How to plan and prepare all documents for the National Interest Waiver as a Student.
The NIW is under the EB2 immigrant visa category that basically uses your past achievements and future plans to argue a case for the green card. Basically, you will petition the United States government, that you are special, and you have future plans (supported by your training and achievements) that would benefit the National Interest of the United States, and it would be to the benefit of the US if they allow you to stay and pursue your plans.
The best thing is; it is self-sponsored! You can preserve your pride as you do not need any employer or spouse to sponsor you. But this is not something you just stumble on after your studies. It requires meticulous planning during your studies. To stand a better chance of qualifying for the NIW, you must make sure your past work/research and future plans are in the areas of national interest. The general areas of national interest can be broadly categorized into the following:
The U.S. Economy
In other words, before you settle on the kind of research you would do or plan to do in graduate school for example, you may want to ask yourself if you can answer any of the following questions:
Will this work benefit the U.S. economy?
Will this work contribute to national security and defense research?
Will this work advance healthcare?
Will this work improve working conditions or wages for U.S. workers?
Will this work create affordable housing?
Will this work aid in training or improving education for under-qualified workers (or those in underserved communities)?
Will this work improve the environmental sustainability and utilization of natural resources?
If you can answer any of these questions with your current/past work and future plans; congratulations! But this is just a tiny step compared to all other supporting evidence you must plan for as a student.
After getting my NIW approval in early 2021, I developed a comprehensive course for Bestman Academy that breaks down the NIW process, and shared the strategy I used to hit all milestones in graduate school. You also get the chance to download all my actual documents and templates that will make your life way easier when you start putting together the tons of documents required to file this petition. You could also get up to a $1500 discount on NIW attorney fees from our partner firm after taking the course. I labored to put my documents together for 5 months. When you are ready to file your NIW petition, yours can be done within a week with all templates provided! How cool is that?
When you ask for legal representation (which I highly recommend but some take the risk to file this themselves), some may not tell you the truth about your chances of approval because... only few people will reject a chance to make money in a capitalist economy? So apart from teaching you the sure grad school strategy to NIW and giving you the confidence that you can do this, this course and templates help you complete the required documents with ease and gives you leverage to negotiate legal representation fees since yours would be a slam dunk case (if you followed all instructions in the course).
Either you take the course or not, one sure thing is that if you want to go down the NIW green card path (why wouldn't you?), you mostly have to start planning as early as you can before or during graduate school. This is difficult to just stumble on after graduation. In any case, check out the resources page on the Bestman Academy website to get started on this course or see other resources we have for strategies related to grad school and the green card processes.