National Interest Waiver approved for Senior Power System Engineer

It is great to see another National Interest Waiver (NIW) case approved. The National Interest Waiver is only available for members of professions holding advanced degrees or aliens of exceptional ability. The advantage of the NIW is that the foreign national can self-petition and does not need a job offer, test the market, and obtain a labor certification.

To get the NIW approved, we have to show three (3) criteria: (1) that the foreign national’s proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance; (2) that (s)he is well-positioned to advance the proposed endeavor; and (3) that, on balance, it would be beneficial to the U.S. to waiver the job offer and labor certification requirement. The foreign national must also show that (s)he “otherwise merits a favorable exercise of discretion” because the NIW is discretionary.

In this case, our client is a Senior Power System Engineer and has worked for power utility companies abroad and in the U.S. With respect to the first criterion, we documented his research and implementation of practical solutions to protect national power grid from an unauthorized access and terrorist threats. The national power system is one of the national interest assets a nation has and its operation, safety and security is the key to the economy and people’s well-being. 

Our client also made important contributions towards energy efficient systems. His research led to a new software tool used to estimate energy efficiency of induction motors. He made contributions toward a new way of bench marking industrial systems in his country. He also made contributions to wind energy conversion systems. The energy efficiency and renewable energy systems are important areas of the U.S.’s national interest. We were able to establish that his achievements have both substantial merit and national importance and satisfy the first criterion.

With respect to the second criterion, we established that our client has demonstrated a history of achievement in the field of Power Systems (in the area of electric machine efficient design and controls, power system modelling, analysis and stability and power grid protection and controls for safe and resilient operating) with some degree of influence in the field as a whole.  Further, his past accomplishments have set him apart from his peers and other professionals in the field.  The overwhelming evidence established that his work has had and will continue to have a nationally significant impact and is well positioned to advance his contribution in the area so critical to national economy and safety.   Accordingly, the second criterion was met.

We were also able to establish the third criterion, that on balance, it would be beneficial to the U.S. to waive the job offer and labor certification requirements, and that he otherwise merits a favorable exercise of discretion. The field of Power Systems is unique in the sense that involves large and complex systems that harmoniously work together to generate, transmit and distribute reliable power on large areas at national level and even internationally.  The advancement of new technologies in all fields requires power systems engineers to stay up to speed when it comes to the application of new concepts. This makes the power systems engineering field very challenging and only a few get to the point to fully understand the complexity and the level of detail required to design, install, test, commission, operate and monitor such systems. Therefore, there are fewer and fewer experts that could undertake the challenges of a more and more complex power grid.  Our client is one of those few and we can’t wait to see what he can accomplish now with his green card. Congratulations!

Please note that this article does not constitute legal advice.  We simplified the law to outline the NIW process.  If you would like to discuss if you may qualify for the National Interest Waiver, schedule your consultation here: or call an experienced NIW attorney at 480-425-2009 to schedule a consultation. We will be happy to discuss the best course of action and how we can help you obtain a legal permanent residence in the United States.