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EB-2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) FAQ

Q: Can a Ph.D. student apply for a NIW petition?

A: Yes, a Ph.D. student may apply for a NIW petition because a job offer is not a requirement.

Q: Do I need to live in the U.S. at the time I apply for a NIW petition?

A: Even though it is not necessary to be living in the U.S. at the time of applying for a NIW petition, it may be difficult to establish the claim for a National Interest Waiver (NIW).

Q: How many publications are required to meet the minimum requirements for NIW petition?

A: The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) decides each petition on a case by case basis. There are no minimum number of publications required for a NIW petition.

Q: Can I still apply for a NIW petition even if I don’t have any published articles in journals in my field?

A: Yes. There is no specific requirement to have published articles to qualify for a NIW petition. Having published articles, however, could make a NIW petition stronger.

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Q: Can I still apply for a NIW petition even if I don’t have any awards in my field?

A: Since there is no specific requirement to have awards to qualify for a NIW petition, yes you can. Of course, having awards could make a NIW petition stronger.

Q: Can I still apply for a NIW petition even if I am not a member of a professional organization in my field?

A: Yes. There is not a specific requirement to be a member of a professional organization to qualify for a NIW petition. Of course, being a member of a professional organization, association, or society could make a NIW petition stronger.

If one joins a professional association by simply paying a membership fee, it has no value in regards to a NIW petition.

Q: Can artists or musician qualify for an NIW?

A: Yes, they may.

Q: I am considering applying under the EB-1 classification as well. Can I simultaneously apply for a NIW as well?

A: Yes, you can if you qualify. That would increase your chances of approval.

Because both the petitions are independent of each other, there would not be any negative effects on each other.

Your chances of approval would be higher in the category you are most suitable and qualified.

Q: If I have already applied under another classification, why should I apply under a NIW as well?

A: Your overall chances of approval may be higher if you have multiple petitions pending.

Additionally, some petitions require an employer and job offer. You would have to work for that employer for some time after that petition is approved. Since a NIW does not require an employer, you would be free to work for any employer after you get a green card.

Since this category does not require a labor certification, you would receive a green card much faster than a person applying through a category that requires a labor certification. A labor certification is a complex process and may take a long time.

Q: Can I still petition for a NIW even if I my labor certification is denied?

A: As long as you qualify for it, yes you can .

A labor certification and a NIW are entirely different things. A labor certification is based on a shortage of workers in a particular area while a NIW is based on national interest. Your labor certification may be denied if there are enough workers in your area with the minimum job requirements. However, if you succeed what the minimal job requirements are and if your work will be of national interest, you can certainly apply for a NIW.

Q: Can I use the letters of recommendation I used for my EB-1 petition also for a NIW petition?

A: No. The criteria for an EB-1 petition and a NIW are different, so it would not be effective.

Q: Do I need to remain with my current employer after my NIW is approved?

A: No as long as you petitioned the NIW yourself.

Q: Am I required to remain in the same field as my NIW claim after my NIW is approved?

A: Of course. You are required to continue to work in the field of your NIW claims and benefit the national interest of the U.S. If you start working in another area, your I-485 may be denied if it is still under process, and your green card could be revoked if you already received it.

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For visitors, travel, student and other international travel medical insurance.

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