EB-2 National Interest Waiver

This category is for individuals who seek a waiver of the job offer and labor certification requirements by establishing that his or her admission to permanent residence would be in the National Interest. National Interest Waivers are granted to aliens who will substantially benefit prospectively the national economy, cultural or educational interests, or welfare of the United States. These individuals must show that his/her work is a benefit that is national in scope and an emphasis rests with the overall value and potential of the particular beneficiary’s individual contribution to the United States. 

The advantage of filing this classification is that it requires the individuals are slightly less qualified than the EB-1 Outstanding Researcher or Professor category;  the beneficiary can have fewer publication and fewer presentations, by way of example.  The alien may qualify by being found to be a key or critical member of a team if it can be shown that the team function would be severely impaired without this member. However, merely working in an area of national interest does not necessitate a finding of national interest qualification.


The USCIS considers each case on an individual basis. There is no regulatory or statutory standard as to what will qualify an alien for a National Interest Waiver, however factors that have been considered in successful cases include evidence that:

  • the foreign national’s admission will improve the U.S. economy.
  • the foreign national’s admission will improve wages and working conditions of U.S. Workers.
  • the foreign national’s admission will improve educational and training programs for U.S. children and under qualified workers.
  • the foreign national’s admission will improve healthcare.
  • the foreign national’s admission will provide more affordable housing for young, aged, or poor U.S. residents.
  • the foreign national’s admission will improve the U.S. environment and lead to more productive use of the national resources.
  • the foreign national’s admission is requested by an interested U.S. government agency.

Key points

The procedure is to file the case with evidence to establish that the alien's proposed services will be in an area of substantial intrinsic merit and will have a national benefit, and that the alien has some track record of success in his or her field.

Many of the National Interest Waivers that have been approved were supported by affidavits from well-known, distinguished and influential people or organizations.

Strong National Interest Waiver cases also document past achievements.  They may include proof, for example, that the foreign national has already created jobs, has turned around a business, has created an increase in exports, has published articles in scholarly journals, or has made presentations at symposia.

CIS Officers look for realistic evidence of substantial prospective benefit to a national interest item or agenda which specifically sets the alien apart from others in the field.

If you are considering the National Interest Waiver, you will need to provide IS with:

     * Evidence of a one-time achievement (i.e., a major, internationally-recognized award)

     * OR at least three of the following:

  • Receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field,
  • Membership in associations in the field which require outstanding achievements as judged by recognized national or international experts,
  • Published material about the foreign national in professional or major trade publications or major media,
  • Participation on a panel or individually as a judge of the work of others in the field or an allied field,
  • Original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of significance in the field,
  • Authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional or major trade publications or major media,
  • Display of the foreign nationals' work at artistic exhibitions or showcases,
  • Performance in a leading or critical role for organizations or establishments that have a distinguished reputation,
  • High salary or other high remuneration for services, or
  • Commercial successes in the performing arts, as shown by box office receipts or record, cassette, compact disk, or video sales.


1. IS files a request for Prevailing Wage Determination (PWD) electronically.

Application process requires a wage determination from the Department of Labor (DOL).  This takes approximately 6 weeks.

2. IS files a petition for employment-based immigration (I-140) with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).

Then, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) evaluates the beneficiary's qualifications for the specific preference category for which the University is applying.

3. IS files an application for adjustment of status (I-485) when priority date is current.

Finally, after the I-140 is approved, the beneficiary must apply for adjustment of status for lawful permanent residence, either with the USCIS, or at a U.S. Consulate overseas.  The current priority dates can be found on the USCIS visa bulletin.


The U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) charges the following processing fees for lawful permanent resident applications:

  • $580 for I-140 fee paid to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security” (paid by the department)
  • $1070 for I-485 fee paid to  “U.S. Department of Homeland Security” (paid by the applicant)
  • Additional I-485 fee for dependents (paid by the applicant).  Visit http://www.uscis.gov/
  • Form I-765: no additional fee if filed with I-485
  • Form I-131: no additional fee if filed with I-485

Items Required from Hiring Department

  • $580 for I-140 fee paid to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”. Pursuant to the regulations, this fee MUST be paid by the department - Sample Invoice for Green Card Fees
  • FedEx account #
  • Name of department contact and phone extension #

Items Required from Faculty/Staff Member

Click here for a comprehensive list.

Submit all documents to:

Victoria Donoghue, Director of International Services, Montclair State University, 22 Normal Avenue, Montclair, NJ 07043, phone: 973-655-6862, fax: 973-655-7726, donoghuev@mail.montclair.edu