Key Tips for a Compelling NIW Application

The National Interest Waiver is a unique immigration program that offers a route to a U.S. green card as an independent professional. Based on the requirements that applicants have specific educational and professional qualifications, the applicants in question must also prove to contribute to the national interest of the United States in one of several areas, such as educational, cultural, professional, or overall well-being. 


One of the more subjective parts of the National Interest Waiver (NIW) application is that you must submit a compelling and convincing story as to why you are a desirable applicant to stand out from other applicants, and also how you can improve an area mentioned above within the United States through your professional expertise. Because your application can be largely dependent on who is reviewing it, it is important that you assemble as much evidence as possible to prove your capabilities and demonstrate your desirability. 


As National Interest Waiver attorneys, we have a few tips to share to help you strengthen your case file:


Provide letters of recommendation. While typical letters of recommendation would come from colleagues and other acquaintances or relationships, for the NIW application, a stronger application would actually have recommendations from esteemed strangers. This is because those who do not have a personal relationship to the applicant tend to show objectivity in the recommendation.  Recommenders may include, but are not limited to: researchers, scientists or engineers who have cited to the applicant’s work, who have commercialized the applicant’s research or who work for an agency that has implemented the applicant’s work, academic advisors, or professors. 


Submit ample supporting evidence. Each NIW applicant is unique, and each NIW case should be approached with a fresh mindset.  The old adage, “quality over quantity” applies in NIW cases; USCIS looks favorably on quality rather than quantity. Gathering nominations, awards, professional memberships, academic and professional recognition and accomplishments, and any other substantial third party accolades will be valuable in the evidence process. When paired with unique letters of recommendation that show competitive edge over comparable American counterparts, an applicant has an opportunity to truly stand out. 


Tie your application to NYSDOT. There are three basic components of the NIW program, and relating your specific capabilities to these outlined areas will serve to your benefit. They are as follows: