U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced updated guidance on adjudicating requests for “National Interest Waivers” regarding job offer and labor certification requirements for certain advanced degree professionals and individuals of exceptional ability. This includes discussing the unique considerations for persons with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields and entrepreneurs.
An employer seeking to hire a noncitizen must generally obtain a permanent labor certification from the Department of Labor that proves there are no qualified U.S. workers for the position they are seeking and that their employment will not adversely affect similarly employed U.S. workers. The noncitizen may, however, seek a waiver of a job offer, and of the labor certification, if it is in the interest of the United States.
Individuals seeking a national interest waiver must show evidence of an advanced degree or exceptional ability and must also meet three factors that USCIS uses to determine, in its discretion, whether it is in the national interest that USCIS waive the requirement of a job offer, and thus the labor certification. The three factors USCIS considers for a national interest waiver are whether:
- 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.
This guidance is effective immediately and can be found in full on our National Interest Waiver page here...