Usually, before an employer can petition a foreign national to work for them in the U.S., they must prove that there is not a sufficient number of U.S. workers that are willing and able to fill the position. This process is called the PERM Labor Certification.
Alternatively, a foreign national may self-petition without a job offer if he/she has an advanced degree* or possesses exceptional ability and can show that allowing him/her to work in the U.S. would be beneficial to the national interest, thus USCIS should grant a national interest waiver to him/her.
Traditionally, the standards to be eligible for the National Interest Waiver were vague. However, pursuant to a recent case, Matter of Dhanasar, the National Interest Waiver has become clearer and easier to reach for not just doctors and scientists, but also educators, small business owners, cultural historians, and many others.
Our firm will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your case, we conduct research for your particular profession, and we prepare and submit a detailed cover memorandum, explaining why your experiences and your plans for the future would pass Dhanasar’s test:
- The foreign national’s proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance
- The foreign national is well-positioned to advance the proposed endeavor, and
- On balance, it would be beneficial to the U.S. to waive the requirements of a job offer and thus a labor certification.
Please note that USCIS currently does not provide for premium processing for EB-2 filed with the National Interest Waiver. The adjudication time frame for these cases is about 6-8 months. These cases have also been coming through with much higher rates of approval since the Dhanasar case was released. However, we expect this to change for the worse as we expect USCIS to tighten their scrutiny to fix the approval rate. As such, if you believe that you may qualify for this type of self-petition, you should schedule a consultation with us as soon as possible.
*If you lack the advanced degree requirement, please see how you can use the Parole for International Entrepreneurs Rule to give you the work experience that would be equivalent to an advanced degree.