Immigration News & Updates
Proving Exceptional Ability for an EB-2 National Interest Waiver

Proving Exceptional Ability for an EB-2 National Interest Waiver


One of the best ways to obtain a green card is by proving exceptional ability. If you have an advanced degree and experience or if you meet other criteria, you may be able to apply for a National Interest Waiver. A National Interest Waiver is also known as an EB-2 NIW. It is a type of work-based visa that doesn’t require employer sponsorship. If you think you may qualify for an EB-2 NIW, an experienced immigration attorney will help you through the process. 

What is an EB-2 National Interest Waiver?

Under typical circumstances, you would need to have an employer sponsor your visa. An EB-2 National Interest Waiver offers a way to seek a green card without an employer. Those with exceptional abilities are in demand in the United States and, therefore, may be able to seek a green card through this path. Those with an advanced degree as well as at least five years of post-degree experience in the industry may meet the criteria to apply for the EB-2 NIW.  You may also qualify if you have the equivalent of the education and experience necessary. A knowledgeable green card attorney will help you determine your eligibility. 

Criteria to Meet Exceptional Ability Standard

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has a list of seven criteria for an EB-2 NIW. An applicant must meet at least three out of the seven criteria to be eligible. It is helpful to meet as many criteria as possible.

  • Academic record
  • Documentation of 10 years of experience in your field
  • Professional license or certification
  • Evidence of your salary that is commensurate with your exceptional ability
  • Professional association membership
  • Achievements or recognition in your field
  • Other evidence of eligibility

The more categories of criteria that you meet, the more likely it may be that the USCIS could approve your application. The criteria are somewhat subjective in that you can provide evidence other than that listed in order to prove your claim of exceptional ability. Every industry or career is different, so it is helpful to speak with a qualified immigration attorney to review your qualifications. 

Proof to Submit to USCIS

The USCIS requires you to submit documentation to prove that you meet the criteria for an exceptional ability EB-2 NIW. You will want to show that your qualifications exceed the minimum requirements and that your abilities are indeed exceptional as compared with other people in your particular field. You will need to submit verification of employment in your field, but your proof must go beyond simple work records. Gather letters from managers or supervisors who attest to your abilities and achievements. 

If you received awards or recognition for your work, you should obtain these documents and submit them as proof to the USCIS. Remember that your proof must show that you have an advanced level of expertise that is above others in your field. It is important to note that the USCIS will review your application to make a determination. Therefore, you should provide the best possible documentation to show proof of your abilities. 

As an applicant for an EB-2 NIW, you will want to be as prepared as possible and submit as much pertinent documentation as you can to show your exceptional ability. To get the legal guidance you need to file a successful application, contact our immigration attorneys at Sverdloff Law Group at (312) 238-9090.


facebook twitter Linkedin
The United States immigration system is complex and scary. We're here to guide you through it.

It all starts with a consultation:

  • nine − three =
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
It's fast and easy.