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Each time you and I hop on a plane, we put our lives into the hands and minds of the professionals piloting our plane. A commercial pilot is one of the most important jobs on this planet, and the US government recognizes this through the EB2 NIW program. Recognizing that we need excellent pilots in this country, the US government created the EB2 NIW program for foreign pilots with an extraordinary ability to earn a green card and, ultimately, citizenship. The benefit for the pilot is that the pilot can apply themselves without the necessity of having an individual or corporate sponsor. In turn, there are stringent eligibility requirements. Read on to our website to learn exactly what the criteria and process are by clicking below:

Understanding the EB2 National Interest Waiver Program

The EB2 NIW program is designed for foreign nationals who possess advanced degrees or exceptional ability in their field and whose work is determined to be in the national interest of the United States. This program allows individuals to bypass the cumbersome labor certification process typically required for employment-based green card applications.

Eligibility Criteria

  1. Minimum of ten (10) years of piloting experience
  2. Licensed Valid Pilot License from the Federal Aviation Association (FAA), International Air Transport Association (IATA), or International Civilian Aviation Organization (ICAO)
  3. Degree or Exceptional Ability: As a foreign pilot, you must demonstrate that you possess either an advanced degree (such as a master’s or higher) or exceptional ability in aviation. Exceptional ability is assessed through professional achievements, industry recognition, and evidence of significant contributions.
  4. Salary Applicants must have earned a salary that places them in the top 70% of pilots in their country of employment at some point in the last 5 years
  5. Professional contributions : Applicants must demonstrate exceptional ability and significant contributions to the aviation industry through their work, such as management, training, or mentorship. Contributions to improving aviation safety, efficiency, or technology. Significant impact on the aviation industry through research, innovation, or leadership.
    Fulfilling a critical role or addressing a shortage in the field of aviation.
  6. Recognition Applicants must have received recognition for their achievements from peers, government entities, professional organizations, or business organizations
  7. Member of the Professional Pilot Association
  8. National Interest: The core requirement of the EB2 NIW program is proving that your work substantially benefits the United States. This can be established by demonstrating:

Application Process

  1. Waiver of Job Offer and Labor Certification: Unlike other employment-based green card categories, the EB2 NIW allows you to self-petition and does not require a job offer from a US employer. Additionally, you are exempt from the labor certification process, which involves proving that there are no qualified US workers available for your position.
  2. Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker: You will need to file Form I-140 with USCIS, along with supporting documentation that demonstrates your eligibility for the EB2 NIW category. This includes evidence of your qualifications, achievements, and the national interest of your work.
  3. Evidence Documentation: Prepare a comprehensive package of evidence that highlights your qualifications and contributions to the field of aviation. This may include letters of recommendation, publications, patents, awards, and other documentation that showcase your impact and expertise.
  4. National Interest Statement: Craft a compelling statement detailing how your work as a pilot benefits the national interest of the United States. This should clearly articulate your contributions and the significance of your role in advancing aviation within the country.
  5. Adjudication and Approval: USCIS will review your petition and supporting documents to determine whether you meet the criteria for the EB2 NIW program. If approved, you will be able to move forward with the final stages of the green card application process.


As one can see, the requirements are certainly stringent but if provided in a formidable and substantial submission through our firm, we can greatly enhance the chances of a successful outcome for competent and talented foreign pilots. If you are a foreign pilot or know anyone else who is, have them contact us for help.