Approval rates for EB2 NIW in 2023

USCIS, the agency that deals with green card processing within the federal government, publishes statistics regularly. Unfortunately, they not always provide separate numbers for the National Interest Waiver (NIW) category, which is part of the EB-2 class. In this case, I was able to find separate approval rates for EB2 NIW and in this article I will present the data for you, always citing the source for it so you can go back and check the original data. 

Raw data for approvals of I-140 in 2023

Each quarter, the agency publishes a big chart where you can find cases received, approved, denied, and pending. Below is a screenshot of the latest data (as of now) released by USCIS, for quarter 3 of Fiscal Year 2023.

Form I-140 approvals for Q3 FY2023
Approvals for form I-140 in Q3 of fiscal year 2023 (press the image to access the data from USCIS)

It is worth noting that you cannot take direct conclusions and a little bit of math is needed. This is because while the cases received are cases received in that quarter, the cases pending, approved, and denied, may have been originated in previous quarters. So, what I did is just compare the approvals to the denials in each quarter, using the simple formula shown below:

Formula to calculate approval rates for EB2 NIW
Formula to calculate approval rates for EB2 NIW

Percentage approval rates for EB2 NIW in 2023

With the above formula in mind I calculated the approximate approval and denial rates for each category of green card in each quarter. Note that data for Q4 is not available at the time of writing. 

  • The approval rate for EB2 NIW was between 77 and 85% in 2023
  • There was a surge of denials in the third quarter. Once data for Q4 is released we will check if USCIS confirms these numbers (they sometimes correct figures).
  • Data for EB-1A suggest that the approval rate in the EB1A category is between 70 and 74%, in line with data from Fiscal Year 2022 reported in my other website.
Percentage of approvals and denials by quarter
Percentage of approvals and denials by quarter

What do these numbers mean for your case?

Well, first of all, these numbers are not your probability of success in EB2 NIW. 

You should remember that each case is unique and cases are not adjudicated based on other petitions, but on the evidence and arguments provided within the case itself.

Your success depends on factors you can control, such as:

  • Your profile of qualifications
  • Your proposed endeavor
  • The quality of your petition package

And on other factors that are outside of your control, such as which officer will review your application for NIW.

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In conclusion, USCIS statistics reveal EB2 NIW approval rates ranging from 77% to 85% in 2023, with a surge in denials during Q3. However, these figures do not guarantee individual success. Unique qualifications, a compelling petition, and case-specific factors remain pivotal. Stay informed, prepare diligently, and seek professional guidance if needed.

Raw data and spreadsheet

This content in video format

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