EB-2 National Interest Waiver
FAQ
Q: Can a Ph.D. student apply for a NIW petition?
A: Yes, a Ph.D. student may apply for a NIW petition as a job offer is not required.

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 NIW petition, it may be difficult to establish the claim for National Interest Waiver (NIW).

Q: How many publications are required to meet the minimum requirements for NIW petition?
A: 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, you can, as there is no specific requirement to have published articles to qualify for NIW petition. Of course, having published articles could make an NIW petition stronger.

Q: Can I still apply for a NIW petition even if I don't have any awards in my field?
A: Yes, you can, as there is no specific requirement to have awards to qualify for NIW petition. Of course, having awards could make an 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, you can, as there is no specific requirement to have 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 you could easily join a professional association by simply paying a membership fee, it has no value regarding the NIW petition.

Q: Can artists or musician qualify for an NIW?
A: Yes, they may.

Q: I am considering applying under EB1 classification as well. Can I simultaneously apply for NIW as well?
A: Yes, you can if you qualify. That will increase your chances of approval.

And as both the petitions are independent of each other, there won't be any negative effect.

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 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 will have to work for that employer for some time after that petition is approved. As NIW does not require any employer, you would be free to work for any employer after you get the green card.

As this category does not require labor certification, you would receive the green card much faster as compared to applying through another category that requires labor certification. Labor certification is a complex process and may take a long time.

Q: Can I still petition for NIW even if I my labor certification is denied?
A: Yes, you can as long as you qualify for it.

Labor certification and NIW are entirely different things. Labor certification is based on the shortage of workers in a particular area while NIW is based on national interest. Your labor certification may be denied if there are enough workers in your area with 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 NIW.

Q: Can I use the letters of recommendation I used for EB1 petition also for NIW petition?
A: No. It would not be effective as the criteria for EB1 and NIW are different.

Q: Do I need to remain with my current employer after my NIW is approved?
A: No, as long as you petitioned yourself for NIW.

Q: Am I required to remain in the same field as my NIW claim after 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 instead in another area, your I-485 may be denied if it is still under process and your green card can be revoked if you already received it.