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USCIS and Immigrant Entrepreneurship (Part 2): EB-2 National Interest Waivers

Posted by Ann Badmus | Jan 24, 2013 | 0 Comments

Availability of EB-2 National Interest Waivers to Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs may obtain an employment-based second preference (EB-2) immigrant visa if they satisfy the existing requirements, and also may qualify for a National Interest Waiver under the EB-2 immigrant visa category if they can demonstrate that their business endeavors will be in the interest of the United States. USCIS will also conduct internal training on the unique characteristics of entrepreneurial enterprises and startup companies and incorporate input from the upcoming stakeholder engagements detailed below.

The EB-2 visa classification includes foreign workers with advanced degrees and individuals of exceptional ability in the arts, sciences, or business. Generally, an EB- 2 visa petition requires a job offer and a Department of Labor certification. These requirements can be waived and a foreign work can apply without a employer sponsorship law if the petitioner demonstrates that approval of the EB-2 visa petition would be in the national interest of the United States.

Consequently, the chief advantage to the national interest waiver is that it allows the physician to self-sponsor. As a result, the physician may change jobs or even engage in self-employment so long as other conditions are met. There are two types of National Interest Waivers. The first applies to any individual in any occupation but the second applies only to certain physicians which we will discuss in the next article.

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Ann Badmus

Principal and Managing Attorney


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