National Interest Waiver (NIW) Green Card 2018-04-12T22:12:42+00:00

National Interest Waiver (NIW) Green Card

Contact Casseus Law for a free email credential review to determine if you are qualified for a Green Card through the National Interest Waiver (NIW): There is a fee for an in-person consultations.

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Here at The Casseus Law, we pride ourselves in providing high-quality representation in assisting our clients put forth the strongest National Interest Waiver (NIW) petition possible. Your experience working with Casseus Law will show you that the process is clear and relatively simple as long as you follow the road map that we provide for you. In order to determine whether you are a good candidate to submit an NIW petition, experienced attorneys at Casseus Law will first evaluate your credentials and will explore all of your immigration options available to you. Please send us your resume by email to for a free assessment. After reviewing your resume, one of our attorneys will contact you and to discuss the next steps.

What is a National Interest Waiver (NIW)?

A National Interest Waiver (NIW) is a special type of employment based immigrant category that does not require a job offer. As a result, most foreign nationals who meet the requirements of the NIW can self-petition instead of having an employer petition on their behalf.

You’ve probably visited numerous websites looking for an office to draft your National Interest Waiver petition. For the most part, these law offices and firms will explain the process and the requirements for obtaining a waiver. What these sites often fail to communicate to you is precisely what their office will provide to you.

Here at Casseus Law, we promise you the following in regards to your national interest waiver (NIW) petition:

  • Total Flat Fee: You pay one flat fee when you retain us to draft your National Interest Waiver Form I-140 Petition, and NIW supporting documents. You never pay again. There is no cost for Requests for Evidence (RFEs) from United States Citizenship and Immigration.
  • Letters of recommendation: We will draft up to 6 letters of recommendation for your petition.
  • Quick turnaround: Once your recommenders have signed all of your letters of recommendation, we will provide you with the draft of your petition within one week.
  • Fast Responses: We pride ourselves in responding to you within 24 hours of your calls and emails.
  • We help you along the way! At the Casseus Law, we put you, the client first. Feel free to ask as many questions as you want. We are available to answer any and all questions you may have. We promise that we will respond to your correspondence within 24 hours.
  • We adapt to your schedule. If you can’t meet in person we have no problem scheduling a web meeting.

Matter of Dhanasar: USCIS’ new case to judge National Interest Waivers

On December 27, 2016, the US Immigration Administrative Appeals Office (“AAO”) gave us a holiday present  in the form of the brand new legal decision Matter of Dhanasar as the new test for judging I-140 EB-2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) petitions. The new decision replaces the previous Matter of New York State Dept. of Transportation (NYSDOT) three-prong test that had been the previous law for evaluating NIW cases.

The Dhanasar decision lays out the following three pronged test for NIW applicants to qualify for a waiver of the job offer requirement and that USCIS may grant a national interest waiver if the petitioner demonstrates:

(1) that the foreign national’s proposed work endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance;

(2) that he or she is well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor; and

(3) that, on balance, it would be beneficial to the United States to waive the job offer and labor
certification requirements.

Immigration will still focus on the importance of the individuals work on their field of national importance in addition to the impact of the individual’s past history of impactful work and contributions. The decision also placed emphasis on “educational background, skills, knowledge, record of success, a model or plan for future activities; any progress towards achieving the proposed endeavor; and the interest of potential customers, users, investors, or other relevant entities or individuals.”

All of you will be happy to know that  the new Dhanasar standard no longer places an emphasis on an individuals influence by using publications and citations as a primary factor. Rather, immigration highlighted evidence such as government funding, awards, media reports and membership.

Q: What is the EB-2 Category?

A: EB-2 is the immigrant visa preference category for United States employment-based permanent residency, created by the Immigration Act of 1990. The category includes “members of the professions holding advanced degrees or their equivalent”, and “individuals who because of their exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business will substantially benefit prospectively the national economy, cultural or educational interests, or welfare of the United States, and whose services in the sciences, arts, professions, or business are sought by an employer in the United States”. Applicants (with the exception of applicants applying for an exemption known as National Interest Waiver) must generally have an approved labor certification, a job offer, and their employer must have filed an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker (form I-140) with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Q: Does filing for a National Interest Waiver Petition require a job offer?

A: No, the National Interest Waiver, does not require a job offer or U.S. employer support, if your contributions are deemed to benefit the United States national interest. Because neither the statutory law nor USCIS regulations have defined what “national interest” means, it allows you the opportunity to showcase your talents. Our attorneys at Casseus Law are here to assist you in putting forth the strongest petition possible.

Q: How does USCIS determine who should get a National Interest Waiver?

A: Your credentials. There is no golden rule that determines who is eligible for a National Interest Waiver. Our attorneys will closely evaluate your credentials using our extensive library of successful National Interest Waiver cases. We consider the following factors in evaluating our clients:

  • Graduate Degrees: It is no surprise that USCIS favors those individuals with Masters and Ph.D. degrees. It is easy for a hearing officer to objectively determine that Masters and Ph.D. degrees are advanced degrees. NIW candidates working towards their Ph.D.’s, that have already made great advances in their graduate studies have been approved for National Interest Waiver green cards. Don’t disqualify yourself if you only have a master’s degree. There are applicants with master’s degrees who have successfully attained their green card, based on their exceptional work and discoveries.
  • Is your work published? USCIS likes to see that you have been recognized by your peers in the field. Have you published peer-reviewed articles? Have you given conference presentations or poster session? Do you have approved patents that have been licensed?
  • Don’t let your number of citations keep you from applying! Your number of publications and citations are a factor in getting your NIW case approved, but it is still possible for you to obtain your NIW with few or NO publications. Your letters of support from independent experts in your field will play a key role in describing how your work is national in scope, how your work is influential to the field, and how the US would be adversely affected if you were not granted the waiver.
  • Your work must be influential! The number of citations to your work most easily measures your influence on the field. Citations are key in this process. As stated above, a minimal citation record does not mean that you cannot obtain a National Interest Waiver. The Office of Administrative Appeals (AAO) has granted many applicants’ NIW petitions without citations. In lieu of citations, and articles, USCIS will accept evidence of your influence in the field including media reports of your work, awards, and requests for your technical advice or reprints of your work.
  • Is your work important to the United States? In order to qualify for the waiver, we will assist you in explaining how your field of research is important to the nation as a whole, not just one geographic region. Your work cannot just benefit one state; you must show that your work has benefited the United States as a whole.
  • Are Your Qualifications Unique? The importance of this requirement cannot be understated. You, as the National Interest Waiver petitioner must have qualifications that make it such that your expertise entitles you to waive the U.S. Department of Labor Certification process. At Casseus Law, we take our time to evaluate your resume, your published work and other factors to determine whether you are a good Matter of Dhanasar NIW candidate. Once we determine that you are a good candidate, we make sure to assist you in drafting persuasive letters of support from your peers that showcase the fact that your work and qualifications are unique. We will articulate in your petition that based on your education, unique skills, and experiences that you have already benefitted the US National Interest and your field to a degree that exceeds minimally qualified candidates. We will also establish your uniqueness by showcasing your peer-reviewed articles, awards, memberships in societies, media reports, and other persuasive evidence that articulates your unique talents.
  • Letters of Recommendation. Our main goal is to assist you in identifying 6 individuals in your field, who have attained a level of success, who can speak definitely about your accomplishments. Most applicants get letters from their principal investigators PIs, other professors in their field, supervisors, colleagues, and independent experts, who are familiar with their published research results. These letters are the backbone of your petition as they help to prove that you deserve a National Interest Waiver. Your recommenders will provide a first-hand account of the significance of your work and provide the basis for how your unique work is within the national interest. The letters also explain that your abilities are superior to your peers with comparable education and experience, and that requiring a labor certification for you would be contrary to the national interest.
  • Independent Letters of Recommendation. We cannot stress the importance of independent letters of recommendation enough! These letters are especially persuasive in showing USCIS that even people who have never worked with you, or know you personally, that your work is unique and has been recognized outside of your immediate sphere of influence. The independent letters will also help to establish that your work will substantially benefit the US national economy, cultural or educational interests, or welfare of the US. We make sure that at least 4 of your letters are recommendation come from independent experts.

We will help you document that your skills benefit the United States. At Casseus Law, we will work tirelessly to ensure that your petition contains all of the evidence of your work, and the influence that your work has on your field of research. Your final petition will contain copies of your awards, your first authored publications, peer-reviewed articles, co-authored articles, your record of citations of your work, copies of relevant media reports, and any other evidence that is relevant to put forth the strongest National Interest Waiver petition possible.

Q: How does USCIS determine who is qualified for a National Interest Waiver?

A: A waiver is considered to be in the national interest if the petitioner can establish, based on Matter of Dhanasar that:

  • The foreign national’s proposed work endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance;. This requirement applies to most areas of scientific research. At Casseus Law we study your field and work with you to clearly explain the importance of your work to the US. In Matter of Dhanasar, the court did find that the petitioner’s work in aerospace engineering  is of both substantial merit and national importance. Letters of recommendation and supporting evidence will demonstrably show that your research benefits society
  • The foreign national is well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor. We will work with you to show USCIS that your  are in a strong position to advance your work and that your work has already benefitted your field and is of benefit to the US. Our lawyers are skilled in helping you to highlight the fact that your contributions have been used by your peers in various parts of the United States and outside of the US.
  • On balance, it would be beneficial to the United States to waive the job offer and labor certification requirements.  At Casseus Law, we work with you and your recommenders to present the fact that your unique skills and past accomplishments allow the labor certification process to be waived on your behalf.

The Casseus Law Pledge

We pride ourselves in our close analysis of your credentials. We read your published articles, your resume, and we do a comprehensive Google search to learn about you and your work. We do this to ensure that we assist you in identifying whether you meet the requirements for obtaining a waiver. Do not despair if we identify you as not being a strong candidate. We will work with you to identify ways to increase your chances of applying at a later date. Our main goal to ensure that you obtain your desired results.

Requests for Additional Information

If USCIS requests additional evidence (RFE) on your NIW application, we will carefully review the request and will supply USCIS with the additional evidence. As previously stated, there is no cost for RFEs. We have never had a case denied. To the extent that your case is denied, we will review the evidence and will conference with you before taking the next step. We will evaluate your matter and will decide if it is practical for you to appeal the denial to AAO. We will assist you in seeking other alternatives, such as filing a new petition in the same or a different classification.

Our office is committed to securing the best possible result for all of our clients. We will work with you through every step of the process. We will also provide advice and will keep you up to date with all of your case developments.

Free Evaluation!

If you are interested in a free evaluation of your credentials, please e-mail your full resume or curriculum vitae to us at Your confidentiality is important us. Any information that you send to us through this e-mail address is for the purpose of evaluation only. All information we receive is strictly confidential.


To file a NIW petition, an applicant with an “an advanced degree” or “exceptional ability” must prove that her credentials and past achievements will enable her to find employment in “an area of substantial intrinsic merit”. The experience of the applicant must provide a benefit to the U.S and must be national in scope. Lastly, the applicant must demonstrate that his or her expertise in the field warrants the waiver of the labor certification process because it is in the interest of the United States.

NIW Fields

The fields that have been approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) include, but are not limited to:

  • Architecture and Design
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomedical
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Catalyst Chemistry
  • Electronic and Computer Engineering
  • Geochemistry
  • Applied Physics
  • Geophysics
  • Medicine
  • Music
  • Microbiology
  • Environmental Science
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Economics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Oncology
  • Epidemiology
  • Food Science
  • Immunology and Petroleum Engineering

This is not an exhaustive list of the NIW professional fields that have been approved by USCIS. If you would like us to assess whether your work in your respective field makes you a strong candidate for the NIW category, contact us at


The NIW category provides a faster path for a foreign national to receive a green card than most employment-based immigration, because a job offer and labor certification are not required. Most decisions are made within 3 months to 12 months after the petition is received by USCIS.

Q: Who is a good candidate?

A: NIW is a highly attractive immigration choice for scholars, research fellows, scientists, Ph.D. students, post docs and professionals holding a broad range of advanced degrees, because the nature of their work makes it likely that they meet the NIW requirements.

NIW versus Aliens with Extraordinary Ability (EB-1A)

Many NIW applicants also consider applying for the Aliens with Extraordinary Ability EB-1A as an alternative. The two categories share many of the same requirements, for example: an applicant can self-petition without a job offer. Please read Aliens with Extraordinary Ability for details. Whether an alien should petition for NIW, Aliens with Extraordinary Ability, or both, is a strategic decision that should be made by an attorney. Contact us at and send us your resume for a free assessment.

How we can help you with your National Interest Waiver Petition (NIW):

  1. We guide you through the process by assisting you to collect and organize all the documents that you will need for your NIW petition approval.
  2. We draft a petition letter that demonstrates how the evidence proves that you should be granted the NIW.
  3. We provide sample recommendation letters that your references can use as a template for your Letters of Support.
  4. We compile, print and review your entire petition to ensure that it is complete.
  5. We submit the petition materials to the proper USCIS Service Center.
  6. We keep you notified about the status of your NIW petition.

Keep in Mind

You are not limited to filing only one type of immigrant petition. You may file for numerous petitions at the same time. The only requirement for concurrent petitions, is that you must meet all of the qualifications.

Here at Casseus Law, we are ready to assist you in presenting a clear, well-organized petition that will convince USCIS that your work is national in scope and that your continued presence in the United States is warranted. We are sure that you have already read that strong recommendation letters are the key to the success of your petition. Instead of telling you how important the letters of recommendation are, we will actually provide you with full draft letters of recommendation. All you need to do is to tell us who the recommender is, how they are familiar with your work and we will provide you with a draft letter. You need to revise your draft, send Casseus Law a copy for our revisions, then we will direct you to send the letter off to your recommender.

After you formally retain Casseus Law to work on your NIW case, our experienced attorneys will efficiently communicate with you and work closely with you throughout the whole process up until approval.

Start the Process

Please e-mail your full resume or curriculum vitae to us at for a free evaluation of your credentials. Your confidentiality is important us. Any information that you send to us through this e-mail address is for the purpose of evaluation only. All information we receive is strictly confidential.