The Path to U.S. Citizenship for Foreign Entrepreneurs

Embarking on a new life in the U.S. as a foreign professional may seem daunting at first. There are many requirements to fulfill and industry needs are constantly changing. However, those industry fluctuations can often work out in your favor through an  EB-2 National Interest Waiver Visa (NIW). 

The EB-2 NIW visa category does not require a job offer from a U.S. employer, and could also lead to permanent residency and citizenship in the U.S. Read on to learn more about NIWs and the exciting business opportunities that can await.

Entrepreneurs Are Always in High Demand

In a world where innovation knows no borders, the EB-2 NIW emerges as a beacon of opportunity. This visa category liberates foreign entrepreneurs from the requirement of a job offer, giving them the power to chart their own course in the U.S. business landscape. For those whose dreams of launching their enterprise within the U.S. were previously thwarted by the constraints of traditional employment-based immigration, the NIW is a great solution.

To be eligible for a traditional EB-2 Visa, some of the criteria an individual must meet include the following – 

– An official academic record indicating that you possess a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar accolade from a college, university, school, or another educational institution related to your field of exceptional skill.

-EB2- NIW visas are also available to those without academic degrees, if they can show they are persons of ‘exceptional ability’ with a  degree  of  expertise  significantly  above  that  ordinarily  encountered.

– Recognition for your accomplishments and notable contributions to your industry or area by your peers, government agencies, professional or business groups.


Getting around the employment requirement, and self-petitioning for a NIW requires a few additional measures. Individuals pursuing an NIW are essentially asking for an exemption from the requirement of a job offer and labor certification because their endeavors can provide substantial benefits for the United States. 

The categories of activities eligible for a national interest waiver are not specifically outlined in law; rather, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) assesses the three factors listed below.

– The planned undertaking holds significant value and is of national significance.

– You are suitably positioned to drive forward the proposed endeavor.

– Overall, waiving the necessity of a job offer and labor certification would be advantageous for the United States.

Naturally, proving that your skills as a trailblazing entrepreneur can be challenging as the considerations are somewhat subjective. Generally, if you meet all the basic requirements and have a great pitch for your business venture, the odds may be in your favor.

Partnering with an Experienced Immigration Attorney

As an expert in your field, it’s likely that you have gotten far with the help of your strong work ethic and keen business sense. As a result, entrepreneurs are often fiercely independent and highly capable individuals. That being said, the EB2-NIW is a lengthy and complex visa application to prepare to meet the various criteria the government is looking for. It is a visa that is very difficult to get approved unless you are working with very experienced advocates.

For those seeking a life in the U.S., the NIW lays the foundation for a permanent life in the United States. It’s not just about starting a business; it’s about forging a lasting future.

At RelisLaw, we are highly experienced in successfully approved EB2- National Interest Waiver visas that lead to green cards. We understand that certain business ventures are time-sensitive, and delays could quickly become costly missed opportunities. 

To ensure a smooth application process with practical legal guidance, call our office at 1-866-916-1569 to start your entrepreneurial journey in the U.S. today.

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We help people from around the world to live and work freely in the U.S., to achieve their dreams, unite families, or escape persecution. No matter what immigration service you need, RelisLaw will provide caring and dependable counsel to you and aggressive advocacy to vigorously fight for you using every available legal avenue. As a global firm, we work with people in countries around the world. We meet clients across the U.S., as well as in New York, Toronto, and Montréal. We also meet with clients globally, located in any country, via Skype and other platforms.