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The Importance of Time Frame in National Interest Waiver Applications

May 25, 2023

When applying for a National Interest Waiver (NIW), it is important to provide evidence that demonstrates both substantial merit and national importance. This evidence can include a detailed business plan, letters of recommendation, and expert opinion letters. However, even if all evidence is properly prepared in English, the time frame of the application can still impact its success.
In a recent USCIS case, a petitioner submitted an NIW application with a business plan that was drafted nearly one year after the filing of the petition. While all evidence was properly prepared in English and demonstrated substantial merit and national importance, USCIS denied the case because they did not believe that the petitioner had provided sufficient evidence to demonstrate that their proposed endeavor met the requirements for a National Interest Waiver.
This case highlights the importance of submitting a well-developed and concrete plan for your proposed endeavor at the time of filing. Waiting nearly a year to submit a business plan in response to an RFE may be viewed negatively by USCIS and could impact their decision to grant an NIW.
Therefore, it is important to carefully consider your timeline when applying for an NIW. If you are not yet ready to submit a detailed business plan or other evidence demonstrating substantial merit and national importance, it may be better to wait until you have developed your plans further before submitting your application.
In conclusion, while all evidence being properly prepared in English is important when applying for an NIW, it is also crucial to consider your timeline. Submitting a well-developed and concrete plan at the time of filing can increase your chances of success and help demonstrate that your proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance.
Hong-min Jun
NIW attorney