AAO Revises National Interest Waiver Standard

In a precedent decision, upon de novo review, the AAO revised the analytical framework for assessing eligibility for national interest waivers under INA section 203(b)(2)(B)(i) of the INA, and sustained the appeal and approved the petition. Matter of Dhanasar, 26 I&N Dec. 884 (AAO 2016).

This precedent decision means that USCIS may grant a national interest waiver if the petitioner demonstrates: (1) that the foreign national’s proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance; (2) that he or she is well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor; and (3) that, on balance, it would be beneficial to the United States to waive the requirement of a job offer and thus of a labor certification.

Matter of New York State Dep’t of Transp., 22 I&N Dec. 215 (Acting Assoc. Comm’r 1998), vacated.