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National Interest Waivers
A labor certification is required for the second (EB-2) employment-based preference categories, except when it can be waived because it is deemed to be in the interest of the U.S. to do so. Those seeking a National Interest Waiver can skip filing a labor certification with the Department of Labor and instead file a petition directly with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). The foreign national may also “self-petition” meaning she does not need an employer to sponsor her petition.
Criteria for National Interest Waiver
In addition to providing evidence that you qualify for the EB-2 preference category, you must demonstrate that it is in the national interest that USCIS waive the requirement of a job offer and the labor certification. Although the statutory scheme is straightforward, the term “national interest” is ambiguous and therefore subject to various interpretations. Under the current, accepted interpretation applied by USCIS, this is shown by establishing that:
1. The proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance
2. You are well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor
3. It would be beneficial to the United States to waive the requirements of a job offer and thus the labor certification
As demonstrated by these requirements, it is important to hire a skilled immigration attorney that will help you navigate these legal complexities and put you in the best position for approval. Our team can meet with you in a variety of locations and if you’re located far away from our local offices, you can always contact us by phone or email. The team at Sam Shihab & Associates is available to answer all your questions and discuss all the legal options regarding any immigration-related issues.