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NIW – High Salary

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National Interest Waiver (NIW) – High Salary Editorial:

Below we have provided a detailed outline of what type of salary is required to prove ‘exceptional’ ability. Though the 90th percentile is not necessarily required, your salary should significant enough to make you stand out from other professionals in the industry.

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National Interest Waiver (NIW) – High Salary Commentary:

4. Evidence that you have commanded a salary or other remuneration for services that demonstrates your exceptional ability

High Salary/ High Remuneration: Category four of the NIW checklist is ‘Evidence that you have commanded a salary or other remuneration for services that demonstrates your exceptional ability’. Many professionals are paid by way of a salary whilst others are maybe paid by the project and some get paid in a combination of ways depending on the nature of the profession that they are in. Again, the regulations state ‘your exceptional ability’ and we have discussed in other presentations within this series that the word exceptional has particular legal significance. 

For the EB1 green card the term used in high pay states that ‘the alien has commanded a high salary or other significantly high remuneration for services, in relation to others in the field’. For the EB2/NIW the wording is ‘… commanded a salary…..that demonstrates your exceptional ability’. In an EB1 case we have to prove that the alien has extraordinary ability whereas with the EB2/NIW we have to show that the alien has exceptional abilities, which is considered to be a lesser or lower threshold of proof.

Therefore, we can conclude that earnings would need to be quite high, but not necessarily above the 90th percentile in the income range for the profession. Typically for EB1 cases we have to show that the alien earns more than the 90th percentile to demonstrate that the alien earns significantly higher remuneration than their peers. Thus, for an EB2/NIW case we would submit that that success could be achieved where the applicant made less than the 90th percentile and could still be considered as being evidence of exceptional ability.

Any EB2/NIW client that was able to command an income above the 90th percentile should be considered a strong candidate for this category.

Let’s move on to the next category – Membership in a professional association(s).

Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram
Chris M. Ingram LL.M., ESQ – Immigration Attorney
Admitted in New York.
Practice Specializing in US Immigration Law
401 Wilshire Boulevard, 12th Floor,
[Cross Streets 4th and Wilshire]
Santa Monica,
California 90401
Tel: 442 244 4350

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