THE “DHANASAR” STANDARD MAKES IT EASIER TO QUALIFY FOR AN EB-2 NATIONAL INTEREST WAIVER (NIW) CASE
In the final days of December 2016, the US Citizenship & Immigration Service changed the rules governing the adjudication of EB-2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) cases. The new set of rules (known as the Dhanasar framework) make it easier to qualify for a National Interest Waiver (NIW) case.
Under the new rules, the USCIS may approve a National Interest Waiver (NIW) case if the petitioner demonstrates that:
1) The petitioner’s work has both substantial merit & national importance;
2) The petitioner is well positioned to advance the specific field of expertise; and
3) “On balance, it would be beneficial to the United States to waive the job offer and labor certification requirements.”
This new standard is clearly easier to meet than the old NIW rules which required the petitioner to prove that;
1) The petitioner’s work was of substantial intrinsic merit;
2) The petitioner’s work had benefits that were “National in Scope”; and
3) Requiring a Labor Certification would have an adverse impact on the national interest.
This third criterion required individuals to prove that they would “serve the national interest to a substantially greater degree than would an available U.S. worker having the same qualifications.” This final requirement from the old NIW rules was often quite hard to satisfy.
Under the new “Dhanasar” framework, the applicant will still need to demonstrate the impact of his or her work (through citations or other evidence that people have used and benefitted from the work), but overall, it appears that the new “Dhanasar” framework has made the NIW case available to many more applicants.
This is great news for professors, researchers, postdocs, and engineers who are interested in starting the Green Card process. Also keep in mind that in order to file an NIW case, the applicant must have a PhD or a Masters Degree, or the equivalent of a Master’s Degree which under USCIS rules is a Bachelor’s Degree plus more than five years of professional experience. (Please note that this equivalency rule enables many engineers who only have bachelors degrees to file National Interest Waiver cases.)
If you or any of your friends or co-workers have questions about the new NIW rules, or if your friends or co-workers are interested in knowing if they qualify for an NIW under the new Dhanasar framework, please fill the form on this page.
Lastly, please feel free to forward this summary to any of your friends and co-workers. Thanks!