FAQ: Are Entrepreneurs Eligible for the EB-2 preference category and the EB-2 NIW?

Can entrepreneurs get permanent residence through the EB-2 preference category and do so, in part, by using the EB-2 National Interest Waiver?

First things first! To even get to the point where it’s worthwhile to talk about the National Interest Waiver, it is important for a foreign national to merit inclusion into the EB-2 preference category. Entrepreneurs can do this.

They can do this in two ways, by (1) being a member of a profession holding an advanced degree, or (2) being an individual of exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business.

Now, let’s address entrepreneurs and the National Interest Waiver.

Entrepreneurs can apply for and receive a National Interest Waiver. This waiver exempts the petitioner (who often would be the foreign-national entrepreneur herself) from the normal requirement of a job offer and from obtaining a labor certification. 

To qualify for the National Interest Waiver, the entrepreneur (assuming she is petitioning for herself) must show (1) her proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance, (2) she is well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor, and (3) it will be beneficial, on balance, to the US to waive the EB-2 category‚Äôs job offer (and labor certification) requirement.