By: Shah Peerally Esq.

A national interest waiver gives the authority to a person of exceptional caliber to work and contribute to the United States. A person, who applies for such a waiver is required to prove their exceptional qualities and the fact that they would add to the national interest of the country in some definite way.
National Interest Waiver is a section under the Second Employer Preference category, which requires a qualification of a Master’s degree or above. The waiver is a good option for applicants who don’t want to wait for labor certification. It must be said here that the regulations for the National Interest Waiver, are vague and are open to interpretation for different candidates and how the USCIS examiner reviews their file.
For this reason, candidates for a national interest waiver must convince the USCIS examiner that they have previously made contributions and have a reputation for the same which have in different ways motivated people in the same field besides contributing to the people. Novel discoveries or ground breaking new methods or even research are good possibilities.

The biggest advantage of this certification is that in order to be applicable for this, a person does not have to have a job offer too. Such a person can petition for an immigrant visa and the waiver by themselves without having to go through a company sponsoring them. But one must be warned that the national interest waiver, is not easily granted and you would do good to be advised by a lawyer on this.

Considering the fact that the national interest waiver is given to someone whose work is of national interest, the USCIS, has suggested few factors or even sectors, that should be considered before one is deemed fit to apply for a national interest waiver

The person should be involved in some way in improving the U.S. economy;
– Help in improving either the wages or even the working conditions of workers in the U.S.
– Help and work with the Government in the direction of providing affordable housing.
– Working in areas that will help improve the U.S. environment, and make concrete steps towards productive use of natural and environment friendly products.
– Help in contribute to the improvement of the education programs in the U.S. for both children, and under-qualified workers.
– That a government agency has shown interest in working with the person.
– Contributing in areas related to improving health care.
– The applicant must make a real impact or contribution not only in their own field but also in a way that will affect the United States as a country.

A person applying for a national interest waiver would-
– Contribute to the national interest by helping in the growth levels of the US economy. This includes improving the economic conditions of economically poor Americans.
– The person could contribute in some way, substantially to the social advancement of the country and its citizens.
– Help in discovering or manufacturing effective products.
– Helps in improving areas of study such as science or medicine or has teaching skills that would enhance the minds of students in the United States.

People with exceptional skills in their professions are welcome as a part of this program. But this skill needs to have been proven in a particular field. For example, a doctor with a simple medical degree might not qualify, but a candidate with published research papers and awards for their contribution would do so.


The government’s standards for the national interest waiver are stiff, and one also needs to provide support documentation, to prove the authenticity of their claims. It is highly recommended that you seek the help of an immigrant attorney for this.
For this you might consider consulting the experienced lawyers from the Shah Peerally Law Group, feel free to contact us by email – or call us at 510-742-5887.