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The Immigration Act of 1990 provided a new category for applicants who wish to obtain green cards. This is known as the People of Exceptional Ability and the National Interest Waiver. It simply states that a person can obtain a green card without labor certification if they meet the following criteria:
  • The person must have an extraordinary ability in the arts, business, or sciences AND
  • The person must have skills that are of national interest
This waiver is not filed on an either/or basis. Applicants must meet BOTH guidelines in order to apply for a Visa through this category.

Exceptional ability is defined as any ability that can significantly benefit the national economy, the educational interest, cultural interest, or the welfare of the United States. In order to demonstrate this ability, a person must have a high degree of expertise in an area of business, science or art, and must have at least THREE of the following:
  • College degree or similar recognition related to the area of expertise
  • Evidence of 10+ years of experience in the occupation in question
  • License or certificate allowing the person to practice their area of expertise
  • Evidence of commanded remuneration for the services performed that demonstrates extraordinary ability
  • Membership to professional associations or groups
  • Recognition for accomplishments and contributions to the industry. These can come from peers, professional or business organizations, or the government
  • Evidence that is comparable to the above requirements if the standards above are not applicable to the occupation in question
In addition to proving their extraordinary ability, an applicant must also prove that their skills are part of the national interest. The Immigration Act of 1990 did not clearly define the phrase 'national interest', which is why there are many legal struggles and appeals filed in the process of obtaining the Extraordinary Ability and National Interest waiver.

If you are in the process of filing for or appealing the decision of a waiver of this type, you will need qualified legal help on your side. We represent clients nationwide. For experienced employment visa advice, contact us today (toll free) at 1-888-678-5724 for a free consultation with an immigration attorney. We look forward to protecting your rights and serving your immigration needs.