EB2 NIW success story: Alfred a teacher on STEM

Alfred NIW success story teacher STEMAlfred is a high school teacher with a focus on STEM (which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). In this article we go over an interview I recorded with Alfred for my YouTube channel, which I will also leave at the end of the blog post. In summary, Alfred obtained his EB2 NIW approval is less than two months with regular processing, which makes his case a true NIW success story! 

I do not know Alfred personally, he followed my videos and contacted me when he received his I-140 approval. If you are in a similar position – you have been approved after watching my videos or using the material on this website, please contact me at oscar (at) eb2niw.info so this community can learn from your experience. 

alfred niw success story message comment youtube
Screenshot of YouTube comment sent by Alfred (Jan 2023)

Alfred’s background – a high school teacher on STEM

He started in the United States as a foreign exchange teacher on a J visa, then transitioned to a H-1B visa before applying for his green card under the EB-2 National Interest Waiver category.

Debunking the “Scientist Myth”

In our conversation we talked about the always repeated, but untrue myth that says that you need to be a scientist to qualify for an EB2 NIW green card. Alfred is a science high school teacher and not a scientist working in a lab. Although his job is related to science, he is a teacher and not a traditional scientist. 

Bachelor plus ten years experience

For the general EB-2 NIW requirement, Alfred went the Advanced degree route (Note: a petitioner can use the Advanced Degree route or qualify as an individual of exceptional ability). However, he did not have a Master or PhD, and used his Bachelor and experience. The rule says that for using a Bachelor the petitioner must prove a total of at least 5 years of post-degree progressive experience. Alfred used detailed letters from current and previous employers to prove he had his Bachelor degree and 10 years of progressive experience. To show his experience was progressive, he established that his salary had been increasing over the years as he took different positions within his profession, with increased responsibilities and duties.

How Alfred educated himself on EB2 NIW using online videos

Alfred started reading about this green card category and especially used videos (among which my YouTube channel videos!) to educate himself. He wanted to understand the famous three prongs of the Matter of Dhanasar and what was the best strategy to meet those three prongs in his case.

He also used the downloadable I-140 petition from this website to further understand how to put together a successful petition.

Using a lawyer for an EB2 NIW petition

Alfred eventually decided to hire an immigration attorney. He initially started working on his I-140 by himself but he became confused particularly with how to fill out the forms given the many forms he needed to submit (Note: Alfred filed I-140 concurrently with adjustment of status). The lawyer also helped Alfred to strengthen his petition, especially the Prong #1 and how his endeavor is of National Importance.


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Alfred’s strategy for his petition

General EB-2 requirement

As mentioned above, Alfred went the Advanced Degree rule using his Bachelor degree plus ten years of progressive experience, using letters from current and past employers to establish that experience.

Prong One – Substantial Merit and National Importance

On this point, Alfred reminded us that it is crucial to craft an endeavor statement that is of national importance. Alfred’s endeavor is to promote STEM education, particularly with a specific underrepresented group (latino). He and his attorney used articles from the White House, science institutions…showing that promoting STEM education in minority groups is a priority for the United States.


Prong Two – Well-positioned to advance the proposed endeavor

Alfred used four classes of evidence for the second prong:

  • Awards
  • Conference presentations
  • Memberships in professional associations
  • STEM competitions/Coaching success

It is worth to note that because he is not a scientist, he does not have any publications or citations (another part of the scientist myth worth debunking!).

A creative way to show he is well positioned

He did have six years of experience teaching in the United States and as part of his work he had done many after-school clubs activities mentoring students that go to science competitions. His students participated at different levels, ranging from local to national competitions. Many of Alfred’s students were recipients of awards at those events, so he could us this as evidence that he is well-positioned in his field. This is an creative and very valid way to show USCIS that he fulfils this part of the Matter of Dhanasar!

Alfred’s timeline for EB2 NIW

He prepared his petition during the end of 2022, right before the Visa Bulletin started showing dates no longer current. Since he wanted to file I-140 and Adjustment of Status concurrently, he rushed his application to submit before December.

  • Gathering evidence and preparing petition: 60 days 
  • Submission of package: November 29, 2022
  • USCIS processing time for I-140: Under 2 months

Alfred has already been called for biometrics and he is  currently waiting for the Travel Document, EAD, and finally his green card to arrive.


Alfred’s advice to other petitioners

At the end of our conversation, Alfred offered a few tips to his fellow EB-2 National Interest Waiver applicants.

  1. Find someone knowledgeable about EB2 NIW if you need help
  2. Identify an endeavor that is of national importance
  3. The person that knows your profile best is yourself! Not even a lawyer will know your case as well as you do.
  4. Don’t be scared and be willing to take the risk of applying. 
  5. If you decide to hire an attorney, make sure you have the budget because it is really expensive. Ask the potential attorney good questions to make sure they can deliver on what they promise (they should definitely know the Matter of Dhanasar!)

Watch the interview with Alfred about his EB2 NIW petition here

15 thoughts on “EB2 NIW success story: Alfred a teacher on STEM”

  1. Good day Mr. Oscar,
    I was watching the success story of Alfred and I was amazed. We have the same situation here in the US. I am a Science teacher and also have 10 years of teaching experience. I was wondering if he mentioned you the name of his lawyer. I wanted to try this self petition program. Looking forward for
    your email. Have a great day!

  2. Hi Oscar,
    I am a High School teacher in Australia and am starting my EB2-C NIW journey. Do you possibly have a copy of Alfred’s petition… or his contact details so that I could discuss this with him?

  3. Hi Oscar,

    I am looking for a endeavor with national importance as I have MS degree in finance and investment, as well as masters degree in economics and business administration with over 10 years of teaching experience with citations and publications.

    Oscar If you could please suggest me regarding endeavor selection which focuses more on national interest of united states.

    25-1011 Business Teachers, Postsecondary
    25-1063 Economics teachers, postsecondary

    Many Thanks

  4. Thanks, but if possible could you please share some insight so I could start working on it. As I have mentioned soc codes, from where it is verified that they are STEMM occupations?

  5. Hello , do you think I can apply ? I have a BA in Languages, a Master’s Degree on Science Education and I have over 15 years of experience teaching English as a Second Language in different School Grades from Kindergarten to University and teaching Spanish Subjects like Linguistics, Morphology, Sintaxis, Language Communication etc. in a University.

    1. Hi, I can’t tell you that, you need to do your research and see if you can qualify. Generally, teachers are difficult cases especially in non-STEM areas but that does not mean it is impossible

      1. I hold a master’s degree in math and have 30 years of experience as a high school teacher, what could be the possibility for change of status from f1 to eb2 niw

  6. I am a science teacher from India and have more than 25 years of teaching experience and almost 10 yrs teaching in US on a H1b. I was also teacher of the year- for the school. Would I be qualified to apply for EB2 NIW. Also can you tell what would be time to get a green card for Indian applicants. Thanks

    1. Hi Samuel, I don’t give that kind of assessment. Look at the requirements and decide if you can make a case for yourself. As for the time for Indian applicants, EB2 has a very long backlog of more than a decade. Thanks for reading!

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