National Interest Waivers


The employment-based second preference immigrant visa category comprises aliens with advanced degrees or those with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business whose services in the sciences, arts, professions, or business are sought by an employer in the United States . This immigrant classification also allows aliens who can demonstrate that their services in the sciences, arts, professions, or business are in the “national interest,” to obtain permanent resident status without a job offer or labor certification.

The person seeking a National Interest Waiver (NWI) must demonstrate that the national interest would be adversely affected if a labor certification were required. The NIW requires to demonstrate that it would be contrary to the national interest to potentially deprive the prospective employer of the services of the alien by making available to U.S. workers the position sought by the alien. The labor certification process exists because protecting the jobs and job opportunities of U.S. workers having the same objective minimum qualifications as an alien seeking employment is in the national interest. An alien seeking an exemption from this process must present a national benefit so great as to outweigh the national interest inherent in the labor certification process.

Former INS Administrative Appeals Unit (AAU) Mississippi Phosphate has said the following criteria seven factors may be considered in determining whether a waiver of a job offer and labor certification was in the national interest:

Improving the U.S. economy;
Improving wages and working conditions of U.S. workers;
Improving education and training programs for U.S. children and under-qualified workers;
Improving health care;
Providing more affordable housing for young and/or older, poorer U.S. residents;
Improving the environment of the United States and making more productive use of natural resources; or
A request from an interested U.S. government agency
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