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What is a national interest waiver?

On Behalf of Palacios Law Group

If you want to obtain an employment-based green card, you undoubtedly already know about labor certifications. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, a labor certification qualifies as proof your employer cannot find a U.S. worker who can do your job.

Sometimes, labor certifications are not necessary for employment-based immigrants. In fact, some intending immigrants do not require an employer to sponsor them at all. If you are eligible for a national interest waiver, you may be one of them.

The purpose of the waiver

A national interest waiver waives the labor certification requirement. Specifically, when you request a national interest waiver, you argue your employment serves the interests of the U.S. This allows you to skip the labor certification and proceed with filing an immigrant visa petition with or without an employer’s sponsorship.

Qualifications for the waiver

To qualify for a national interest waiver, you must have either an advanced degree or exceptional ability in your field. You must also submit evidence of the following:

  • Your proposed position in the U.S. has substantial merit.
  • Your proposed position in the U.S. has national importance.
  • You have the ability to accomplish your proposed position.
  • The U.S. would benefit from a waiver of the labor certification in your case.

Proving your qualifications for a national interest waiver can be challenging, but it may not be impossible. If you intend to work closely with a government entity or non-governmental organization, you may have a compelling argument.

Ultimately, because of the hassle and expense that comes with going through the labor certification process, exploring a national interest waiver may allow you to obtain a green card comparatively quickly.

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