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National Interest Waiver NIW

What is a National Interest Waiver (NIW)?

A National Interest Waiver is a method of obtaining lawful permanent resident status in the U.S. without having an employer as a sponsor and without having to file a labor certification with the Department of Labor. Thus, those seeking a NIW may self-petition. The Biden Administration recently updated the USCIS Policy Manual on National Interest Waiver adjudications on January 21, 2022.

national interest waiver


In order to be qualify for a NIW, a Foreign National must be employed in an occupation that benefits the U.S. economy, education system, health or some other facet of society. Individual seeking a NIW must show USCIS evidence an advanced degree or exceptional ability along with meeting the three (3) following factors:

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


We can guide you through the self-filing process.


We have effectively filed National Interest Waiver petitions on behalf of Engineers and Scientists at U.S. research facilities sponsored by the Department of Energy.