National Interest Waiver

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Our firm has successfully represented clients in National Interest Waiver Petition cases, view our National Interest Waiver Petition Success Stories.

In order to obtain a green card through a National Interest Waiver, a foreign national must establish that a discretionary waiver of the job offer and labor certification requirements is in the U.S. national interest pursuant to Matter of Dhanasar, 26 I&N Dec. 884 (AAO 2016). This decision makes National Interest Waivers more broadly available to foreign nationals pursuing endeavors that would benefit the United States. Matter of Dhanasar vacates the framework set forth in Matter of New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), 22 I&N Dec. 215 (Acting Assoc. Comm’r 1998).

Under the new test, in order to be granted a National Interest Waiver, the foreign national must meet all of the following criteria, under the preponderance of evidence (“more likely than not”) standard:

  1. The foreign national’s proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance. A wide range of fields of endeavor may qualify, including business, entrepreneurialism, science, technology, culture, health, and education.
  2. The foreign national is well-positioned to advance the proposed endeavor. To determine whether the foreign national meets this requirement, USCIS will look to his or her education, skills, knowledge and record of success in related or similar efforts, a model or plan for future activities, progress toward achieving the endeavor, and the interest of potential customers, users, investors or other relevant entities or individuals.
  3. On balance, it would be beneficial to the U.S. to waive the job offer and labor certification requirements of the EB-2 category. To meet this requirement, USCIS will consider (among other factors) whether the U.S. would benefit from the foreign national’s contributions even if qualified U.S. workers are otherwise available, and whether the national interest of the foreign national’s contributions is sufficiently urgent to warrant foregoing the labor certification process.

For more information about green cards for scientific researchers please visit our website at