Allows those with exceptional ability to work in the U.S. in a position that
will greatly benefit the U.S..

Essentially, an EB-1C is an EB-1B without a petitioner.  Since there is no petitioner, the applicant must prove that (1) they have exceptional ability and that (2) their employment in the U.S. will greatly benefit that nation (in order to receive an NIW) in at least one of the following ways:

  1. Improving the United States economy
  2. Improving wages and working conditions of U.S. workers
  3. Improving education and training programs for U.S. children and other qualified workers; or
  4. Improving health care
  5. Providing more affordable housing for young and/or older poorer U.S. residents
  6. Improving the U.S. environment and making more productive use of natural resources
  7. Involving a request from an interested government agency

Matter of Dhanasar (12/2016)

When judging NIW applications, USCIS use a 3-prong approach that was redefined in Matter of Dhanasar.  Previously, the applicant's work would have be in an area of substantial merit, be nationally beneficial, and show that the national interest would be negatively affected if a labor certification were required.  The new guidelines are as follows:

  1. The applicant’s work must have substantial merit and national importance.
  2. They are well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor.
  3. Waving job offer and labor certification requirements will be beneficial to the U.S.


  1. The labor certification requirement does not apply to National Interest Waiver, therefore total processing time for immigration cases in this preference is much shorter than is possible for the other employment-based preferences;
  2. The applicant sponsors himself/herself based upon his/her abilities, education, and experience. This means that present employment is not required.