Understanding the EB2-NIW Pathway for U.S. Green Card

For those without immediate family in the U.S. or facing long waits in family-based immigration categories, the EB2-NIW (Employment-Based Second Preference - National Interest Waiver) offers a potential pathway to a U.S. Green Card. This option is particularly relevant for individuals with advanced degrees or exceptional abilities.

The EB2-NIW category is unique in that each case is evaluated based on its individual merits. It differs from family preference or other employment-based green cards in that it involves a request for the USCIS Director to waive the labor certification or job offer requirement in the interest of the U.S. This waiver is based on the premise that granting permanent residency to the foreign petitioner has significant intrinsic merit for the U.S.


NEWSTART CONSULTANCY LLC is a registered business in the USA, Australia, and the Philippines, specializing in providing non-attorney assistance for EB2-NIW applications. Our team, comprised of knowledgeable legal researchers, offers extensive experience in the administrative and procedural aspects of U.S. immigration, particularly in EB2-NIW applications.

We focus on assisting individuals who wish to undertake the EB2-NIW application process. Our services include gathering, organizing, and assembling EB2-NIW petition submissions. While we do not provide legal advice, our legal research and writing background equip us to help you prepare a professional and effective petition.

Our Approach to EB2-NIW Petitions

We recognize the uniqueness of each EB2-NIW case and are committed to working closely with you to meet the specific requirements of your petition. Our approach involves a detailed and structured method of preparing your petition, ensuring it aligns with the criteria outlined in EB2-NIW.

Our expertise extends to assisting with responses to Requests for Further Evidence (RFEs), where we focus on clarity and thoroughness in addressing the queries raised by USCIS. Our goal is to help you present your case in a clear, organized, and effective manner, enhancing the overall quality of your submission.

Our Commitment

At NEWSTART CONSULTANCY LLC, we pride ourselves on our attention to detail, thoroughness, and client-centric approach. We aim to provide you with the necessary support to create a well-prepared petition, focusing on the administrative and procedural aspects of the EB2-NIW process. Our commitment is to assist you in navigating this complex process with professional and efficient support.





  1. Detailed and Structured Approach: Our team is dedicated to preparing your EB2-NIW petition with a focus on clear structure, thoroughness, and attention to detail. We understand the importance of presenting your information effectively, ensuring that your submission is well-organized and free from grammar, spelling, punctuation, and formatting errors. We aim to help you present your qualifications and endeavors in the best light, highlighting why your contributions are valuable and unique.

  2. Affordable Services: Understanding the financial burden that legal fees can impose, we offer a cost-effective alternative to expensive attorney services. Our non-attorney assistance provides professional guidance at a more accessible price point, making the immigration process more manageable for a wider range of budgets.

  3. Focused Expertise: Our specialization in specific areas of the immigration process allows us to provide knowledgeable and experienced guidance. While we do not offer legal advice, our expertise in handling certain immigration applications and petitions ensures that we are well-equipped to assist with the administrative and procedural aspects of your EB2-NIW petition.

  4. Procedural Efficiency: With our in-depth understanding of the procedural requirements for immigration applications, we assist in efficiently gathering and organizing necessary documentation, accurately completing forms, and ensuring timely submissions. Our familiarity with these processes aims to streamline your application journey.

  5. Personalized Client Care: We pride ourselves on offering personalized attention to each client. With a smaller caseload than many attorneys, we can provide a more focused and individualized approach, addressing your specific needs, questions, and concerns throughout the immigration process. This client-centered approach ensures that your unique situation receives the attention and care it deserves.

Our commitment is to support you in navigating the immigration process with professional, efficient, and personalized assistance, helping to make your EB2-NIW petition journey as smooth as possible.


EB2-NIW THE BASICS: determine your eligibility

 To file an EB2-NIW petition, the applicant must meet specific eligibility criteria. These criteria include possessing either an "advanced degree" OR "exceptional ability" in the fields of sciences, arts, or business. The petitioner or beneficiary must demonstrate their intention to work in a field that holds substantial intrinsic value to the United States. Additionally, they need to prove that their proposed activities will have a national impact and that the requirement of a Labor Certification would harm the national interest. As the petitioner or beneficiary seeks a waiver of the labor certification requirement through the discretionary power of the USCIS Director, the responsibility falls on them to provide compelling evidence that such an exemption serves the national interest of the United States.

Eligibility Criteria
Sub-CategoriesDescription Evidence

Advanced Degree


















The job you apply for must require an advanced degree and you must possess such a degree or its foreign equivalent (a baccalaureate or foreign equivalent degree plus 5 years of post-baccalaureate, progressive work experience in the field). You must meet any other requirements specified on the labor certification as applicable as of the priority date.











Documentation, such as an official academic record showing that you have a U.S. advanced degree or a foreign equivalent degree, or an official academic record showing that you have a U.S. baccalaureate degree or a foreign equivalent degree, and letters from current or former employers showing that you have at least 5 years of progressive post-baccalaureate work experience in the specialty.

If a doctoral degree is customarily required, you must have a United States doctorate or foreign equivalent degree








Exceptional Ability










You must be able to show exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business. Exceptional ability “means a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business.” You must meet any requirements specified on the labor certification as applicable.







You must meet at least three of the criteria below.

  • Official academic record showing that you have a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution of learning relating to your area of exceptional ability
  • Letters from current or former employers documenting at least 10 years of full-time experience in your occupation
  • A license to practice your profession or certification for your profession or occupation
  • Evidence that you have commanded a salary or other remuneration for services that demonstrates your exceptional ability
  • Membership in a professional association(s)
  • Recognition for your achievements and significant contributions to your industry or field by your peers, government entities, professional or business organizations
  • Other comparable evidence of eligibility is also acceptable.







Those seeking a national interest waiver are requesting that the job offer, and thus the labor certification, be waived because it is in the interest of the United States. The endeavors that qualify for a national interest waiver are not defined by statute; instead, USCIS considers the 3 factors below. Those seeking a national interest waiver may self-petition (they do not need an employer to sponsor them).

Factors USCIS Considers for National Interest Waiver ( Dhanasar three-prong legal framework)

  •     The proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance.
  •     You are well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor.
  •     On balance, it would be beneficial to the United States to waive the requirements of a job offer, and thus the labor certification.
 National Interest Waiver of Job Offer
Since 1990, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) has provided that a person of exceptional ability may obtain a waiver of the job offer requirement if USCIS deems such waiver to be in the “national interest.” A subsequent technical amendment extended the job offer waiver to certain professionals. This waiver provision applies only to the second preference (EB-2) classification for members of the professions holding advanced degrees and persons of exceptional ability. This waiver of the job offer is known as the national interest waiver.
To establish eligibility, the petitioner has the burden of demonstrating that: 
  •     The person qualifies as either a member of the professions holding an advanced degree or as a person of exceptional ability; and
  •     The waiver of the job offer requirement, and thus, the labor certification requirement, is in the “national interest.”
Qualification for the EB-2 classification as a member of the professions holding an advanced degree or as a person of exceptional ability does not automatically mean that the person qualifies for a national interest waiver. Regardless of whether the person is an advanced degree professional or demonstrates exceptional ability, the petitioner seeking a waiver of the job offer must not only demonstrate eligibility for the classification, but also demonstrate that the waiver itself is in the national interest.
Specifically, in the exceptional ability context, the INA requires that all petitions for a person of exceptional ability show that the person’s presence in the United States would substantially benefit the national economy, cultural or educational interests, or welfare of the United States in the future. Even if the petitioner demonstrates such exceptional ability, if the petitioner is seeking a waiver of the job offer, the petitioner must also demonstrate the additional requirement of national interest. Neither the INA nor the regulations define the term “national interest.”  The burden rests with the petitioner to establish that the waiver of the job offer requirement is in the national interest. USCIS considers every petition on a case-by-case basis.
USCIS may grant a national interest waiver as a matter of discretion if the petitioner demonstrates eligibility by a preponderance of the evidence, based on the following three prongs:
  •     The person’s proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance;
  •     The person is well-positioned to advance the proposed endeavor; and
  •     On balance, it would be beneficial to the United States to waive the job offer and thus the permanent labor certification requirements.

i-140 approval -NVC-consular processing & Family of EB-2 Visa Holders

Consular processing is when the petition is filed outside of the US. Once approved, the petitioner goes to the US embassy in his/her home country or travels to his/her home country for an immigrant visa interview. The NIW green card processing time is typically between 3 to 9 months. Though this time greatly depends on the assigned USCIS Service Center and if the adjudicating officer requires a Request for Evidence (RFE).

Premium processing provides expedited processing for Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, for a fee. USCIS guarantees that it will take some adjudicative action on the case within 45 calendar days for Form I-140 E21 NIW classifications, or it will refund the premium processing fee and will continue with expedited processing.


If your I-140 petition is approved, your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may be eligible to apply for admission to the United States in E-21 and E-22 immigrant status, respectively.



Consular Processing: How it Works

An employment-based consular processing application begins when your I-140 petition is approved. Upon approval of the I-140, USCIS sends an approval notice to the attorney of record, or direct to the petitioner. USCIS then sends the petition itself, and notification of its approval, along to the National Visa Center (“NVC”). Please note that non-attorneys cannot represent you as your "attorney on record".

Outline of the Process: Employment-based Consular Processing

  1. The I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker: The I-140 petition will be filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Once the I-140 Petition is approved, the case will be sent to the National Visa Center for further processing.
  2. Fee Bill Packet: This packet should arrive 3-8 weeks after the I-140 Petition is approved. It will require payment of the Immigrant Visa fees for the Intending Immigrant (s). If the intending Immigrant wishes to bring immediate family members to the United States, he/she should add them to his/her Immigrant Visa Petition at this time.
  3. Instruction Packet: When visas are available, we will receive the NVC “Instruction Packet.” This packet will request an online form from the Intending Immigrant(s) and copies of documents. DS-260.
  4. Notification of Interview: When the NVC has gathered and reviewed all forms, photos, and original documents for the Intending Immigrant(s), they will schedule an interview at the U.S. embassy in the Intending Immigrant(s)’s home country. The final stage of the Immigrant Visa application will be processed at the embassy. If the application is approved, the Intending Immigrant(s) will receive an Immigrant Visa stamp on his/her passport. S/he will then have six months to move to the United States.