USCIS Addresses the National Interest Waiver

Last year, the Administrative Appeals Office of the United States Department of Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a decision that focused on national interest waivers, the EB-2 green card category frequently used for highly qualified academics, scientists, artists and business people whose work benefits the U.S.

Matter of Dhanasar,” 26 I&N Dec. 884 (AAO 2016) vacates the difficult and confusing criteria in the previous decision of “New York State Department of Transportation” (known as NYSDOT). Under Dhanasar, entrepreneurs from foreign countries may find it simpler to apply for a national interest waiver due to changes in the method of proving that recruitment and a job offer are not necessary for the particular position or endeavor.

The new standard is as follows.  After establishing basic eligibility for EB-2 classification (advanced degree and/or exceptional ability), the foreign national applicant must prove:

  • the proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance,
  • he or she is well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor, and
  • on balance, it would be beneficial to the U.S. to waive the requirements of a job offer and labor certification.

As these are new standards that have only been recently enacted, it is not yet entirely clear how future national interest waiver cases will be decided by USCIS.

The Woog Law Office successfully handles many national interest waiver cases. Please contact us if you would like an assessment of the merits of your case under the new standards.

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