EB-2 NIW Green Card Eligibility

At least 3 criteria must be met below to prove “exceptional ability”:

  • Official academic record showing that you have a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution of learning relating to your area of exceptional ability.
  • Letters from current or former employers 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.
  • 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.

In addition, the petition must also meet the three prongs stated in “Matter of Dhanasar”:

  • The person’s proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance.
  • The person is well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor.
  • On balance, it would be beneficial to the United States to waive the job offer and thus the permanent labor certification requirements.

How to Apply

Self-petition by filing Form I-140 and ETA 9089 or ETA 750B with documentary evidence with USCIS. Form I-485 Adjustment of Status can be filed concurrently with Form I-140 provided that the NIW self-petitioner is in the U.S. and an immigrant visa is available. If the NIW self-petitioner is abroad, a consular processing is required for the application of an immigrant visa. The National Visa Center will review and send the immigrant visa application to the designated U.S. consulate abroad, where hosts the visa interview. An immigrant visa will be issued for the entry to the U.S. as a permanent resident.   

Family Dependents’ Green Card

Spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may be eligible for green card application with the EB-2 NIW self-petitioner. They will file separate Form I-485 in the U.S. or immigrant visa application abroad.