If you are going through the EB2 national interest waiver green card petition process, you might be able to show USCIS that you are well positioned to achieve your goals in the United States in a variety of ways. One straightforward method to demonstrate that you are well positioned is by providing evidence of earning a high salary.
Since you are probably aware of the cost of an EB2 NIW filing costs and attorney billing, you are likely to command a fairly high level of compensation if you can afford these fees. The key; however, is to show the USCIS officer that you earn more than your peers.
How to Show Evidence of High Salary
USCIS officers have become accustomed to seeing certain documents as evidence of high salary and offering too many pieces of random paperwork can create confusion, doing more harm than good. Compelling documents include a W-2 tax form accompanied by paystubs for the portion of a year for which a W-2 is not yet available.
More speculative documents, such as a letter of offer of employment or agreement for stock options, tend to serve better as supplements to a W-2 and paycheck receipts, rather than being the sole examples of high salary.
How to show high salary compared to peers
Requests for Evidence from USCIS tend to consist of copied–and-pasted paragraphs that are common among the immigration petitions of a certain type. RFEs for an EB-2 NIW that cite high salary as an example of a green card candidate being well positioned tend to question the ways that salaries are compared to others.
General Salary Comparison to Peers
Many foreign nationals find the average salary for their profession from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, O*Net, which provides a position’s SOC code, has a companion site called My Next Move.
Here, one can locate both the median salary for a particular role in the United States, as well as the highest salaries. However, there are additional ways to demonstrate high salary compared to peers with more specificity.
Salary Comparisons Based on Location and Experience
Job search websites such as Glassdoor, Indeed, and LinkedIn have a feature where someone can check salaries for certain roles in particular parts of the United States. Finding salary data for the exact city or metropolitan area where an EB2 NIW beneficiary works provides a more specific comparison to their own.
Additionally, if available, a foreign national can also provide USCIS with information on the average and highest salaries in their particular industry and/or with their number of years of experience. Providing this information with an EB-2 NIW petition letter and Form I-140 can help to avoid an RFE from USCIS.
Ask an immigration lawyer near you for help.
Although foreign nationals can self-petition for a national interest waiver, sometimes it can be worth it to retain an immigration lawyer who handles EB-2 NIW petitions on a regular basis.