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NIW Application 

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NIW Application Criteria

I. Advanced Degree

You must have an advanced degree or its equivalent, which is a bachelor’s degree plus five years of progressive work experience in the field.


II. Exceptional Ability

You must be able to show exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business, which will greatly benefit the U.S. economy, cultural or educational interests, or welfare in the future. Specifically, you must meet at least 3 of the 10 criteria listed below:

  • Receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor;

  • Membership in associations in the field, which require outstanding achievements as judged by recognized national or international experts;

  • Published material about the alien in professional or major trade publications or other major media;

  • Participation on a panel or individually as a judge of others’ work in the field or a related field;

  • Original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field;

  • Authorship of scholarly articles in the field in professional or major trade publications or other major media;

  • Display of the alien’s work at artistic exhibitions or showcases;

  • Evidence the alien has performed in a leading or critical role for organizations or establishments that have distinguished reputations;

  • Evidence the alien has commanded a high salary or other significantly high pay for services; or

  • Evidence of commercial successes in the performing arts as shown by box office receipts or music or video sales. 


III. National Interest Waiver (labor certificate not required)

If you are requesting that USCIS waive the labor certification (also known as a job offer) because it is in the best interest of the United States, you are eligible to file a petition in your own behalf. 

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