Skip to main content

What kinds of evidence can support my NIW proposed endeavor has substantial merit and national importance? Part 1

Evidence puzzle piece

Many applicants find it challenging how to conceptualize and support a proposed endeavor for an EB2 NIW green card petition that contemplates broad enough benefits to the industry or society, beyond benefitting one’s immediate employer or clients.

This post overviews the list of evidence USCIS uses when they are evaluating NIW petitions for substantial merit and national importance. You could use this as a checklist or starting point when conceptualizing your case.

1. A Statement of Proposed Endeavor, describing in detail the proposed endeavor, and why this work has substantial merit and national importance.

When reviewing AAO appeals decisions, a surprising number of petitions are denied simply because the applicant is not specific or detailed enough in presenting their proposed endeavor. The government will specifically look for the following contents:

  • Explanations how applicant’s specific work will have a broader impact on their field.

The key question to national importance is how broad is the prospective impact of the applicant’s work. Effective statements of proposed endeavor will identify an industry-wide problem or limitation, explain how the applicant brings a unique solution or innovative approach to solving this problem, and how this approach will be widely disseminated throughout the industry as a whole, as opposed to benefiting only the applicant’s immediate employer or clients.
Consider the question, “how will this project spark industry-wide progress?”

  • Explanation on the projected impact on a problem that has been identified as nationally important that is attributable to the applicant’s future work.

Sometimes an applicant’s project may be related to a specific issue or problem the government has already pronounced to have national importance, such as environmental sustainability, the opioid crisis, racial justice, and supply chain security.  To make a persuasive case, the statement of proposed endeavor needs to identify exactly how the applicant’s specific endeavor will contribute to solving this problem, and importantly, the magnitude of the applicant’s projected contributions. A common critique by USCIS is “how will one business make a significant difference to a nationwide problem?” To counter this, applicants should identify their project’s potential to instigate systemic, large-scale changes.

  • (For entrepreneur applicants) Details on how an applicant’s proposed endeavor will generate tax revenue, an estimate of how much revenue it will generate, and whether this revenue would rise to a nationally important level.

Often for entrepreneur applicants, one argument for national importance is that the entrepreneur’s business will create significant U.S. jobs and raise tax revenues. For this argument to work, the statement should include details on these projected revenue numbers, and should be accompanied by financial projections and historic financials to support these projections. Information of the source and objectivity of any financial statements should be given. For example, is the financial report meant to be used by investors? Or is it an audited financial reports open to the public? Evidence should be relevant, probative, and credible.

2. Independent, objective documentary evidence that supports the Petitioner’s statements and supports why the project has substantial merit and national importance.

Just as important as conceptualizing and presenting a statement of proposed endeavor that addresses all the above points, is backing up these claims and arguments with objective, third-party documentary evidence, such as articles and reports. Even the most detailed and persuasive statement of proposed endeavor will lose its credibility if it is not accompanied by the right supporting evidence. Specifically, USCIS will look for the following:

  • Evidence showing the proposed endeavor has national or even global implications within a particular field.
  • Evidence showing the proposed endeavor has significant potential to employ U.S. workers or has other substantial positive economic effects, particularly in an economically depressed area.
  • Evidence showing the proposed endeavor will broadly enhance societal welfare or cultural or artistic enrichment.
  • Evidence showing the proposed endeavor impacts a matter that a government entity has described as having national importance or is the subject of national initiatives.

Click here for more details on what kinds of objective documentary evidence that could accompany the applicant’s proposed endeavor and support its national importance.

To learn more:

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