addition to the personal statement, a successful National Interest Waiver petition includes:

  • All publications, whether from Conference Abstracts or, more importantly, international peer reviewed journals (including the journal’s impact ratings)
  • Books/chapters
  • Citations of the petitioner’s work
  • Presentational international conferences, whether as a keynote speaker or publication of an abstract or poster
  • Comments on the petitioner’s published works by critics/journal referees
  • Proof of the petitioner acting as a referee, reviewer, or judge
  • Requests for reprints of the petitioner’s publications
  • Patents
  • Evidence of awards or honors received (e.g. scholarships, travel awards, etc.)
  • Membership in professional associations
  • Use of the petitioner’s work by others in academia, research, or commercial activities
  • Details of the funding for the petitioner’s research projects or grants
  • Press coverage of the petitioner’s work in popular media, including newspapers, magazines, internet, or television
  • Recommendation letters from experts in the petitioner’s field attesting to the impact of their work.

Letters of Recommendation

Recommendation letters should be written both by those who know the petitioner personally, and especially by those who do not know the petitioner personally but rather through their reputation. These letters are of the utmost importance in obtaining a National Interest Waiver.

These letters should elucidate the applicant’s impact in their field. While being a diligent and hardworking team player may be important in hiring for a job, it does not support eligibility for a National Interest Waiver. The letters of recommendation should not just say that the petitioner 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 USCIS examiners generally do not find discoveries sufficient. 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 applicant discovered.

Our attorneys are looking for quality as opposed to quantity, but we still want to get as many letters as possible. You will have the greatest level of success if you can obtain letters from experts both in and out of the United States.

What Our Team Can Do for You

The Fleischer Law Firm LLC provides clients with samples of strong recommendation letters and personal statements, as well as unparalleled insight into the exceedingly complicated process of filing for a National Interest Waiver. We have obtained National Interest Waivers for innumerable clients, including research scientists, physicists, physicians, historic scholars, engineers, dancers, musicians, and many other occupations.

If you want the highest possible likelihood of success, retain support from The Fleischer Law Firm LLC. Call (513) 880-9969 or contact us online to put our decades of experience to work for you.

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Our attorneys have more than 40 years of experience exclusively practicing immigration law. In every case we handle, we apply detail-oriented focus and dedication to our clients’ needs first and foremost. 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 helping you accomplish your goals as soon as possible.

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