EB2 NIW Blog posts

Welcome to the EB2 NIW blog! Find all the answers to your  questions here

In this section I will write about key topics related to green card applications. More specifically, I will touch on important areas related to EB-2 National Interest Waiver issues, such as cost, processing time, premium processing, similarities and differences with other GC categories, specific examples of eligible profiles…

In summary, I will try to go over the things I wish I knew when I started the process of putting together my own application. I applied for my green card in 2019 with no attorneys and I had to navigate the world of USCIS with what I found online and help from friends. Now it is the time for me to share the knowledge I gained through that process.

In addition, if you have ideas for any niche you would like to learn more about, please let me know by sending us a message in the Contact page. I would love to hear your feedback.

By the way, if you are looking for a way to follow the latest news by USCIS, I can’t recommend their Twitter account enough. However, keep in mind that they are not exclusively about our favorite EB-2 NIW greencard category.

Enjoy the reading!

Search blog posts here:

Most recent blog posts:

George EB2 NIW
EB2 NIW Success: George, an Artistic Endeavor Can Win
Recently I sat down with George, a musician who successfully navigated the EB2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) process, for an interview for my YouTube channel. George is an EB2 NIW online course member! His story highlights the potential for individuals in the arts to achieve success through dedication, strategic planning, and a strong case for national...
Cristina EB2 NIW success mental health
EB2 NIW success: Cristina, a mental health counselor
Cristina was born in Venezuela and is also a European citizen. She is a mental health counselor who recently received approval from USCIS for an I-140 in the EB-2 NIW (National Interest Waiver) green card category.  As a customer of Oscar’s Green Card products for DIY petitioners, Cristina reached out to me to share her success story with my YouTube...
Pasha, smart manufacturing engineer who obtained an EB2 NIW approval without lawyer
Pasha, a smart manufacturing engineer
Pasha is a Russian PhD student in SMART manufacturing engineering in North Carolina. Even before graduating as a Doctor he decided to pursue an EB2 NIW green card by himself, without a lawyer, so he and his wife can continue his American life without having to worry too much about their immigration status.  He suceeded and in this article we summarize...
USCIS fee increase summary table
USCIS increases all fees: the effect on EB2 NIW
We knew it since January 2023: USCIS had plans to increase processing fees all across the board. The final rule is now public and in this article we will discuss the main changes and how the fee increase affects EB2 NIW green card in particular. USCIS has tamed some of the initially proposed increases, but it is fair to say that getting a green card...
Approval rates per quarter in Fiscal Years 2022 and 2023
EB2 NIW Approval Rates are going down
USCIS has issued the data for I-140 approvals for the full Fiscal Year 2023 that ended in September 2023. The agency publishes this data on a quarterly basis and it is a good way to follow trends on percentage approvals and denials, as well as absolute numbers of approvals and denials for the different categories of green cards. This dataset includes...
IMG_1212
EB2 NIW Success Story: Ali, securing the Internet of Things
Ali is a cybsercurity professional who recently obtained his I-140 approval towards an EB2 NIW green card. In this category, the petitioner must prove he is an advanced degree holder (or a person of extraordinary ability) and that he complies with the so-called Matter of Dhanasar. This is a three pronged test that includes detailing an endeavor for...
PPFeeIncrease
Premium Processing fees increase in 2024
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that Premium Processing fees will increase in 2024. This increase will take into account the inflation rate from June 2021 to June 2023, according to the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers.  https://youtu.be/MYd5neDch-c How much will Premium Processing increase? Depending...
B1B2 visa
Applying for EB2 NIW on a visitor B1/B2 visa
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybOTJy6XQOs Many of my YouTube subscribers have asked me if it is a good idea to come to the United States on a visitor visa and  submit an EB2 NIW I-140 application, to then adjust their status from the B-1/B-2 visa to a green card. The answer to this question may vary depending on the specific historical moment. As...
Screenshot of Table A in January 2024 visa bulletin
EB2 dates advance in January 2024 Visa Bulletin
Good news for EB-2 (which includes EB2 NIW) in the upcoming January 2024 visa bulletin you can consult here. Dates move forward significantly and that means that applicants waiting to adjust status or complete their process from abroad using Consular Processing are getting closer to receiving their green cards. Why is January an important month? January...
Top 10 countries by number of EB2 NIW approvals in each quarter
Top 10 countries by number of EB2 NIW approvals
In my previous blog post I went over the percentage of approvals and denials in Fiscal Year 2023. Using the same data source from USCIS, it is possible to rank the countries by number of accepted and approved petitions. In this article we will look into the third quarter of Fiscal Year 2023 to understand what countries obtain the largest number of approved...
Percentage of approvals and denials by quarter
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...
Premium Processing EB2 NIW (1)
Premium Processing for EB2 NIW: Should you use it?
I have been approached by many prospective applicants for EB-2 National Interest Waiver green card with the following question: Oscar, should I pay extra and use Premium Processing for EB2 NIW? In this article I hope to dissipate some doubts regarding the use of expedited processing in the current environment. We will discuss current processing...
Visa Bulletin October 2023
The Visa Bulletin for October 2023 allows you to use Table B
October 2023 Visa Bulletin was released by Department of State and USCIS and it comes with some news.  On one hand, Table A (Final Action Dates) does not change much for most countries. In fact EB-2 advances only 7 days from September to October, with a date of July 8, 2023 in October. October is the first month of Fiscal Year 2024 The Fiscal...
screenshot Victoria Chen
Can we blame some of USCIS mistakes on influx of new officers? Victoria Chen thinks so
Victoria Chen, lawyer at the North America Immigration Law Group, has recently posted a message on her LinkedIn account voicing something that many have thought about. She brings the attention to the recent influx of new USCIS officers and how they may be behind some of the common mistakes observed in the adjudication of EB2 NIW cases. In this article...
Image of family outdoors. Picture by Yan Krukau
Can your family join your EB2 NIW green card application?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJeCZdoYsCo Many prospective EB-2 NIW applicants ask if their family can join them in case their I-140 gets approved. In this article we will review how family is dealt with in employment-based green card applications such as the National Interest Waiver.  We will review who may be included and who may not, and we...
Davide EB2 NIW success
EB2 NIW Success Story: Davide, an entomologist that went from grad student to green card holder
Davide is an Italian entomologist currently completing his PhD studies in a US University. He studied in Europe and did an internship in South Africa. Knowing that his passion was the study of insects, and particularely the study of parasitic wasps, he decided to continue his training with a doctorate degree. While finding funding for his research in...
Canada wants you
Navigating Layoffs in the Tech Sector: The US Green Card Option and Canada's New Immigration Opportunities
In this article, we explore options available for highly skilled foreign tech workers facing layoffs in the US, including Green Card routes and new immigration opportunities in Canada. Layoffs and the H-1B Visa Situation The past couple of years have seen an increase in layoffs, especially in the tech sector. Layoffs come in waves and we are seeing...
denial rates appeals
Appeals for EB2 NIW: should you consider it?
If you have faced a petition denial, this guide will walk you through the appeal process, discuss timelines, costs, and success rates, providing clarity on whether an appeal is the right path for you. Appeals for EB2 NIW and for other green card categories are possible, but as usual, one will need to evaluate several factors before deciding! Of course,...
Abhi EB2 NIW
EB2 NIW Success Story: Abhi, a cybersecurity expert
In this post, we will talk about Abhi, an expert in cybersecurity, who got his I-140 for an EB-2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) green card approved in just two weeks.  We will look into how he did this, how he showed his endeavor is important for America, how he showed he’s qualified, and his advice for others planning to go through this process. Abhi...
ETA-9089 form new version
New version of ETA-9089 form
Screenshot of new version of ETA-9089 The Department of Labor has released a statement announcing they will finally issue a new version of form ETA-9089. This form is known as the Application for Labor Certification and EB-2 NIW applicants need to include it in their petition package.  I say “finally” because the current version...
Retrogression visa bulletin
Understanding Retrogression: What It Means, Why It Happens, and How to Manage It
What is Retrogression? In this blog post, we will discuss the concept of retrogression. Retrogression generally means “the process of returning to an earlier state, typically a worse one”, according to Google. In the context of the green card process, retrogression refers to the backward movement of priority dates, resulting in a longer...
Azeez success story EB2 NIW civil engineer
EB2 NIW Success Story: Azeez, a civil engineering PhD student
Azzez’s story is one of a Do-It-Yourself man. He clearly has no fear about taking his matters into his own hands. And he did exactly that with his immigration future, when he decided to apply for an EB2 NIW green card all by himself.  He used online resources, such as the USCIS website and my YouTube channel, to educate himself about...
Mohamed EB2 NIW success story
EB2 NIW Success Story: Mohamed, a finance expert
Mohamed is a financial expert from Egypt. He has over a decade of experience in big projects supporting the industry. This article is a summary of the conversation I had with him for my YouTube channel. In the interview, I asked him about his profile, his proposed endeavor for the United States, what type of evidence he used, his timeline and what advice...
Domestic visa renewal pilot program
Domestic visa renewal for H-1B and L visas in 2023
The State Department has announced that they will implement a pilot plan to allow H and L visa holders to renew their visas in American soil, Bloomberg Law reports. Until now, visa holders had to travel abroad when their visas were expired or close to expiration. In their home countries, they would request and schedule an interview appointment in their...
Alfred NIW success story teacher STEM
EB2 NIW success story: Alfred a teacher on STEM
Alfred 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...
New green card design by USCIS
USCIS releases new green card design
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that it will be issuing a new green card and EAD (employment authorization document) design on January 30, 2023. In a press release, the immigration agency argues that this change will be beneficial in terms of security, as the new design incorporates more modern features...
Workers laid off in 2022-2023 source layoffs.fyi
Layoffs and H-1B visas: how to protect yourself
In the recent few months, the United States is going through a layoff wave that has affected hundreds of companies and thousands of workers. According to the website layoffs.fyi, more than 68,000 employees were laid off in January 2023 from 200+ companies in the tech sector alone. Some of the most well-known organizations engaging in these practices...
green card petition in one week?
An EB-2 NIW petition in one week?
I receive multiple emails and Youtube comments every single day. Recently, I have been getting messages in which readers or viewers say they want to file an EB2 NIW (National Interest waiver) petition within one week. So I think it is time to stop and think: is it really doable an realistic to believe one can file a green card petition in only seven...
Premium Processing for EB2 NIW Screenshot from USCIS website
USCIS fully implements Premium Processing for EB2 NIW
USCIS announced on January 12, 2023 that they are making Premium Processing fully available for green card applicants filing under the EB2 NIW (National Interest Waiver) category, as well as those under the EB-1C category for Multinational Executives and Managers. Premium Processing for EB2 NIW costs $2,805 and will guarantee a decision in 45 days. Premium...
Interview waivers 2023
Many in-person nonimmigrant visa interview waivers in 2023
The Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced in December 2022 that they will extend the the visa interview waivers during 2023. This measure may affect thousands of people under nonimmigrant visas in the United States, particularly those on F, H-1, H-2, H-3, H-4, academic J, L, O, P, and Q visas. Conditions for the...
Summary of USCIS fee increases in 2023
USCIS fees to increase in 2023
The United States Immigrations and Citizenship Services (USCIS) agency has published a proposal that would increase the fees most immigration applicants pay. Among the reasons for this increase, USCIS cites the insufficient revenue collected from petitioners to cover the high workload they have. USCIS funds 96% of their operations through costumer...
Total number of GC issued
USCIS processed a record number of green cards in 2022
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released their annual report “Fiscal Year 2022 Progress Report”. In this document they summarize the main challenges and progress achieved during the fiscal year, which ran from October 2021 to September 2022.  Key Takeaways from the report The report is an easy-to-read 14 page document...
Screenshot travel gov website
Guide to Consular Processing for EB2 NIW green card
When applying for a green card there are two paths one can follow once the initial petition is approved by USCIS (this is the famous I-140 for EB2 NIW). If you are in the United States under a visa (for example an F-1 student visa or H-1 working visa), you can apply for an adjustment of status (I-485). This converts your current visa status...
USCIS logo
How to prove exceptional ability for EB-2 NIW
The EB2 NIW category of green card has two types of requirements. One is the famous 3-prong system from the Matter of Dhanasar that we have extensively discussed in this blog. The other one is the general second priority employment-based green card requirement. Typically, we refer to it as “advanced degree”, because the petitioner must have...
Icon post
The Adjustment of Status for EB2 NIW
Good news: the Adjustment of Status (or I-485) is a much simpler process than the I-140 step. In the I-140 part, you must convince the USCIS officer that you qualify under the National Interest Waiver category (the infamous three Dhanasar prongs!). Now, you only need to submit a lot of documents to prove, among other things, that you have been in good...
USCIS Fireside chat
USCIS committed to reduce backlogs - but fees may go up soon!
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is not only aware of the backlogs that many applicants suffer, but is committed to find solutions to tackle this problem. Last month, the USCIS Director Ms. Ur Jaddou, and the CIS Ombudsman, Ms. Phyllis Coven, sat down for a rare Fireside chat. This one-hour long conversation was an...
Hand holding diploma
Evaluation of Education Credentials report for EB2 NIW
One of the requirements for EB2 NIW green card is to have an advanced degree. In some cases, this can be substituted by other achievements such as experience or extraordinary abilities (check out this post to learn about all the requirements).  Many petitioners hold MS or PhD degrees from non US countries. Regardless of the language spoken in those...
Screenshot USCIS website expands premium processing
USCIS expands Premium Processing for EB2 NIW further
September 2022 – A few months ago we were talking in this blog about how USCIS was aiming for an expansion of Premium Processing to categories of green card that did not have this option. EB-2 NIW (National Interest Waiver) falls in this category.  Last week, on September 15, USCIS moved to the next phase of this staggered approach...
count, banknotes, business-3125587.jpg
How to pay the EB2 NIW fees to USCIS?
https://youtu.be/PlUH_zRsxxk Many green card applicants asked me how to pay the EB2 NIW fees to USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services).  The answer can be found in the official source: the USCIS website. In this article I will provide a summary of what you can find there, and also the relevant links to the source. Recap: How much...
Screenshot of form ETA-9089
Labor Certification form for EB2 NIW: ETA-750 or ETA-9089?
In the EB2 NIW category, the petitioner does not need a labor certification (also referred to as PERM). However, the form relative to this PERM process needs to be enclosed in the I-140 petition together with the I-140 form, the cover letter, and all the attachments even for EB2 NIW.   In this blog post, we will discuss which form to use to...
Personal statement for EB2 NIW - Photo by Cytonn Photography
Personal Statement for EB2 NIW
When preparing the cover letter for the I-140 petition, it is important to gather and present as much information and evidence as possible. Remember that the I-140 is not just the form, but the whole petition where you should prove you meet all the requirements for EB-2 NIW (National Interest Waiver). To show you comply with each requirement, you should...
Separate or concurrent EB2 NIW filing
Concurrent or separate EB2 NIW application?
As for other types of green card petitions, EB2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) allows concurrent or separate I-140 and I-485 filings. In this article, we will learn what these two options are and what advantages or disadvantages they may present so you can use the one that best suits your case. The steps of the EB2 NIW process Unlike other employment-based...
EB-1A vs EB-2 NIW
EB-1A vs EB-2 NIW : Similarities and Differences
The EB-1A and EB-2 NIW green card categories share similarities such as allowing self-petitioning and requiring high skill levels, but display some differences like wait times, different standards for requirements, or availability of premium processing. In this article, we discuss the EB1 vs EB2 NIW green card categories. By the end of this article,...
picture of 2 hole punch
How to assemble the I-140 petition for EB2 NIW
https://youtu.be/7rIydQ-TBho In this blog post, we will cover how to assemble the I-140 petition for EB2 NIW. This can be especially interesting for those of you thinking about a do-it-yourself petition. It includes what documents comprise the petition, how to organize them, how to physically bind the application together, and the process of mailing...
Scientific Papers
Publications and citations for NIW green card
In this article, we will cover one of the most frequently asked questions for researchers that are considering applying for this green card: how many publications and citations for NIW? If you want, your can watch the YouTube video on the right-hand side of the screen.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBGbIuFk61Q&t=692s Do you need publications...
EB2 NIW cover letter picture
EB2 NIW cover letter : what it is and how to prepare one
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSBmOPbioFM To obtain a National Interest Waiver, a petitioner should provide the evidence to fulfill the requirements. Under EB2 NIW the US government waives the need for a job offer to get a green card. However, one must prove to hold an advanced degree or show exceptional ability. Furthermore, the applicant should...
EB2 NIW Recommendation Letters screenshot
A guide to EB2 NIW Recommendation Letters
Screenshot of EB2 NIW Recommendation LetterThe letters of recommendation for a National Interest Waiver green card application are an important tool to strengthen your case. These letters are technically not a requirement by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). However, they are a versatile way to demonstrate your experience...
Scan of Request for Evidence (RFE) letter
How to respond to a Request for Evidence (RFE)
What is a Request for Evidence? Request for Evidence, or RFE, is a letter in which the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) asks for more information. In other words, the officer in charge of the case needs more documentation before making a decision. An officer may issue an RFE for multiple types of applications, including green...
EB-2 approval rate image of thumbs up
What is the EB-2 approval rate?
Approval and denial rates for EB-2 green card petitions (I-140) The EB-2 approval rate is high, an average of 93%, according to USCIS data. Depending on the year, the I-140 approval rate for this employment-based green card category oscillates between 83 and 96%. When looking at specific approval EB-2 approval rates for petitioners from India and...
Traveling during green card process
Traveling during green card process
One of the questions I heard the most over the years was: can I travel abroad while waiting to hear from USCIS? Indeed, traveling during the green card process is a hot topic: Can I go to India while waiting to hear back from USCIS about my I-140? Will I have issues if I leave the country before the adjustment of status is completed? Like in most cases...
Screenshot of Visa Bulletin Website
How to read the Visa Bulletin in 2024
https://youtu.be/guxkNFzf54k If you have been reading about the green card process, chances are that you heard about the Visa Bulletin. You may have tried to interpret them and maybe you are lost. If that is the case, you came to the right place. In this article, we will explain what is and how to read the Visa Bulletin in 2024. If you prefer, I have...
Misconceptions about EB-2 NIW
8 misconceptions about EB-2 NIW green card process
The green card process may look complex and scary. There are many misconceptions about EB-2 NIW green cards that need to be debunked. In this article, we go over the main wrong ideas or myths about this permanent residency category to help you navigate this process. Misconception #1: Not having an advanced degree disqualifies you Nothing further from...
Image of screaming woman
EB2 NIW application mistakes to avoid
Putting together an EB-2 NIW green card application may seem a daunting task. On this website, I compiled important information to guide you through the process. Specifically, this article can help you avoid some common EB2 NIW application mistakes. #1 Outdated forms or no signature The first top mistake is using wrong forms. Particularly, I am referring...
Screenshot of the Matter of Dhanasar case decision
How to qualify for National Interest Waiver
Screenshot of the Matter of Dhanasar decision The EB-2 National Interest Waiver is different from any other EB-2 visa in that the government waives the requirement for employment certification. However, to be eligible for this green card, the petitioner needs to prove their work is in the national interest. In this article, you can learn how to qualify...
dimitri-karastelev-6emneH4P8LA-unsplash
Premium processing for EB-2 NIW in 2022
One of the drawbacks of filing an EB-2 NIW application until now was that there was no premium processing for this category of green cards. However, this has changed slightly recently. Indeed, there is EB2 NIW Premium processing in 2022, but it is only available for certain cases for now.  In May 2022, the US government announced that certain petitions...
calendar, date, time-660670.jpg
EB-2 NIW processing time
The EB-2 NIW processing time can be from 6 months to a few years. The I-140 portion of the process can take between 3 months to 2 years, depending on the moment of submission. This can be reduced to 45 days using Premium Processing, which is available for I-140 in the EB2 NIW category since January 30, 2023. The I-485 adjustment of status portion...
cost, board, finance-1174926.jpg
How much does the application for EB2 NIW cost?
The  total EB2 NIW cost for the green card process for one individual ranges from $2,805 to $3,455 without hiring attorneys, to beyond $13,000 when attorneys are hired (this cost varies depending on what firm is selected). In this article we will break down the costs of the EB2 National Interest Waiver application for permanent residency, so you can...