As we talked about in a previous post, there are some exceptions under which a foreign worker seeking an employment-based U.S permanent residency status that generally requires a labor certification does not need such a certification to be granted permanent resident status. One of these exceptions is if the worker receives a national interest waiver. This waiver not only clears a worker from the requirement to have a labor certification, but also the requirement that they must have a job offer.
Foreign workers seeking employment-based permanent resident status here in the U.S. who are wondering if they would qualify for a national interest waiver should consider talking to an attorney knowledgeable in national interest waiver laws and rules. Many different things can impact whether a given foreign worker could qualify for a national interest waiver.
Also, what kinds of issues can up in connection to the pursuit of a national interest waiver can vary considerably based on the profession of the foreign worker in question. For example, such special waivers are available for physicians.
One common employment-based permanent resident status for physicians is EB-2, which does generally have a labor certification requirement. Now, not all foreign physicians looking to live in the United States under EB-2 status qualify for the special national interest waiver for physicians that can exempt one from this requirement. Rather, this special waiver is specifically aimed at doctors who have agreed to, for a certain period of time, practice medicine in a designated underserved area in the United States. In addition to agreeing to do such work, there are various other requirements a physician must meet to qualify for the national interest waiver, such as requirements regarding getting an attestation on the public interest of their planned work from a government agency.
Given the various strict eligibility requirements this special class of national interest waivers has, there is generally quite a bit of documentation that needs to be submitted in relation to efforts to demonstrate that one should receive such a waiver. This underscores that the process of pursuing a national interest waiver can get remarkably complex.
Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, "Green Card Through a Physician National Interest Waiver (NIW)," Accessed June 7, 2016