National Interest Waivers

Normally, if you qualify for the second employment-based (“EB-2”) category (Workers Holding Advanced Degrees and Persons with Exceptional Ability in the Arts, Sciences and Business), you must undergo the PERM labor certification process. However, an exception exists if your employment is in the “national interest”, as you may be eligible for a national interest waiver.

In a decision entitled Matter of Dhanasar, issued on December 27, 2016, the USCIS vacated it’s long-standing precedent decision holding that the petitioner is required to demonstrate that going through the PERM process would be contrary to the national interest.

Where it is deemed to be in the national interest, the USCIS may waive the requirements of a job offer and a PERM labor certification. USCIS may grant a national interest waiver if the petitioner demonstrates the following:

  1. That the foreign national’s proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance;
  2. That he or she is well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor; and
  3. That, on balance, it would be beneficial to the United States to waive the job offer and labor certification requirements.

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In addition, Congress passed a law in 1999 which eased these restrictions for physicians who practice in medically-underserved areas or for the Veterans Administration. The INS issued regulations eviscerating many important portions of the law. Our law firm sued the INS in Federal Court, and on June 7, 2006, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in Schneider v. Chertoff, struck down many of the restrictions contained in the regulations.


National Interest Waiver

National Interest Waivers: Additional Resources

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