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What is the EB-2 NIW Visa?

The EB-2 NIW visa was created for highly skilled applicants to prove their presence in the US will serve national interests through projects they complete or their skills. It is similar to the EB-1A in that the individual may self-petition to obtain their EB-2 NIW; however, the standards that applicants are required to meet are less strict than with the EB-1A.

Qualified applicants for the EB-2 NIW will have sufficient evidence to prove that they have exceptional abilities in the sciences, medicine, arts, business, or athletics or that they have an advanced degree (or the equivalent) in their field. Qualified applicants will also be able to demonstrate that their skills will benefit the US economy significantly through inquiries regarding their education, experience, achievements, and future plans while in the US.

What are Some Advantages of the EB-2 NIW Visa?

As discussed above, the qualifications for the EB-2 NIW visa are a little less stringent than the EB-1A. Rather than providing evidence of international awards or meeting several criteria, applicants must provide proof of their advanced degrees and meet a few other requirements. This increases the applicant pool to be larger than the EB-1A.

The classification of the NIW or National Interest Waiver allows the applicant to avoid the requirement of an employer having an active job offer for the applicant and a labor certification from the Department of Labor. This process can be time-consuming (typically six months to a year or more), so avoiding it is appealing to applicants.

What are Some Disadvantages of the EB-2 NIW Visa?

Although it can seem easier to obtain the EB-2 NIW visa, the backlogs can be more than in other categories due to more applicants satisfying the requirements for this category. It is also considered a second preference visa which typically results in more extended waiting periods for the priority date to become current.

Although satisfying the requirements for the EB-2 NIW is less arduous than similar visas in its category, the applicant still will need to meet the criteria proving their intentions, effort, and skills are an asset to the US. Applicants must also demonstrate that their proposed work will have “substantial merit” and would benefit the US to waive the labor certification process.

Why Hire an Attorney?

There are several options for obtaining visas, and it can seem overwhelming to determine which categories will provide an applicant with the best avenue to obtaining a visa. Experienced attorneys are experienced and knowledgeable in all things visas. They can learn about the specifics of your situation, provide guidance, help assess which visa category is best for you, and continue assisting you through the entire process. Time is of the essence, and immigration attorneys understand the sense of urgency. By having an effective strategy in place, you can avoid timely mistakes throughout the process that pushes back your timelines further than necessary. Contact my office at 407-499-5680to learn more about how I can best assist you in your journey.

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