What is the National Interest Waiver Green Card?
The National Interest Waiver, also know as the “PhD Green Card”, is a U.S. Permanent Resident Immigration Category specifically tailored for high achieving professionals whose work could benefit the United States.
Why is the National Interest Waiver desirable?
Obtaining U.S. permanent residence through the National Interest Waiver is desirable because it is self-sponsored. You do not need a relative or employer or even a job offer.
How do I know if I qualify for the National Interest Waiver?
USCIS officers are looking for applicants who have achieved a level of authority in their field and whose contributions to their field have the potential to benefit the United States in a meaningful way.
The following three criteria must be met:
The foreign national’s proposed endeavor has both substantial merit, and the benefits are national in scope,
The foreign national is well-positioned to advance the proposed endeavor; and
On balance, it would be beneficial to the United States to waive the requirements of a job offer and thus of a labor certification.
There are many examples of those who qualify?
One of the most common examples of an applicant who qualifies for the National Interest Waiver is as follows:
Job Title: Post Doctoral Researcher
Citations: 100+ as noted on their Google Scholar profile.
How long is the National Interest Waiver application process?
It generally takes 4 weeks to prepare and file the National Interest Waiver I-140 petition with USCIS. Once filed, USCIS processing time is approximately 4-12 months.
After the National Interest Waiver I-140 petition is approved, the National Visa Center will begin the Consular process. This takes approximately 1-2 months until your permanent residence visa is approved and you are eligible to travel to the U.S. to live as a permanent resident.
How much does it cost?
It varies depending on attorney firm and degree of difficulty of the process.
When should I apply?
You should apply approximately 1 year before you are ready to move the U.S.
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