National Interest Waiver.
As an alternative to the labor certification process, immigrants with unusual skills may file a National Interest Waiver (NIW) application. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service grants NIWs to applicants who can prove that hiring them would benefit American economic and social interests. Applicants can request an NIW on their own or with the assistance of an employer; a job offer is not required.
NIWs represent a good choice for persons holding or seeking advanced degrees, such as PhD caandidates and those in and post-doctoral fellowships, or those having exceptional ability in business or the arts. They must possess unique and exceptional skills that cannot be matched by an American worker with similar basic qualifications. Their talents must benefit the entire nation, not just a specific area.
Other admission criteria include the enhancement of educational and housing opportunities for marginalized Americans, improvements to the environment and healthcare of the nation, and the potential to increase the earnings of American workers. Additionally, a governmental agency’s interest in hiring a foreign applicant would work in the applicant’s favor.
However, stricter immigration policies have offset the NIW’s advantages. Complicating the process are differences in adjudication policies between the Nebraska and Texas offices that handle all requests. In In all cases, expert legal advice can improve the chances of success.