NIW Approval Rate   


The origin of NIW USA traces back to the year 2004 in Seoul, Korea
when her parent company Rex Counselor, Co. Ltd. (NIW Korea) was established and engaged in serving highly educated
professionals to obtain their U.S. permanent residency thru National Interest Waiver (NIW) processing.
The demand for highly experienced service provider in U.S. led NIW Korea to establish its subsidiary NIW USA.
Established in 2011, NIW USA, INC. has a team of highly-trained and dedicated professionalssuch as immigration
lawyersversed in various aspects of the immigration process in the United States.
NIW USA focuses on what is called the “National Interest Waiver,” process, along with the EB-1 visa for extraordinary ability aliens.

National Interest Waiver(NIW)?

The "National Interest Waiver"or NIW applies
to the EB-2 visa,

the secondpreference employment -based immigration category. Foreign nationals who havea Master’s degree or higher, or who can prove exceptional ability in the sciences, business or arts, may also qualify for a National Interest Waiver.
The NIW waives the usual requirement for a visa applicant to secure a labor certification along with proof of a job offer. This requirement is waived if applicants can show that their presence in the U.S. is in the national interest. Further, because NIW applicants do not require a U.S. employer, you can"self petition" for this benefit.

NIW does not have a long history.

NIW went into effect in 1990, and since the late 1990s cases were adjudicated under rules decided in a case called Matter of New York State Department of Transportation. However, on December 27, 2016, a new precedent case, Matter of Dhanasar, replaced the earlier rules.
Under the new case, a petitioner seeking the waiver should show that their expected work or activity in the U.S. has (1) substantial merit and national importance; (2) that the petitioner is well positioned to assume the work or activity; and (3) that, on balance, it would be beneficial for the U.S. to waive the job offer and labor certification requirements.

Adjudicators at USCIS continue to have wide-ranging discretion,
however, in judging your case.

Who is eligible?

Advanced Degree

Possess and advance degree or the equivalent, which is a baccalaureate degree plus five years of progressive work experience in the field.

Acceptable documentation that may demonstrate that you have an advanced or baccalaureate degree or their foreign equivalent degree is:

  • Documentation, such as an official academic record showing that you have a U.S.advanced degree or a foreign equivalent degree.
  • Documentation, such as an official academic record showing that you have a U.S. baccalaureate degree or a foreign equivalent degree and letters from current or former employers showing that you have at least five years of progressive post-baccalaureate work experience in your field.

Exceptional Ability

be able to show exceptional ability in sciences, art or business.

National Interest Waiver

you are requesting that the labor certification be waived because it is in the interest of the United States and you qualify under the exceptional ability criteria. You can self-petition.

You must be able to show that you have exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business, which will substantially benefit the U.S economy, cultural or educational interests, or welfare in the future. Exceptional ability " means a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business. "

For the purpose of this employment category, USCIS will use a two-part adjudicative approach to evaluate the evidence you submit. First, you must meet three out of the six listed criteria below:

  • Official academic record showing that you have a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution of learning relating to your area of exceptional ability.
  • Letters from current or former employers documenting at least 10 years of full-time experience in the occupation for which you are being sought.
  • A license to practice your profession or certification for your profession or occupation.
  • Evidence that you have commanded a salary or other remuneration for services that demonstrates your exceptional ability.
  • Membership in professional associations.
  • Recognition for your achievements and significant contributions to your industry or field by your peers, government entities, professional or business organizations

If the above criteria do not readily apply to your occupation, you may submit other comparable evidence of eligibility. Second, all of the evidence you submit will be reviewed in its totality for a final merits determination of whether you qualify for this classification. (source : USCIS,


To begin the petition process for the NIW you must:

  • - Complete the Form I-140, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker.
  • - Submit the Filing Fee(s)
  • - Submit Evidence. Collect the necessary documents to
    show your eligibility.
  • - Sign and File the Form I-140.

What happens after You Apply

Once USCIS receives your Form I-140 for the NIW, USCIS will
process your application and then you will receive:

  • - A receipt notice of your Form I-140, Petition for
    Nonimmigrant Worker,
  • - A written notice of a decision.


  • - Once your petition is approved, and your priority date is current, you can apply to become a Lawful Permanent Resident.
  • - You can do this by either filing a Form I-485 or applying through the consulate.
  • - If you are outside of United States you would apply through the consulate. This method is called consular processing.
  • - If you are in the United States, and you are in legal status, then you can apply to adjust status by filing I-485 application.


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Could you give an example?

How long does it take to process?

It takes approximately 6~8 months on average from the receipt to approval by the US immigration.

If NIW application is rejected, is there any disadvantage?

What benefits can family of an applicant get?

An applicant’s spouse and the children under 21 years old can get permanent residency.

Is under 21 years old based on an approval criterion or an acceptance criterion?

It is an acceptance criterion. If the children is under 21 years old when applying, permanent residency will be issued at the same time.

What are the benefits as the US permanent residents?

NIW USA's Immigration Attorneys and Consultants Profile

This is not a regular law firm, but all legal advice is provided by the immigration lawyers of NIW USA.

Recently Approved Case Analysis

  • Medical

    • Title
    • Degree
      Master in Medical Science
    • Qualification
      6 Domestic (Korean) Papers, 4 Conferences, 2 Letter of Recommendation, NO Citation Record

    - Approved in 8 months without RFE by submitting a strong future planin U.S.

    • Title
    • Degree
      Ph.d. in Dentistry
    • Qualification
      10 Papers, 3 Books, Board Member of Professional Organizations, 16 Citations

    - Approved in 6 months without RFE.

  • Engineering

    • Title
      Bionics Engineer
    • Degree
      Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering
    • Qualification
      6 Papers, 37 Citations, 14 Patents

    - Approved in 7 months without RFE.

    • Title
      Nano Chemistry Engineer
    • Degree
      Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering
    • Qualification
      3 Papers, 5 Citations.

    - Showed high impact factors of this person’s published papers are highly influential to others. Approved in 8 months without RFE.

  • Social Science

    • Title
      Social Work
    • Degree
      Degree : Ph.D. in Social Work
    • Qualification
      2 Papers, 1 Book Chapter, 16 Conference Presentations, 22 Citations, 3 Letter of Recommendation

    - Filed in Jan. 2017, RFE in Feb. 2019, Approved in June 2019.
    - RFE asked to prove Well Position prong with probative evidence. We submitted a very detailed future plan of helping underserved demographic.

    • Title
      Forensic Psychologist
    • Degree
      Ph.D. Psychology
    • Qualification
      4 Papers, 13 Presentations, NO Citation!

    - Filed in April 2018, RFE in November 2018, Approved in April 2019.
    - RFE was on Well Positioned prong and overcame by submitting strong two (2) letters of recommendation.

  • Law

    • Title
    • Degree
      Ph.D. in Law
    • Qualification
      NO Paper, NO Citation, NO Patent, NO Presentation

    - Filed in Nov. 2018, NO RFE, Approved in May 2019
    - The petitioner is an in-house attorney for a big corporation overseas. The license was also overseas' one, not U.S.' We showed legal issues in the petitioner's endeavor would improve trade relations particularly on petroleum & natural gas ensuring the U.S. benefits economically.

  • Business

    • Title
      International Fund Manager
    • Degree
    • Qualification
      NO Paper, NO Citation, NO Patent, NO Presentation, 2 Recommendation Letters

    - With only 6 years of experiences in asset management company in Korea, the petitioner submitted a strong business plan.
    - Filed in Nov. 2018, NO RFE, Approved in May 2019

    • Title
      Senior Fund Manager
    • Degree
    • Qualification
      NO Paper, NO Citation, NO Patent, 2 Recommendation Letters

    - Filed in April 2018, RFE in Jan. 2019, Approved in April 2019
    - RFE asked for Well Positioned prong and responded by showing the petitioner’s successful prior projects conducted in Korea.

  • Physical Education

    • Title
      Volleyball Coach
    • Degree
      Bachelor’s degree in P.E.
    • Qualification
      NO Paper, NO Citation, 3 Recommendation Letters

    - Filed in Sept. 2018 both EB-1 and NIW. EB-1 was approved in Nov. 2018 by regular processing.
    - We showed past coaching experience including national women’s volleyball team for 2012 London Olympic and other numerous national competitions.

  • Art

    • Title
    • Degree
      Ph.D. in Piano Performance
    • Qualification
      NO Paper, NO Citation, 2 Recommendation Letters

    - Showed numerous awards from domestic piano competitions and argued that music would benefit cultural development of U.S.

    • Title
      Fine Artist
    • Degree
      Master in Fine Art
    • Qualification
      NO Papers, NO Citation, 3 Recommendation Letters

    - Filed in Oct. 2016, 1st RFE was issued in November 2016 under old standard, 2nd RFE was issued in April 2017 under the new (Dahnasar) standard to submit more evidence.
    - Responded with detailed evidence showing how art would influence youngsters in U.S. without a new letter of recommendation but giving them more detail explanations.
    - USCIS granted approval in April 2019

  • Architect

    • Title
    • Degree
      Master in Architect
    • Qualification
      NO Paper, NO Citation, NO Patent

    - Filed in Nov. 2018, Approved in June 2019 without RFE
    - Showed numerous project that the petitioner has conducted in overseas and that experience would benefit development of infrastructure of U.S.

  • Linguistics and Other

    • Title
      Broadcasting Executive
    • Degree
      Bachelor’s in Chinese
    • Qualification
      NO Paper, NO Citation, NO Patent

    - Filed in April 2018, RFE was issued for On Balance prong, Approved in Jan. 2019
    - Responded RFE with detailed business plan of establishing media lab in U.S. to continue to produce TV programs.

    • Title
      Linguistics Researcher
    • Degree
      Ph.D. in Korean Language
    • Qualification
      5 Papers, NO Citation, 2 Letter of Recommendation

    - Filed in Oct. 2018, Approved in June 2019 without RFE
    - The petition was submitted with detail explanation on how Korean language would benefit U.S. education system

  • Coffee Barista

    • Title
      Coffee Barista
    • Degree
      Bachelor's in Public Administration
    • Qualification
      NO Paper, NO Citation, NO Patent

    - The petitioner owned his coffee shop in overseas. His exceptional ability was in Latte Art and his work was introduced in domestic magazines.
    - We showed how petitioner's past experience as a business owner woulimprove U.S. economy by promote businesses therefore creating jobs.
    - The petition was approved in 8 months without RFE.