Matter of Dhanasar Revises National Interest Waiver (NIW) Standard, Vacates NYSDOT

On December 27, 2016, the Secretary of Homeland Security designated as precedent the Administrative Appeals Office’s decision in Matter of Dhanasar, 26 I&N Dec. 884 (AAO 2016), Int. Dec. 3882 (December 27, 2016). Precedent decisions are binding on DHS employees in all future proceedings involving the same issue or issues. Dhanasar now governs adjudications and proceedings relating to a waiver of the job offer and labor certification requirement of INA 203(b)(2)(B)(i), on the basis of national interest (i.e., national interest waivers). The Dhanasar decision vacates the prior (1998) precedent decision in this area, Matter of NYSDOT (New York State Dept. of Transportation).

In Dhanasar, the AAO holds that:

“USCIS may grant a national interest waiver if the petitioner demonstrates: (1) that the foreign national’s proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance; (2) that he or she is well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor; and (3) that, on balance, it would be beneficial to the United States to waive the job offer and labor certification requirements.”