Skip to main content

NIW Case Study – how can a dentist prove the national importance of one’s proposed endeavor?


How can a dentist position their case favorably to merit a green card under the EB2 NIW criteria? A recent AAO case provides some helpful insights.

The Petitioner in this case had a dental surgery degree and over 20 years of experience as a dentist in Brazil, where he had previously owned a clinic specializing in treating complex cases in prosthodontics (replacement of missing/damaged teeth) and implant dentistry. Petitioner obtained a Texas license to practice dentistry and proposed to purchase a dental practice in that state and expand its operations.

Proposing to simply purchase and expand operations of one clinic may be insufficient

Initially, USCIS found the prospective impact of Petitioner’s proposed endeavor to buy a dental clinic and expand its operations not enough to rise to the level of national importance. Although the Petitioner projected the business would generate $1.1 million in annual revenues by Year 5 and hire 14 employees, the USCIS officer did not find that this, alone, constituted sufficient positive economic effects to merit national importance.

Developing and disseminating one’s new approach to prosthodontics, improving upon existing practices, could support national importance

On appeal, however, the AAO focused on another aspect of Petitioner’s offerings. Specifically, the AAO focused on the Petitioner’s unique approach to prosthodontics, as he described in his business plan an original technique he head developed over the past ten years. For example, Petitioner applied behavioral sciences to his prosthodontic techniques to his prosthodontic techniques because research showed successful treatment of complex oral disorders hinged on continuous collaboration with patients. Petitioner also examined tissues and organs in oral and craniofacial cavities to identify potential sources of pain or dysfunction.

These techniques were published in an article by the U.S. Institute of Advanced Dental Education. A letter of support from the institution’s Executive Director confirmed that this was sent to at least 600 prominent U.S. dentists, whose response to this paper was “monumental.” Another expert, who submitted an opinion letter stating that he received a copy of Petitioner’s paper from a colleague, explained that after adopting the Petitioner’s technique, he averaged a 30% reduction in treatment times and a 14% reduction in treatment costs, enabling him to treat more patients. Petitioner also presented this prosthodontics technique at the annual U.S. dental conference, where he was awarded the conference’s first place prize.

Petitioner stated that he would continue using this technique in the United States and support other experts’ use of this technique throughout the country. Based on these facts, AAO reversed USCIS’s finding and found in favor of the Petitioner that his proposed endeavor had national implications within his field – like “medical advances” – and had national importance.


Notwithstanding the fact that the Petitioner’s endeavor qualified as one of “national importance,” the appeal was ultimately denied because the Petitioner was found not to be “well positioned” to advance the endeavor. A model or plan for future activities and progress towards achieving the proposed endeavor, specific to further development and dissemination of advanced prosthodontics techniques, was missing from this case.

Nevertheless, this case provides a valuable lesson that a successful NIW petition should go beyond describing impact simply through revenue and hiring numbers associated with business activity. Rather, a successful petition will identify an original and innovative approach or technology developed by the Petitioner that is shared to other experts in the industry and results in enhancing the best practices of the industry.

Related posts:

FREE National Interest Waiver (NIW) Resources

Click on the buttons below in order to claim your free National Interest Waiver (NIW) Guide, sign up for our free National Interest Waiver (NIW) Webinar, or watch our National Interest Waiver (NIW) videos.

Download Our National Interest Waiver (NIW) Guide
Sign Up For Our National Interest Waiver (NIW) Webinar
Watch Our National Interest Waiver (NIW) Videos

Set up a National Interest Waiver (NIW) Consultation

For a dedicated one-on-one National Interest Waiver (NIW) consultation with one of our lawyers, click on the button below to schedule your consultation.

Schedule a consultation

This website and blog constitutes attorney advertising. Do not consider anything in this website or blog legal advice and nothing in this website constitutes an attorney-client relationship being formed. Set up a one-hour consultation with us before acting on anything you read here. Past results are no guarantee of future results and prior results do not imply or predict future results. Each case is different and must be judged on its own merits.

Leave a Reply