Normally, an individual must have both a job offer and approved Labor Certification before he or she can file for an employment-based second preference (“EB-2”) petition.
However, an individual can bypass those two requirements and file for an EB-2 if the individual qualifies for a National Interest Waiver (“NIW”). Essentially, the NIW candidate must show that the candidate will provide a benefit so great to the U.S. that the candidate should be allowed to bypass the Labor Certification process. Obviously, an individual with highly renowned unique skills or talents makes an ideal NIW candidate. Some examples would be Ph.D. students with specialized theses, or renowned scholars. Additionally, individuals working for private companies may qualify if their work provides a substantial national benefit, and certain physicians also qualify for NIW, provided they meet the statutory requirements.