An entrepreneur, whether already present in the United States on an E-2 treaty investor visa or looking to strike out on their own after some years in a professional role, might not be aware that they could qualify for an EB2 national interest waiver green card. USCIS recently provided additional guidance and suggestions for evidence that might be appropriate for an entrepreneur who would like an NIW green card.
If you are an entrepreneur, and you would like to apply for an EB-2 NIW, then you may benefit from some tips about the process. By reading below, you might also have some misconceptions about entrepreneur NIWs eradicated.
FYI – There is no SOC code for entrepreneur
Form I-140, the Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, does ask for an SOC code for each primary beneficiary. An SOC is an occupational classification system to place jobs into categories.
Entering the word “entrepreneur” into the search bar of O*Net will not reveal any such job category. Therefore, an EB2 NIW candidate might choose the SOC code for General and Operations Manager or the general category of their business, such as a Computer Network Architect who is an entrepreneur with a consulting business.
EB-2 NIW Evidence for Entrepreneurs
USCIS states on their website and in the Policy Manual that they recognize that entrepreneurs may not have the typical EB 2 NIW type of evidence; however, this does not eliminate the requirements set forth in Matter of Dhanasar.
Entrepreneurs will still need to overcome the threshold criteria of the EB-2 before they can then establish that a national interest waiver of the job offer and labor certification requirements is warranted. Additionally, there may be some overlap between documentation supplied by a researcher or businessperson, such as awards or published materials about the EB-2 NIW candidate.
Entrepreneurs may also present evidence of ownership of their business, such as documents filed with the Secretary of State or their business plan. Those who are currently E-2 treaty investors at the time that they petition for an NIW may already have a lot of these documents on hand from when they filed their E-2 application.
Entrepreneur evidence that is not monetary
Regarding EB-2 national interest waiver evidence for entrepreneurs, the USCIS Policy Manual specifically states that an NIW beneficiary does not have to rely solely on money-related evidence. Of course, an entrepreneur is likely to present plenty of documentation concerning revenue generation, the Policy Manual indicates that other evidence will also be accepted by USCIS.
Metrics such as valuations, cash flow, customer adoption, and profitability may be excellent ways to show USCIS that you should receive a national interest waiver green card. However, other evidence can be equally important in demonstrating all three prongs of Dhanasar.