top of page
City View

Fast-Track Approval in 45 Days

  • Zero investment requirement, and no language or age limits

  • No job offer or permanent job position is required

  • No labor certification is required

  • Self-petition is allowed

  • Permanent Green Cards for the whole family


NIW Overview

NIW stands for National Interest Waiver, which is a category within the U.S. green card application process, specifically under the EB-2 visa category. Generally, application of second preference of employment-based immigrant visa requires a specific job offer and labor certification process (PERM). However, a foreign national may seek a waiver of job offer or PERM process by establishing that his/her admission to permanent residence would be in the national interest of the United States.

NIW Eligible Applicants

  • STEM Majors

Individuals majoring in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

  • Exceptional Individuals in Other Fields

Outstanding professionals in fields such as art, sports, medicine, business, etc.

  • Academic Talents

Including master's and Ph.D. students, postdoctoral researchers, visiting scholars, and other academic researchers.

Expedited Approval, Permanent Green Card for the Whole Family

Expedited approval within 45 days, securing a permanent green card for the entire family in a single step.

High Approval Rate

NIW applications boast a high success rate of 95.66%.

No Employer Sponsorship Required

NIW visa applicants are not obligated to have a U.S. employer sponsor them, offering greater career flexibility and independence.

No Need for Labor Certification (PERM)

NIW applicants are exempt from the labor certification (PERM) application process.

USCIS Opens Door to STEM NIW Applications

USCIS's updated policy guidelines in 2022 provide that holders of advanced degrees in STEM fields may receive an advantage in their NIW petitions. Having a Ph.D. in STEM fields is considered especially positive for meeting the criteria and positioning the applicant for approval.

City Sky


NIW  Requirements

NIW applicants must fulfill either the Advanced Degree or Exceptional Ability criteria. If the applicant does not meet the Advanced Degree requirement, they must demonstrate Exceptional Ability surpassing those of their peers in their field of specialization.

Advanced Degree (meet one of three options):

  • Hold a master's degree or higher from a U.S. university.

  • Possess a master's degree or higher from a foreign equivalent university.

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. or foreign-equivalent university, accompanied by 5 years of work experience in a related field of specialization (considered equivalent to a master's degree).

Exceptional Ability (provide at least 3 of the following 6 items):

  • An official academic record showing that the alien has a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution of learning relating to the area of exceptional ability;

  • Evidence in the form of letters from current or former employers showing that the alien has at least ten years of full-time experience in the occupation for which he or she is being sought;

  • A license to practice the profession or certification for a particular profession or occupation;

  • Evidence that the alien has commanded a salary, or other remuneration for services, which demonstrates exceptional ability;

  • Evidence of membership in professional associations; 

  • Evidence of recognition for achievements and significant contributions to the industry or field by peers, governmental entities, or professional or business organizations.

To successfully obtain an NIW, the applicant must still demonstrate eligibility using the following three-prong test in Matter of Dhanasar:

  • The applicant’s proposed work in the U.S. has both substantial merit and national importance.

  • The applicant is well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor.

  • The U.S. would benefit if the applicant were exempted from having to obtain employer sponsorship and from having to file a PERM Labor Certification.

Processing of NIW

  • Contract Signing (1-2 weeks)

An immigration consultant develops the application strategy.

  • Preparation of Application Materials (3-6 months)

Collect objective materials that substantiate the claim of extraordinary ability and present in clear and in depth manner to maximize the probability of success.

  • Submission

Submit the I-140 application form to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

  • Expedited Approval (45 days)

Receive approval for the I-140 immigration petition.

  • Visa Interview

Attend a visa interview at the National Visa Center (NVC) and the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou to obtain a green card or submit the I-485 for adjustment of status if already in the United States.

  • The entire family receives green cards

The entire family (spouse and any children under 21) receives green cards.

Delicate Fabric

Successful Cases

Black Background
Civil Engineer

Approved for NIW in 7 Days

土木工程师 7天获批NIW


  • Q. Does NIW require an employer sponsor?

A. NIW does not require employer sponsorship; the petitioner can apply for the petition themselves, without involving the employer.

  • Q. Why not consider the general EB-2 program?

A. The general EB-2 category requires U.S. employer sponsorship and labor certification. Employers need to prove their inability to recruit suitable locals in the U.S., making the labor certification process lengthy and demanding. However, NIW is a special case in EB-2 that does not require employer sponsorship or labor certification, allowing individuals to apply on their own or change employers at any time.

  • Q. Why choose NIW over EB-1A?

A. While EB-1A has a shorter waiting period and no educational or language requirements, and does not require investment, NIW is suitable for many individuals pursuing a PhD/Master's degree or who have achieved some success at work. Meeting the NIW requirements makes the application process easier.

  • Q. Can I file EB-1A and NIW petitions at the same time?

A. Yes. Both EB-1A and NIW are Form I-140 petitions. The law does not prohibit multiple I-140 petitions for the same beneficiary. In fact, some clients file EB-1A and NIW petitions at the same time to increase their chance of approval. This is perfectly fine under the U.S. immigration law.

  • Q. Can I apply for NIW if I have already applied for another immigration category?

A. Yes, you can. However, it is important to note that only one immigrant category can be selected on a single Form I-140, and the Form I-140 and related supporting documents need to be submitted separately when filing the petition.

  • Q. Can I apply for NIW if I have already received a labor certification or if my labor certification application has been denied?

A. Yes, the labor certification process is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor, while the NIW process is reviewed by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Even if the applicant's labor certification application is denied by the Department of Labor, USCIS can still approve the NIW application.

bottom of page