Declaring “National Importance” with an Employer-Focused Proposed Endeavor

Declaring “National Importance” with an Employer-Focused Proposed Endeavor

Posted by: Park Evaluations | in , , , ,

By: Hailey Sylvander

We recently facilitated an interesting expert opinion letter for one of our clients’ National Interest Waiver (NIW) petitions. The beneficiary worked in mechanical engineering and robotics, specifically as it applies to biotechnology – a field with countless benefits to the United States, its economy, and its society.

While demonstrating the national importance of this work would not normally be a challenge for our experts, the stated endeavor at the heart of this petition carried a strong focus on the beneficiary’s work for the petitioning company. And supporting a “proposed endeavor” that is employer-focused does require extra care, as USCIS often does, and most likely would here, quibble with equating an endeavor that benefits an employer with an endeavor benefitting the U.S.

In fact, we’ve seen RFEs challenging this exact question be issued more frequently. So for this case, Park was able to work with our experts to approach a more employer-centric endeavor and draw a “national importance” argument out of it. We accomplished this with a couple of  strategic steps:

  1. Find what the employer was working on, is working on, or plans to work on that is particularly important to the United States;
  2. Determine which of the employer’s goals and projects the candidate has, is, or would work on that would benefit the United States;  
  3. Explain in detail these projects and goals, highlighting how they would benefit the United States; and
  4. Focus on and stress the particular areas of benefit that connect to the candidate’s proposed endeavor, work history, and academic background.

In the NIW opinion letter discussed above, our expert looked to what this American biotech company was working on or had accomplished that was particularly important to the United States, reviewing the petition’s documents and researching the company’s offerings. Based on the company’s goals and projects, a clear case could be made that the candidate’s work would benefit U.S. society through improving the country’s health security and its bioeconomy. More specifically, these areas of benefit were chosen after we had found certain company projects and engineering work through research on the company’s website, press releases, and major media articles. Our expert opinion letter went on to explain these projects in more detail, highlighting the benefits to U.S. sustainability efforts and to Americans’ health in the process, particularly during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Overall, our goal was to show that, while working here, the candidate would be working to better the nation, since the company has a history of and a penchant for doing so. Of course, it should be stressed that we ensured that we did not just cite the company itself when discussing these projects because we never want credibility to be an issue with adjudicators at USCIS. Instead, it was critical to incorporate corroborating third-party sources, such as major media articles, that discussed some of the company’s projects and successes in order to stress both the verity and impact of the works mentioned in the letter. The result was a strong expert opinion that’ll act as a key part of this important petition going forward.

NIW approval rates are high, but as we all know, each case can and will present its own challenges. At Park, solving those challenges is what we do best.