NIW applicants need a master’s degree or qualify as a person of “exceptional” ability. These are a few criteria for exceptional ability:
- To show that the alien is an alien of exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business, the petition must be accompanied by at least three of the following:
- An official academic record showing that the alien has a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution of learning relating to the area of exceptional ability;
- Evidence in the form of letter(s) from current or former employer(s) showing that the alien has at least ten years of full-time experience in the occupation for which he or she is being sought;
- A license to practice the profession or certification for a particular profession or occupation;
- Evidence that the alien has commanded a salary, or other renumeration for services, which demonstrates exceptional ability;
- Evidence of membership in professional associations; or
- Evidence of recognition for achievements and significant contributions to the industry or field by peers, governmental entities, or professional or business organizations.
- If the above standards do not readily apply to the occupation, the petitioner may submit comparable evidence to establish the beneficiary’s eligibility.