Our law firm often works with foreign national whose work is in the national interest of the United States. The lawyers of Zneimer & Zneimer are tracking decisions under the new NIW framework under Matter of DHANASAR, 26 I. & N. Dec. 884 (AAO 2016).
The framework imposes three prongs on petitioners who claim that they should be allowed to immigrate to the United States based on a proposed endeavor that would be in the national interest of the United States:
- That the proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance;
- That the foreign national is well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor; and
- On balance, it would be beneficial to the United States to waive the requirements of a job offer and thus of a labor certification.
Matter of DHANASAR, 26 I. & N. Dec. 884 (AAO 2016).
The most recent decision came on appeal from a denial from USCIS Texas Service Center in Matter of D-D-P (AAO May 25, 2017). In Matter of D-D-P, an entrepreneur lost his bid to qualify for a national interest waiver before USCIS. He appealed to the Administrative Appeals Office (“AAO”).
The AAO did not reach the merits of the entrepreneur’s claim that he is eligible for a national interest waiver and did not reach the three prongs of Matter of Dhanasar. The businessman lost his case on a threshold matter because the AAO found that he was neither a member of the professions holding advance degree or their equivalent, nor that he had exceptional abilities. Thus, although this AAO decision did not discuss the new framework, the decision is still an important reminder that there are threshold issues that foreign nationals must meet before they can make separate showing that a waiver of the job offer requirement is in the national interest. We outlined in more detail the requirements and the framework in our earlier blog.
Petitioner’s Claim: In this case the alien argued that he was an individual of exceptional abilities in the business world. In the initial filing, the alien stated that he was a “chief executive/entrepreneur” and that he intended to “use his broad experience as a successful entrepreneur to create business opportunities for himself and US workers. He will transfer his wealth of knowledge of developing business in the harshest of climates to the US environment.” He claimed that he planned to “replicate his success in Nigeria to US markets with positive effect on employment and renewable energy systems.” The petitioner claimed that he “has created five extremely successful businesses in information and communication technology, renewable energy systems, online travel and reservation systems, turnaround innovation and business counseling.” He claimed that through these companies he had provided “nine billion” dollars of energy services to the “highest level of government and the private sector.” Continue reading →