Understanding How the NIW May Help You

What is The "NIW" program?

There are a lot of different categories for employment-based visas. Herischi and associates has experience with the NIW category and have succeeded in obtaining them for clients. Many of the employment-based visas require you to have a job offer and the employer will file a petition on your behalf. Then you have to go through a permanent labor certification process called the PERM process, which can take several months. This is where they verify that the job offer meets the requirements for a minimum salary, competitiveness (the employer has to show that they didn't have an option to hire a US person for the same position who was equally qualified), and so on. Getting PERM certification is time-consuming and requires the employer to post job listings and interview candidates before they could hire a foreign worker and get an employment-based visa for them.

5 Categories of Employment-Based Visas

There are different categories of employment-based visas:

  • The EB-1 is the highest standard and is for people with "extraordinary abilities" in sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, outstanding professors and researchers, and some multinational managers or executives. These candidates generally have to all have been recognized internationally for their achievements.

  • The EB-2 category is similar to the EB-1 but with a slightly lower standard; instead of extraordinary ability, it is "exceptional ability" which means you are still significantly better than most people in your field, but maybe not at the very top of your field or internationally known. It also applies to people who hold advanced degrees.

  • After that, you have EB-3 which is for skilled, experienced workers, as well as some unskilled.

  • The EB-4 category for special types of workers like religious leaders, broadcasters, interpreters, etc. This includes Iraqis and Afghans who worked for/with the U.S. government in return for visas.

  • EB-5 is an investment based

How Can I Avoid the PERM Process?

You can circumvent the PERM process and requirement of a job offer under the national interest waiver (NIW) program for the EB-2 category. This allows a foreign worker to file their own petition without a job offer if they can prove that skipping those requirements would be in the U.S.'s best interests.

There are three criteria the candidate has to meet for this:

  1. The proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance.

  2. You are well-positioned to advance the proposed endeavor.

  3. It would be beneficial to the United States to waive the requirements of a job offer, and thus the labor certification.

Most people who get this approved are in the extraordinary ability category, so they'd be skilled scientists in their field doing something of national importance or would be able to start programs/businesses that would generate big employment opportunities on a national scale. You have to provide evidence to back up both your claim that what you're going to do is nationally important and that you're qualified to do it. Even then, if you could still get a visa through the regular EB-2 process and going through PERM certification wouldn't hurt, they might not grant it and just require you to do things the usual way.

If you think you qualify for one of these categories please contact us. Our contact can be found on our website.