Immigration Services
EB-2 NIW Self-Petitions

EB-2 NIW Self-Petitions

Employment-based immigration can be a long and challenging process. To achieve temporary resident status to work legally, applicants typically need to have a job offer from a U.S. employer or a PERM labor certification before consideration. Fortunately, applicants can circumvent these requirements through self-petition. To address ongoing immigration barriers, the USCIS has established a national interest waiver for EB-2 green cards. A foreign national may use this petition to waive the requirement of a job offer or PERM Labor Certification process by demonstrating that their permanent residence in the U.S. would be of national interest. Before starting the process, there are several qualifying criteria to be aware of.

Since the application process can be difficult to complete, you’ll need to work with someone familiar with employment immigration law. Sverdloff Law Office is prepared to do what it takes to achieve your goals. Contact our attorneys for assistance.


What Are the Requirements for EB-2 NIW Self-Petition?

In a typical EB-2 green card case, the U.S. employer acts as the case petitioner and obtains a labor certificate before they file Form I-140 on behalf of the beneficiary or the foreign national. The applicant would also have to apply for a PERM certification. Self-petitioning allows applicants to complete the application while omitting those steps, which often decreases the processing time and lets you achieve temporary work authorization sooner.

You may qualify if you fulfill the following criteria:

  • The applicant’s proposed endeavor has both merit and national importance, whether the employment is in science, business, health, technology, or education.
  • The applicant’s educational background, skills, experience level, and history of accomplishments show that they will be able to advance and succeed in the proposed endeavor.
  • Waiving the PERM and job offer requirements would evidently benefit the United States.

The burden of proving national interest lies on you, and your evidence must prove that the following provisions are true for the proposed endeavor:

  • Benefits a certain career field on a national or even international level;
  • Has a strong potential to employ Americans or has other strong positive economic benefits, particularly in a region with a struggling economy;
  • Will significantly advance the welfare of society or the enrichment of culture or the arts; and
  • Has an effect on a topic that a government agency has deemed to be of national concern or that is the focus of national activities.

An attorney can help you optimize your evidence’s presentation and create a persuasive argument to increase the chance that your case will be approved.

Application Process

Individuals hoping to obtain a national interest waiver will first file Form I-140. You will file this petition on your own behalf, even without a job offer in place and without obtaining a PERM labor certification. As part of your application, you will need to provide an official academic record that shows your degree or similar award from an educational institution demonstrating your exceptional ability in a certain area of study. “Exceptional ability” is defined as a level of expertise that is remarkably higher than what is typical for an employee working in the arts, sciences, or business.

Applicants must provide photocopies of relevant documents, including English translations of foreign language documents. Processing times can vary greatly, but it will generally take between 10 to 20 months for the USCIS to process and respond to your application. USCIS offers premium processing for a fee, which guarantees action on the case within 15 days for most cases or 45 days for Form I-140 E13 and Form I-140 E21 NIW classifications.

Call a Chicago Immigration Attorney

If you are interested in learning whether you qualify for EB-2 NIW self-petition, contact a knowledgeable immigration attorney at Sverdloff Law Group. We prioritize your immigration goals as we help you navigate every step of the process.

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