Powell Immigration Law PC | Business, Employment and Family Immigration Law | California

Patrick's Petition for the EB-2 National Interest Waiver in Business

EB-2 NIW Success Story

Note: We have not provided the real names of our clients or defining details about their companies in order to protect their confidentiality.

EB-2 NIW Success Story: Entrepreneur in the Bakery Business

EB-2 NIW Case Background Information

It is only intuitive to believe that the immigration process should be relatively straightforward for the brightest, most exemplary individuals with a substantial record of outstanding achievements. However, in practice, it’s necessary to overcome many hurdles even for those individuals who clearly deserve approval based on their merits.

The case we are describing below is like that of many that Powell Immigration Law has serviced over the years. Whatever record of achievement one has, the individual’s case has to be presented in the most optimal and lucid fashion so that it will convince even the most scrupulous adjudicator, all the while avoiding the numerous potential pitfalls inherent to the U.S. immigration process.

Patrick sought out the EB-2 green card, an employment-based visa for individuals in professions requiring advanced degrees or exceptional abilities to be able to enter and work in the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident. To be even more specific, the client wished to make use of the National Interest Waiver program, a procedure made available for those who wish to bypass the EB-2’s arduous labor certification process. It also serves as a route by which an entrepreneur can file a self-petition, forgoing the normal requirement of being sponsored by an employer as well as the process of trying to seek out American workers for the position. This way it is possible for an enterprising individual to file his or her case directly with United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS).  For many clients who are self-employed like Patrick, the NIW becomes the only viable option for bringing one’s entrepreneurial ambitions to the U.S.

Patrick exhibited all the benchmarks of achievement in the entrepreneurial field that would make him a good candidate for EB-2 National interest waiver green card. Our client had accumulated an impressive record of entrepreneurial success, including an expansive history of launching and directing various businesses and products that spanned across borders.

Requirements for the EB-2 National Interest Waiver Visa

To prove that an applicant is eligible for the EB-2 NIW Immigrant Visa (Green Card), a number of qualifications have to be met. The criteria include the following:

A. The applicant has to possess an advanced degree in the field or qualify as a person of exceptional ability in the sciences, arts or business.

If the foreign national does not have an equivalent to a U.S. advanced degree, it is still possible to satisfy the visa’s qualifications as an individual of exceptional ability. To satisfy the exceptional ability standard, the petition must provide proof of at least three of the following:

  • An official academic record showing the foreign national has a degree, diploma, certificate or similar award from a college, university, school or other institution of learning relevant to the area of exceptional ability.

  • Letters documenting at least ten years of full-time experience.

  • Any license or certificate necessary for practice of the profession.

  • Evidence of high commanded salary or compensation for services demonstrative of exceptional ability.

  • Membership in professional associations.

  • Documents proving recognition by peers, government officials, professional or business organizations for significant achievements and contributions to the field.

  • USCIS may also accept other comparable evidence of eligibility if the above standards are not applicable.

To qualify as an individual of exceptional ability, the applicant must possess such attributes as to set him apart from other professionals within the relevant field overall.

B. The proposed undertaking is in the national interest.

USCIS may grant a national interest waiver if the petitioner demonstrates that:

  • The foreign national’s proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance.

  • He or she is well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor.

  • On balance, it would be beneficial to the United States to waive the job offer and labor certification requirements.

While the term "national interest" is not itself defined under statutory guidance, a number of factors have been shown by the USCIS Administrative Appeals Office as being demonstrative of acceptable compliance, including:

  • Improving the U.S. economy.

  • Improving the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers.

  • Improving education and training programs for American children and under-qualified workers.

  • Improving health care.

  • Providing affordable housing.

  • Improving the environment.

  • The request of an interested agency within the U.S. government. 

Simply put, the petition must provide persuasive evidence that the individual's contribution would be significant enough that it would be beneficial to the national interest if the petitioner were to forego the usual requirement of a labor certification and be allowed residency in the U.S.

The Case Itself: Making an EB-2 NIW Petition a Persuasive One

Patrick met the criterion for the advanced degree classification. In fact, he possessed the equivalent of a PhD in business administration, a First Professional Degree in Law (LL.B.), and two bachelor degrees. These were all validated and thus proven by credential evaluations of his foreign degrees.

Now for the National Interest Waiver argument. The focal point of the petition was that the client's current business venture in the U.S. was a bakery. That may appear banal at first glance, but this was an innovative type of bakery offering gluten-free options and preparations of healthy bread based on old traditions so to abstain from the use of preservatives, colorants, or any other artificial additives. Therefore, while the endeavor possessed certifiable merit, it was still on its face a bakery operation and presented challenges in justifying the claim of National Interest to the U.S.

EB-2 NIW Visa Green Card Bakery.jpg

We provided an intricate detailing of our client's overall business experience and the records of his success with previous ventures in order to prove the high likelihood of success for his current business - in essence, his worth to the United States if he was allowed to stay and continue with his entrepreneurial ambitions. We elaborated on the significance of each of his ventures, which included such fields as technology, hospitality, and beyond. Patrick was not a novice in the business world and had gained recognition as an expert in launching and growing businesses in several countries, building them from the ground up to eventually become multimillion-dollar establishments.

Furthermore, we demonstrated the success that Patrick had already achieved with his current bakery business by showing the important partnerships he was able to build with leading grocery outlets. We provided support letters from the representatives of the national grocery chains who explained how extraordinarily convincing Patrick and his business models were in heralding its inevitable success, allowing them to partner with him while foregoing the much lengthier trial period that is normally extended to new vendors.

With overwhelming evidence of Patrick's past successes and a convincing argument as to the necessity of a specialized food production that would contribute to the health of our nation, USCIS could not simply denounce Patick’s achievements as mere speculation. We concentrated on the inevitable health benefits that the company would provide, its attractiveness to consumers (and consequential societal health benefit), the superiority of its products, and the U.S. specific issues the company's presence would address (i.e. epidemic-scale obesity). We also included a substantial portion breaking down the inherent economic benefits the company's continued growth under Patrick would bring. This meant more jobs for American workers. The enterprise was also engaged in e-commerce with orders beyond state lines and was involved with numerous nonprofits, donating food to various organizations and therefore sealing its place as an enterprise of national importance - for reasons economic as well as that of the U.S.’s public health interests. Finally - and most importantly - we highlighted our client’s crucial role in securing the company's future developments and the benefits it could deliver to the U.S. 

The petition needed to demonstrate that the client would perform his intended role to a substantially greater degree than any available U.S. worker of the same minimal qualifications. This is how U.S. immigration policy validates the waiving of the labor certification process normally utilized for the purpose of protecting American workers. To accomplish this task, we made sure the petition was prepared in such a way that it would accentuate our client's history as well as the skills he had developed and continuously proven throughout his career, attributes that could not be matched. We elaborated extensively upon the difficulty of achieving what Patrick had, and thus the difficulty of appropriately replacing him in his role at the head of the company.

Finally, another substantial portion of the petition was reserved for the all-important step of verifying Patrick's experience through the attestation of experts. As in every relevant immigration benefit request, this is a list that must be carefully selected. As for our client, his letters of recommendation came from a member of the parliament within his home country, a religious minister, a leading industry director, and a legal agent as well as multiple business owners and founders of expert qualification. This offered a strong backing of the client's status as a qualified expert of extraordinary caliber in his field.

Leaning on our years of experience handling NIW petitions and helping our clients prepare strong cases, Patrick was able to meet each requirement for the EB-2 NIW green card.

While no process in immigration is a sure thing, Patrick's EB-2 NIW petition was approved. He continues to lead his company in providing the quality promised.

If there are any inquiries or assistance needed regarding the EB-2 NIW or any number of immigration matters Powell Immigration Law, PC is well-versed in, please contact us.


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