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Can a philosopher qualify for a National Interest Waiver (NIW) green card?

A philosopher statue

Yes! A recent appeals decision confirms how the National Interest Waiver (NIW) can be a successful green card pathway for professionals in humanities fields, such as philosophy. In other words, an NIW is not limited to STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) professionals.

In this specific case which was approved, the applicant was a professor and researcher with a Ph.D. degree in Philosophy. The court provided the following reasoning on why her petition was successful:

1. Substantial merit and national importance

  • Applicant provided a detailed “statement of endeavor” explaining the future research she planned to undertake and how it has the potential to impact the US economy.
  • Applicant provided a sufficiently detailed explanation of how her past research added to a body of knowledge, that had national or even global implications in the field of philosophy.
  • Applicant submitted corroborating evidence of industry interest in her work, such as her citation history and copy of a news article discussing her and her co-authors’ research findings.
  • Applicant submitted 3rd-party articles and reports corroborating how her specific research plans would lead to broader implications within the field.

2. Well positioned to advance the endeavor

  • Applicant provided credible details concerning her progress made to date towards the research initiatives she proposed.
  • Applicant submitted letters with “independent, well-written, and detailed accounts of her past and current work” from academic acquaintances and fellow researchers in her field.
  • These letters also corroborated that Applicant was already in the process of carrying out the proposed research project.
  • Applicant’s education, knowledge, and record of success in similar research.

3. On balance, beneficial to waive the labor certification requirement

  • Importance and potential of Applicant’s proposed research work, combined with Applicant’s past record of success in similar research, sufficiently established that the Applicant’s prospective contribution that would benefit the United States even if other qualified U.S. workers were available.

You can read the opinion here.

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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.

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