NIW (National Interest Waiver) Supporting Evidence / Supporting Materials

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Below is a list of evidence that is commonly included with our EB-2 NIW (National Interest Waiver) petitions. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but to give a general idea of the types of evidence that can support an NIW case. Moreover, not all of this evidence will be required for every NIW petition, and the quality of the evidence will determine its inclusion.

Letters of Recommendation: Letters of recommendation are a crucial aspect of the NIW (National Interest Waiver) petition. Independent letters of recommendation (from those who have never worked or studied with you, collaborated with your, or advised your work), will carry much more weight with the USCIS than letters from dependent recommenders, and this should be taken into consideration when selecting recommenders. Letters of recommendation should discuss your research contributions and their significance in layman's terms, and also comment directly on the benefit of your work to the United States. Letters of recommendation are also a great opportunity to demonstrate the implementation of one's work. A letter of recommendation from someone who has utilized your work, and can explain how they have done so in the letter, is a great way to strengthen your case. As part of our service, we will draft all of the recommendation letters for you. We will advise you closely on appropriate recommender selection, and how many letters should be drafted for your case. We set out a clear strategy when drafting the recommendation letters to ensure that the letters contain all of the necessary statements to substantiate the claims we have made in the petition, and to cover your work comprehensively. Lastly, we never rely on templates to draft the letters, and instead tailor each letter to your individual needs and unique case strategy. Click here to see more about NIW recommendation letters and our letter drafting services .

Evidence of influence: In order to demonstrate the degree of influence you have had on your field, it is essential to highlight any instances of the application or utilization of your work. Citations are a great way to demonstrate this, but other evidence can be used as well including letters of recommendation, patents commercialization, contracts, and article downloads. The petition should highlight as many instances of implementation as possible, and provide documentary evidence to support each instance.

Objective Evidence: Objective evidence of the foreign person’s contributions should be included in order to establish the foreign person’s record of achievement in the field. Objective evidence can take many forms, but should serve as concrete proof of the foreign person’s accomplishments and influence.

  1. Publications & Citation Records: (including journal articles, book chapters, and books) A complete publication record should be included with the petition in order to demonstrate the alien's past record of scientific achievement. Publication alone, however, will not demonstrate the alien's influence in the field. The publication record should be accompanied with a citation record in order to demonstrate the influence of the alien's work on the field, and show that the work is being utilized by other researchers in the field. Additionally, journal impact factors and average citation records for the field can be used to show that the alien has a degree of influence above that of the average researcher in the field. It should be noted that there is no "magic number" of citations that will guarantee NIW (National Interest Waiver) approval, and there are many strategies that can be used to offset a low citation record
  2. Conference Presentations and Proceedings: Conference presentations and proceedings can further demonstrate your past record of achievement and the level of influence you have had on your field.

    Examples: Invited talks from prestigious organizations such as IEEE, published abstracts in conference proceedings, participation in conferences that require outstanding achievement or a distinguished reputation

  3. Awards: Not all awards will be considered prestigious by the USCIS, but if the award is selective enough, it can be used to demonstrate your standing in the field as well as the recognition of your work. Evidence of awards should be accompanied by statistics demonstrating how many people were considered for the award, how many people won the award, what the selection criteria were, and who judged the award. If it can be demonstrated that the award was highly selective and was won based on outstanding achievement in the field, it can be used to distinguish you from your peers and demonstrate that you have risen to level above that of the average worker in your field.


    -Awards open to your entire field, or the entire U.S. or world. The award should not be limited to a particular institution or be designated only for students. For instance, “Best Student Paper” awards and travel grant awards are generally not considered prestigious by the USCIS.

    -Best conference paper awards, best journal paper awards, or other awards demonstrating achievement above others in the field of endeavor

  4. Media Coverage: Media coverage can further demonstrate the influence of the foreign person’s work in the field. Generally, the more prominent the news outlet, and the more people it reaches, the greater the likelihood that the USCIS will recognize the coverage as an indicator of the significance and influence of the foreign person’s work

    Examples: ScienceNews Daily, any major news outlet (CNN, New York Times, USA Today, etc.), major trade journals or publications

  5. Funding or grants (especially is U.S. government funding): Evidence of funding can be used not only to demonstrate the significance of your work, but if you have received funding from the U.S. government, this can be used to clearly demonstrate that your work is not only of substantial intrinsic merit but is recognized as being in the national interest. Greater amounts of funding are more influential.

    Examples: U.S. government funding (National Institute of Health, Department of Energy, U.S. Army or Military, NASA, etc.)

  6. Memberships: Generally, those memberships that require outstanding achievement (above that of the average worker in your field) will serve as evidence that you have distinguished yourself from your peers. Memberships that only require that you pay a fee to be a member are not generally considered significant by the USCIS.
  7. Judge of the Work of Others: Any evidence of peer review, editorial positions, or other instances of judging the work of others can serve to illustrate your expertise and high standing in your field. This evidence should be accompanied by an explanation of the selection process and significance of such a position, in order to demonstrate how these roles distinguish you from your peers.

    Examples: Peer reviewer for a scholarly journal (note: you must provide evidence that you have completed the reviews, invitations alone will not be sufficient evidence), member of an editorial board of a scholarly journal, Associate Editor of a Scholarly Journal, conference chair, judging an artistic competition or exhibition, judging an award for excellence in your field

  8. Evidence of Commercial Success: If your field is the performing arts you should provide evidence of the commercial success of your work in the form of sales figures and revenues
  9. Evidence of High Salary: A high salary can distinguish you from your peers, evidence should include a letter from your employer, pay stubs or W-2 tax returns showing your salary, and corroborating evidence to demonstrate that your salary is indeed above the average for workers in your field
  10. Evidence of requests for your work: Any evidence of requests for your work will show the influence your work has had on your field. Evidence could include e-mail requests for your work, high numbers of article downloads, requests for collaboration, etc.

In sum, a variety of evidence should be presented to demonstrate how the alien qualifies for a National Interest Waiver. It is not sufficient, however, to simply list the alien's achievements. A holistic approach must be taken to ensure that all together, the petition, letters of recommendation, and supporting evidence will prove that the alien is qualified for a National Interest Waiver. This is our goal and by keeping the requirements of the three-prong test in mind at every step of case preparation, we can ensure that your petition will address all of the necessary aspects of the National Interest Waiver requirements.