Move to the USA with an EB-2 NIW visa

Learn more about the EB-2 NIW visa
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What is an EB-2 NIW visa?

The EB-2 NIW visa is an immigrant visa which transforms into a green card and gives you permanent resident status. The EB-2 NIW visa is suitable for people with an advanced degree or exceptional ability, whose work will be beneficial to the USA. The “NIW” in EB-2 stands for “National Interest Waiver,” which is an exemption from the labor certification and job offer requirement process due to special abilities.

Advantages of the EB-2 NIW Visa

The EB-2 NIW visa has many benefits and might be the best option for you if you’re looking to settling permanently in the US:
Pathway to citizenship

After holding the EB-2 NIW green card for 5 years, you can apply for US citizenship
No employer required

To apply for an EB-2 NIW visa, you don’t need an employer to sponsor your application
Family reunification

Your family members will get their green cards too
Career freedom

On an EB-2 NIW visa you can establish your own company or be employed
Less strict criteria

Unlike EB-1A, EB-2 NIW visa criteria are much easier to meet
PR is optional

Unlike EB-1A visa, you don’t have to have lots of PR done to satisfy the criteria of EB-2 NIW
In 2023, there were a total of 39803 EB-2 NIW petitions. Of those, 31889 were accepted — around 80%
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EB-2 NIW Visa Requirements and Criteria

There are 2 subcategories of the EB-2 NIW visa:
Applicants with an advanced degree

If you have an advanced degree, you’ll need to show an official academic record showing your advanced degree. If you have just a bachelor’s degree, then you’ll need to show letters from current or former employers proving that you have at least 5 years of relevant work experience in your specialty after receiving your bachelor’s degree.
Applicants with exceptional ability

You’ll have to prove exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business field
If you’re going the exceptional ability route, you’ll need to meet at least 3 of the criteria below:
  • An official academic record showing that you have a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution of learning relating to your area of exceptional ability.
  • Letters from current or former employers documenting at least 10 years of full-time experience in your occupation.
  • A license or certification to practice your profession.
  • Proof of receiving higher compensation than your peers due to your experience.
  • Membership in associations for outstanding members in your field.
  • Recognition for your achievements and significant contributions to your industry or field by your peers, government entities, or professional or business organizations.
  • Any other comparable evidence of eligibility that is relevant to your field. For example, you might want to consider getting some expert articles or interviews published to show that you’re a renowned expert in your field.
On top of that, for both subcategories you’ll have to show that you meet three NIW prongs:
  • Your proposed endeavor has substantial merit and national importance to the US. The endeavor can be either a business of your own or employment. 
  • You are well-positioned to advance your work in the US.
  • It would be beneficial to the United States to waive the requirements of the PERM labor certification, which is an expensive and time-consuming process of proving that there are no qualified US workers for the position.  
Usually, you’ll need a Business Plan to explain how you meet all the three NIW requirements for your EB-2 NIW visa. 
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EB-2 NIW Visa Costs and Timeline
Case preparation:
4-5 months (without publicity boosting)
Final decision:
6-12 months or 45 days with premium processing**
The cost of our services (incl. attorney's fees):
Processing fees:
I-140 filing fee
Asylum fee
$300 / $600
depending on the company size
Medical examination:
>$200 per person
Fees upon approval:
Outside the USA
DOS visa fee
USCIS immigrant fee
Inside the USA
Change of status
per person, including family members
The cost includes a change of status — $1,440 or $950 for children under 14 while applying with a parent, a work permit — $260, and an entry permit — $630.
**Premium processing is optional:
Reasons to Include an Immigration Attorney
Having an immigration attorney ensures that you’ll have the best chances. An immigration attorney can advise on which visa path best fits your qualifications, the best way to proceed with employment, how to enhance your publicity, and a general case strategy. In addition to this, only immigration attorneys have the right to give legal advice. And an immigration attorney would be the one to write a cover letter for your EB-2 NIW application, which is the case’s most important document.
Our trusted immigration attorneys →
Reasons to Work with Relogate
Successful cases
Save your time
Relogate will prepare all the necessary documents, from letters of recommendation to explanatory notes
Quality Guranteed
You will have an immigration attorney on your case
All-in-one service
Our partners can help you with PR, employment, translations, and more
Relogate can help determine which option is best for you and help secure it.
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Not sure whether it’s best to apply for an EB-2 NIW visa?
You might want to consider other options as well. For example, an O-1 talent visa or an EB-1A visa.

The O-1 talent visa, though non-immigrant, allows you to move to the USA much quicker or maintain a legal status in the US if you’re already here. Once you get the O-1 talent visa, you can apply for the EB-2 NIW visa and wait for your green card. The EB-1A is an immigrant visa, the same as the EB-2 NIW visa, but you can get it much quicker. 
Common Errors
Make sure you don’t fall for these common traps:
  • Don’t list more than one professional activity. For example, if you are an actor and a director, choose one. Don’t list both.
  • Don’t make claims without hard evidence. If you claim you are the best performing member on your team, back it up with proof.
  • Don’t choose a different career from a sudden career change. Make sure your timeline of experience matches up.
  • Don’t forget to make sure all your forms are up-to-date and include signatures, if needed.
  • Don’t underestimate including recommendation letters. These letters can be crucial to your case. They should be in great detail and discuss your work and success. The people who write the recommendations should be recognized and reputable experts in your field, giving your whole application an extra boost.

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General Information

EB-2 NIW Case Structure

Forms and official documents

First, you will need to provide the following forms:
  • Form i-140 - Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers.
  • Form G-28 - Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative, which establishes the eligibility of your attorney or accredited representative to represent you.
  • Form G-1145 - e-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance, which will allow the US government to communicate with you and convey any approval via email or text.
Additionally, if you’re already in the US, you’ll need to file:
  • Form i-485 - Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.
Optionally, if you would like to have your case reviewed at the fastest processing speeds (in 45 days), then you’ll need to pay a premium processing fee of $2,805 and file:
  • Form I-907 - Request for Premium Processing Service, which allows you to take advantage of faster processing and speed up the whole process.
Official Documents:
  • Duty payment receipt forms.
  • Scans of your passport(s) and US visa(s), if any.
  • Scans of the passports of any accompanying family members, along with copies of their marriage/birth certificates.

Visa case documents

  • Cover letter that is drafted by an immigration attorney. This is the most important document for the EB-2 NIW visa case, as the immigration officer will first read it in full and make a decision based upon whether or not to continue. In this document, the immigration attorney states the client’s eligibility and provides excerpts, links, and quotes from the accompanying evidence documents to confirm every word and save the officer time from having to jump from page to page in the packet of 700+ pages of evidence. This cover letter can range from 20-100 pages, depending on the case.
  • Thorough evidence that confirm your eligibility for the EB-2 NIW visa. This can run anywhere from 700 to 3000 pages. For example, if you need to prove that you have a high salary for your field based on your experience, you’ll have to provide a letter from an expert in your field, a certificate from a salary comparison website, published statistics, articles about salary rates, and a translated tax report. So each piece of evidence that you provide requires many pages. Furthermore, we always show as much evidence as possible.
Steps After Case Submission At The Embassy
After receiving your EB-2 NIW approval, you will either have to go to the US embassy or consulate in your place of residence to get a visa, or if you are already in the United States, you will have to apply for an adjustment of status.


If everything is all right and you are invited to the interview, remember to practice your answers in advance. You should be calm, collected, and confident.

Questions you will be asked at the interview

The questions are usually pretty straightforward, such as:
  • What is your name?
  • What company do you work for?
  • Have you ever been to the US before?
  • Where will you be living while in the US?
  • Have you ever been convicted of a crime?
  • How long have you been working in your field?
  • What are your extraordinary abilities that make you eligible for the talent visa?

Documents you might need at the embassy

  • Valid passport.
  • DS-260 confirmation page that confirms your embassy appointment.
  • Application fee payment receipt.
  • Visa photos (if requested on DS-260).
  • Copy of your approval notice.
  • Any official higher education diplomas you included in your case.
  • Resume.


In rare cases, the embassy may issue a refusal under section 221(g), this means that you did not establish eligibility for the visa. In this case, they may ask for you to provide some more documents, which you must do in a timely manner. This process is also called Administrative Processing.
Our trusted immigration attorneys will prepare you for the interview.
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Family Reunification Rights
If your EB-2 NIW petition is approved, your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 can apply for admission to the United States for E-22 immigrant status. They will also be given green cards, which allow them the ability to study, work, and apply for citizenship after 5 years.
Responsibilities of US Residents
Once you receive your EB-2 NIW green card, you will officially be a US tax resident and will be required to file a tax return every year. US taxes can be quite complicated, and so you may want to utilize the help of a tax attorney, accountant, or tax software.

If you are an EB-2 NIW green card holder, you must not be outside of the US for a period of more than 6 months. If you are spending more time outside of the US than within the US and fail to inform immigration that you are giving up your EB-2 NIW green card, immigration will consider this green card abandonment, and you will face potential US re-entry denial in future trips. They also may refuse to give you a visa or green card in the future.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if you have to leave the US for educational reasons, you must inform immigration beforehand so they approve your long-term absence, and you must apply for re-entry.

In addition to these tax and residence responsibilities, males from the ages of 18-25 that are green card holders must apply for Selective Service, in the rare case that the government begins a draft for a war.
Applying for US Citizenship
After holding your EB-2 NIW green card for 60 months, you will be eligible to apply for US citizenship. It’s important to note that during this time period, you should have no absence that lasts longer than 1 year, and overall, half of the entire time of holding the green card must have been spent in the US. In addition to this, the US requires you to be a person of upstanding moral character.

In addition to gaining a US passport and voting rights, you will also become a permanent US tax resident. The United States is one of the few countries in the world that taxes its expats, so if you ever move abroad but still have US citizenship, you will still have to file taxes.
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We'll Help with Copywriting Documents for an EB-2 NIW Visa Case
Relogate can prepare documents for your EB-2 NIW case if you already work with an immigration attorney or simply don’t have time to write them.
Full EB-2 NIW visa case preparation:
Prices for single documents are as follows:
Specific professional experience documents:
Business plan
“Portfolio” pack: portfolios, compilation files, etc
€900 per piece
Letters of recommendation, intent, support, cover letter, etc:
1 letter – €275 per letter
(at least 3)
5 letters – €1200
10 letters – €2200
Explanatory notes describing media, reputation, etc:
1 note – €135 per note
(at least 3)
5 notes – €600
10 notes – €1000
Learn more
Everything about the O-1 visa
Everything about the EB-1 visa


What is an EB-2 NIW visa to the USA?

The EB-2 NIW visa is an immigrant visa which is suitable for people with extraordinary ability or an advanced degree whose work is of benefit to the US.

Who can apply for an EB-2 NIW visa?

The range of professions is extensive - from software engineers, UX/UI designers, product managers, CEOs to founders, producers, investors, and dancers.

How long is the US EB-2 NIW visa valid for?

The EB-2 NIW visa transforms into a green card and gives you permanent resident status. You remain a permanent resident of the US for as long as you obey the law.

What are the requirements of the US EB-2 NIW visa? 

To be eligible for the US EB-2 NIW visa you need to show that you either have an advanced degree or exceptional ability. On top of that you need to show that the US will benefit from you working in the country. 

Can I bring my family to the US on an EB-2 NIW visa? 

You can bring your spouse and your children under 21 years of age to the US on the EB-2 NIW  visa, and they will be given green cards.

Do I have to apply for an EB-2 NIW visa inside the US?

You can apply for the EB-1 visa from the US or your home country. 

Do I need an immigration attorney to apply for an EB-2 NIW visa? 

Yes, an immigration attorney is necessary if you want to amplify your chances of your EB-2 NIW visa application being approved. An immigration attorney will help you build the case strategy as well as provide you with legal advice. 

Do I need to have PR done for the US EB-2 NIW visa? 

To have your EB-2 NIW application approved you don’t need much publicity, however getting some articles written about or by you might increase the chances of success . 

Do I need an employer to apply for an EB-2 NIW visa to the US? 

To apply for the US EB-2 NIW visa you do not need an employer in the USA but showing letters of intent from prospective employers or clients might strengthen the case.

How do I meet the NIW requirements for EB-2 NIW?

You have to pass a "three-prong test,” by showing that the US will benefit from your proposed endeavor, that you are able to advance the proposed endeavor, and that the US can waive the PERM labor certification requirements.

What benefits does an EB-2 NIW visa have? 

  • After holding the EB-2 NIW visa for 5 years, you can apply for US citizenship. 
  • Your family members can get green cards too.
  • You don’t need an employer to sponsor your EB-2 NIW application. 
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