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Do you qualify for an EB2 NIW green card?
Generally, a job offer and labor certification are required in EB-2 green card cases. The USCIS may waive the requirements of a job offer and labor certification if it is in the national interest to do so – this process is called National Interest Waiver (NIW). To help you determine whether you may qualify for an EB2 NIW green card as well as to learn the procedure and requirements, contact our office to schedule a consultation with our Washington, DC EB2 NIW attorney.
There are various types of temporary US work visas available to foreign workers. Each is issued for a specific employment activity and for a limited time. Temporary work visas are considered non-immigrant visas and therefore do not automatically lead to a green card. On the other hand, if you are interested in immigrating to the US through your employment, then see our section on Employment based Green Cards below.
With a few exceptions, a temporary US work visa requires a job offer by a US employer who will have to file an I-129 petition with the US Citizenship and Immigration Cervices (USCIS). To apply for a US work visa, you will require an approved petition. Further, some temporary work visas require Labor Certificate from the Department of Labor.
Because you have an option of applying for a work visa abroad or changing your status to a specific US work visa status in the US, it is important to talk to a work visa attorney to ensure you are familiar with all of the applicable rules and requirements.
Multiple employment based green cards available to individuals whose long term goal is to immigrate to the United States through their employment. Employment based green cards are divided into multiple categories and subcategories. For example, an EB1 first preference is divided into EB1A, EB1B, and EB1C employment based green cards.
Generally, a US employer must make an employment offer to a foreign worker and file a petition with the USCIS on behalf of the worker.
There are two exception to this rule: The EB1 extraordinary ability and the EB2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) workers can petition for themselves because there is no requirement of a job offer or a Labor Certificate for these two categories. If you would like to learn more about the EB1 extraordinary ability green card or NIW requirements, please contact our US work visa attorney for a consultation.
Once the USCIS finds that the immigrant falls within one of the preference groups, the worker can then apply for a permanent resident status (green card). The employment based green card application can be made at a US Consulate abroad through a process called “consular processing.” If the foreign worker is already in the US and is eligible, then the worker can apply for a green card through “adjustment of status.” If you are not sure what process applies to you or how to proceed further, our US work visa lawyer can help you to determine your options.
US Work Visa Options for Startups, Entrepreneurs, and Business Owners
Startups, entrepreneurs, and business owners have various temporary and permanent US work visa options available to them.
While there is no specific class of business visas under the US immigration laws that allow foreign business owners and startups to establish and grow a business in the US, there are certain types of visas available to them. Before making any decisions, you should consider consulting with a US work visa lawyer who can provide legal guidance specific to your needs.
US Work Visa Options Available to Entrepreneurs and Startups include:
- International Entrepreneur Rule: this US work visa specific for entrepreneurs has finally taken effect. Entrepreneurs that meet the program requirements are free to apply
- E1 and E2 visas for investors and traders (*must be a citizen of a treaty country)
- H1B visa for professionals in specialty occupations. By creating an independent board of directors, your company can sponsor you for a visa
- L1 visa for foreign workers and company owners wishing to transfer to a new or existing US business
- O1 visa for extraordinary ability individuals in business and startup world. Similar to an H1B US work visa, your company can sponsor you for a visa
- EB1A extraordinary ability green card
- EB1C multinational executive green card
- National Interest Waiver (NIW) green card
- EB-5 investor green card for international entrepreneurs who are seeking to obtain permanent residence in the US based on their investment
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EB2 NIW General Requirements:
NIW is only available in EB2 category, which means it would only be available to professionals with advanced degrees or aliens with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business. In addition, the USCIS has been directed to expand the use of NIW and make it available to inventors, researchers, and founders of start-up enterprises who otherwise would not have qualified for NIW. Therefore, start up owners and entrepreneurs may qualify for a permanent work visa or green card through National Interest Waiver as well.
First, to qualify for an EB-2 category, the applicant needs to establish that he/she meets at least 3 of the following criteria:
- Official academic record showing that you have a degree from a college, university, school, or other institution of learning relating to your area of exceptional ability
- Letters documenting at least 10 years of full-time experience in your occupation
- A license to practice your profession or certification for your profession or occupation
- Evidence that you have commanded a salary or other remuneration for services that demonstrates your exceptional ability (this is usually shown by a large money award or a very high salary)
- Membership in a professional association(s)
- Recognition for your achievements and significant contributions to your industry or field by your peers, government entities, professional or business organizations
- Other comparable evidence of eligibility is also acceptable.
To qualify for the NIW portion of the EB2 green card:
The applicant needs to demonstrate that it is in the national interest that he or she works permanently in the US. This can be done by meeting some of the criteria below:
- Documents showing how past accomplishments would benefit the United States as a whole and specifying which element(s) of national economy, cultural or educational interest, or welfare of the United States the position will benefit
- Copies of awards or any special recognition you may have received, with details about the criteria used to grant the award or recognition
- Published reports about your successes
- Letters from current or former employers documenting your prior work experience, to include information about your accomplishments and their significance, and how these accomplishments benefit the United States
- Letters from experts in your field regarding your accomplishments and their significance, including how your work will prospectively benefit the United States
- Testimonial letters should also include information about the expert’s own credentials, such as a resume or CV
- Evidence of past achievements should be accompanied with documentation or explanations of how these accomplishments indicate future or continued success
Our DC EB2 NIW attorney can assist you with determining whether you meet the NIW application requirements. For a consultation with a DC EB2 NIW attorney contact our office directly or fill out the online form below.
Procedure for Obtaining an Employment Based Green Card
The procedure for receiving a permanent US work visa has a few steps: the immigrant worker usually must be sponsored by a US employer who files an I-140 petition with the USCIS. The I-140 petition classified the foreign worker as a person qualified to immigrate through their employment.
Furthermore, before the employer can file the petition with the USCIS, the employer must first obtain Labor Certification (PERM) from the Department of Labor certifying that no US workers are available to fill the position offered to the immigrant.
The PERM requirement does not apply to EB1 green card preference category. Also, this requirement does not apply to foreign workers who had the Labor Certificate waived through the National Interest Waiver (NIW) under the EB2 category.
Once the PERM certification has been issued (when required) and an I-140 petition has been approved, the final step is the application for a green card through adjustment of status (if the worker is in the US and is eligible) or consular process (if the worker is abroad).
The Difference Between a US Work Visa and a US Work Visa Status
A US work visa is an actual stamp in a passport, which gives a worker various privileges, including the right to leave and come back to the US during the work visa validity period. The work visas are obtained at US consulates and embassies abroad. On the other hand, persons who are already present in the United States and want to obtain an employment visa, they have to apply for a change of status to a US work visa.
“Status” is the name given to certain privileges you receive once you are in the US. For example, if you entered the US on an F-1 student visa, but upon graduation were offered employment, you will need to change your status from an F-1 student visa to an appropriate US work visa status. For instance, an H-1B status.
The biggest difference between the US work visa “status” v “visa” is the fact that a person who is on the H-1B status cannot leave and enter the US. If this person wants to travel abroad and come back to the US, he or she will have to go to the US embassy or consulate abroad and obtain an actual H-1B visa stamp in their passport before they can return to the US.
Why Should You Consider Hiring Our DC EB2 NIW Attorney Victoria Kuzmina?
Our DC EB2 NIW attorney in Washington, DC is dedicated to assisting professionals, entrepreneurs, startups, and company owners with their employment green card needs. We will gladly assist EB2 NIW clients from all 50 states and worldwide.
Every case has its own set of facts and circumstances. We can help you to determine your EB2 NIW eligibility, collect all necessary documents, prepare the entire application, and submit it to the proper immigration agencies. Contact our knowledgeable and dedicated DC EB2 NIW attorney today to discuss your case and get your green card through EB2 NIW process started!
“We are a nation of immigrants. We are the children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the ones who wanted a better life, the driven ones, the ones who woke up at night hearing that voice telling them that life in that place called America could be better.”
HOW CAN WE HELP?
The Law Offices of Victoria V Kuzmina provide immigration services to clients from all 50 states and worldwide. If you need help or have questions about an EB2 NIW or any other immigration matter, please contact us by phone or email to set up a consultation with our Washington, DC EB2 NIW attorney.