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EB-2 NIW Visa

The United States is always looking to improve its local industries by attracting immigrants and offering them permanent resident status. Take a look at what the US employment visa process entails in detail and discover how you can expedite your visa process with the EB-2 NIW Visa if you are a pilot.

US Employment Visa

The United States provides multiple opportunities for employment for foreigners, and they can opt to work with different types of visas depending on them meeting relevant eligibility criteria. The list of employment visas include:

  • Permanent Worker Visa (Immigrant) – EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, EB-4, EB-5
  • Temporary Visa (Non-Immigrant) – H, I, L, O, P, R, TN NAFTA
  • Temporary Business Visa – B-1, GB Temporary Visitor To Guam, WB Temporary Business Visitor
  • Student Visa – F-1, M, J
U.S. Citizenship

What Are The Common Types Of Permanent Employment Visas In The US?

Suppose you’re looking to secure a permanent employment visa in the United States. In that case, the E category provides green cards through employment visas each year. As long as you have the right mix of education, skills, expertise and meet the specified criteria, you can obtain one of the following visas.


These visas are offered to those who possess an “extraordinary ability” in fields ranging from business academics, research, the sciences, art, or sports.


These visas are offered to individuals with advanced degrees in their fields or those who possess at least ten years of experience in their chosen lineup work stop. Additionally, this visa may also be offered to professionals whose job is in the state’s national interest.

Note: In the current fiscal year- October 2021-September 2022, the US state department and the US citizen and Immigration Services are offering more employment-based visas specifically for the EB-1 and EB-2 categories.


These visas are offered to individuals with a bachelor’s degree or equivalent and for both skilled and unskilled laborers with a permanent offer of employment from a US-based employer.


This special class of visa is offered to individuals ranging from religious workers, retired employees of international organizations, minor wards off the US courts, and US foreign service employees.


This category of visa covers the immigrant investor program, which offers the visa if you invest US$ 1.8 million in a commercial endeavor with a minimum of ten full-time workers from the United States, or US$ 900,000 in a commercial endeavor in a specific industry that employs at least ten full-time American workers.

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What Are The Types Of EB-2 Visas?

There are three categories of the EB-2 visa:

1. Advanced degree: You must possess an advanced degree or the foreign equivalent under this category. To meet these criteria, you must also meet the specifications of the labor certification required.

2. Exceptional ability: Under this category, you must exhibit an exceptional ability when it comes to business, arts, or the scientific disciplines. To meet these criteria, you must also meet the specifications of the labor certification required.

3. National interest waiver (NIW): Under this category, the labor certification requirement may be waived off if the non-citizen applying for the visa possesses qualifications or experience in the state’s interest. While there is no law defining which jobs qualify for an NIW, national interest exemptions are often given to people with outstanding talent, and whose employment in the United States would considerably benefit the country. To obtain an NIW, you can self-petition without being sponsored by an employer and submit your documents with Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker.

EB-2 NIW Visa What Are The Benefits Of The EB-2 NIW Visa?

  1. You can avoid the lengthy and time-consuming Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) Labor Certification process.
  2. The national interest waiver eliminates the need to have a labor certification.
  3. The waiver also eliminates the need to have a permanent job offer or position in a US-based firm.
  4. There there’s no need to rely on an employer to submit your petition as you can self-petition
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What Documents Are Required For Colombia Business Visa?

The documents required for Colombia investor or investment visa depend on the type of investment and the amount of investment. Here is a general list of required documents for all types of investor visa


To be eligible for the EB-2 NIW visa, you need to meet one of the following requirements of the second preference employment visa (EB-2):

  1. Advanced degree

This includes having:

  • an advanced degree (above a bachelor’s degree) which can include a US-based or foreign master’s degree, a US-based or foreign Ph.D., MD/MBBS
  • a degree equivalent to an advanced degree, such as a baccalaureate degree with five years’ worth of experience in your chosen field

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  1. Exceptional ability

To demonstrate you possess the exceptional ability, you need to provide evidence that you possess at least three of the following:

  • Official academic document demonstrating that you have earned a degree, diploma, qualification, certificate, or comparable award in your area of outstanding ability from an educational institution.
  • Letters attesting to at least ten years of full-time work experience in your field.
  • A license or certification for practicing your chosen profession
  • Proof that you have earned is salary or any other compensation for services rendered that demonstrate your exceptional ability
  • Membership of a professional association
  • Any form of recognition for your contributions or achievements in your industry by your colleagues, organization, industry, or government entities.
  • Any other relevant evidence to strengthen your case of eligibility is also acceptable.

Once either of the two of the requirements mentioned above is met, you need to produce additional documentation for a national interest waiver, including evidence that proves:

Your proposed endeavor is both worthwhile and significant in terms of national significance.

You are in a good position to move forward with the planned project.

Waiving the prerequisites for a job offer and labor certification would be advantageous to the United States.

What Is The Process Time For The EB-2 NIW Visa?

If you opt for the PERM labor certification process with your EB-2 visa, the certification process alone can take over a year. The EB-2 NIW visa can take around an average of eight months to process. However, the time depends on the service center assigned for managing your visa process and case. The service centers need to process the I-140 petitions and whether you meet the criteria for exceptional ability or advanced degree. The processing time varies according to the location, workload, case strength, complexity, and other relevant factors.

What Is The Process Time For The EB-2 NIW Visa

EB-2 NIW Visa & The Aviation Industry

The US Aviation Industry & The Need For Pilots

The United States boasts the largest number of air travel passengers across the globe, with the local airline industry generating a revenue of US$ 130.85 billion in 2020. In addition, the aviation industry in 2020 accounted for 5.2% of America’s total GDP. It currently employs more than a million employees, including 691,700 pilots.

Aviation is also a well-paying profession, with commercial airline pilots earning between US$ 93,000 and US$ 160,000 per year in 2020 while also having extensive health coverage and a retirement policy in place, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

However, despite the enormous potential of the US airline industry and its appealing packages for pilots, a recently held Senate hearing brought attention to the shortage of pilots, which resulted in the grounding of several planes.

American airlines are finding it quite challenging to find pilots. These challenges have gone back to pre-pandemic times. In 2019, Boeing estimated a shortage of about 15,000 professionals in the United States aviation sector. More current estimates show 612,000 additional pilots would be required to fill the gap. These numbers have continued to deteriorate with the COVID pandemic. It is expected that they will continue to worsen in the coming years, with the Federal Aviation Administration predicting the United States will need to onboard 87 new airline pilots every day for the next two decades to satisfy the demand. Additionally, it is also estimated that 42% of the United States commercial airline pilots will retire by 2026, further placing a strain on the airline industry.

The aging pilot industry, combined with a lack of interest in aviation amongst the younger generation due to high license and academic costs, has led to an availability crisis of local pilots, which is why America has turned its attention to fulfilling the demand with foreign pilots.

America has been trying to improve its appeal to qualified pilots from foreign countries by offering a visa program for foreign professionals capable of providing services in line with the country’s national interests. In the case of pilots, the EB-2 NIW visa can allow them permanent residential and legal status in the United States if they have the relevant academics and experience in their field.

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How Foreign Pilots Can Benefit From The EB-2 NIW Visa

  1. As the United States needs more pilots making it a national interest situation, the EB-2 NIW visa can help foreign pilots achieve legal and permanent residency through a green card.
  2. The EB-2 NIW is also a much shorter and less time-consuming process than the EB-2, Allowing you to become a resident of the United States much quicker.
  3. You can further your pilot career in the United States by working in commercial airlines with excellent salary packages, health coverage, and a retirement plan.
  4. Dependents, including spouses and children under 21, can be included in the visa as well.

Pilot Requirements For The EB-2 NIW Visa

As a pilot, you can self-petition for the EB-2 NIW visa to set you on track for obtaining a green card. Once you have provided documents about your advanced degree or exceptional ability, you’ll also need to provide documentation supporting your request for the national interest waiver. You can supplement your documentation with at least three of the following minimum requirements:

  • 10,000 hours of flight time/10 years of experience
  • A minimum experience of 5000 hours as a senior officer or PIC
  • A salary that is higher than the 50th percentile, i.e., above-average market salary in the country of your employment when compared to pilots in the same industry
  • An official academic document confirming a degree, certificate, diploma, or an equivalent award in the discipline of aviation from a recognized educational institution
  • An FAA license (or, at the very least, significant progress toward an FAA license), IATA license, or ICAO license
  • Proof of you being a member of a pilot’s organization
  • Any other compatible evidence that can provide credibility to your visa application

If you’re looking to cut down your application processing time even further, you can also produce proof of the following:

  • 15+ years of flight experience / 15,000+ hours
  • A higher pay during the last five years (preferably 75 percent or more)
  • Prizes, accolades, and other kinds of acclaim for accomplishments
  • Contributions to the aviation sector other than piloting, such as developing new techniques, concepts, inventions, or norms, particularly if corporations applied them in the aviation field.
  • A position of leadership in the aviation or piloting industries
  • Publications about you and your achievements in the news, on the internet, in articles, or books
  • Any aviation-related articles, books, or professional publications you write or publish.

What Is The Process For Pilots To Obtain A Green Card With An EB-2 NIW?

  1. Fill out the application forms, including the I-140, and attach the necessary documentation.
  2. Apply for and obtain the National Interest Waiver.
  3. Apply for a permanent immigrant visa at a US consulate in your country, which will allow you and your family members to get visas.
  4. Arrive in the United States and receive the Green Cards through postal mail.
  5. It takes to process an application depending on the applicant’s birth country.
  6. Apart from applicants born in India or China, the processing duration for other applicants is usually 12-16 months, depending on the workload at the assigned service center.

Why Use Our Agency For Getting EB-2 NIW to USA? 

Since 2005, our legal firm Medellin Lawyer has helped clients who want to get a US visa. We are the oldest expat visa business in Colombia. We also have more attorneys in office than any other visa agency in Colombia.

In addition to our visa services we offer a full range of legal and accounting services to our clients. By having a legal and accounting firm work on your application, we are able to handle any surprises or last minute requests by immigration officials or by a judge.

Applying for Tourist or Visitor visa from Colombia

Once you receive online visa approval, if doing this in Colombia, you need to travel to Bogotá to get the visa in your passport. Visas in Colombia are issued at the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores office in Bogotá. Their office is located at Avenida 19 # 98-03, Torre 100 Building, 3rd Floor. It’s open from 7:30 am until noon.

The major challenge with getting a Colombian visa yourself is dealing with a government bureaucracy, making a trip to Bogota and not understanding the laws properly if you are not fluent in Sanish.

This is where you can benefit from the services of an experienced visa agency such as Visas by James. A visa agency such ours is your best bet when it comes to obtaining visa for you. An experienced visa agency which has processed hundreds of visas and knows exactly what is needed for each type of visa is exactly what you need.

Another big benefit of using a visa agency is that they offer services to courier your passport to Bogotá to get the visa put in your passport. So, you can avoid a trip to Bogotá. The cost of a visa service including the service to courier your passport to Bogotá can even be cheaper than the cost of a trip to Bogotá.

About Visas By James

Since 2005, our visa agency Visas by James has obtained hundreds of visas for foreigners who wish to study, work, invest, and live in Colombia. We are the oldest expat visa business in Colombia. We also have more attorneys in office than any other visa agency in Colombia. In addition to our visa services we offer a full range of legal and accounting services to our clients. By having a legal and accounting firm work on your application, we are able to handle any surprises or last minute requests by immigration officials.

Visa by James Story:

James Lindzey the owner of Medellin Lawyer and Visas by James has worked as a private investigator and paralegal in the United States from the 90s until he moved to Colombia in 2005. James arrived in Colombia in 2005 and started doing visas for expats in 2007.

In addition to our visa services our agency offers a full range of legal and accounting services to our clients. We are able to assist better in document collection services in the United States because of James legal experience in the United States.

About Our Visa Services

We can guie you through the most Complicated Immigration Situations. Our aim is to make life easier for expatriates in Colombia!

We organize your immigration profile so that your Colombian visa application is successful.
We elaborate and structure all the necessary documents for your Colombian visa application.
Presentation of a Colombian visa before the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or any Colombian consulate
Registration and orientation when you are getting you Colombian ID (Cedula de extranjeria).
We monitor your visa application process .
Translation Legalization and apostille of the documents required for your visa application.
Chat Over WhatsApp – get your visa questions answered fast.
Online quotes – get immediate quotes for visa and other legal services
Courier your passport to Bogotá to get the visa in your passport.

Please let us know if you need more information, or we can set up a consultation in order to provided you personalized guide.

Our main office is located in Medellin, Colombia near Parque Lleras in El Poblado. We have representation in Bogota, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale. Our main office address is  Cra 39#5A-95, Oficina 709, Edificio Avangarde. We accept walk in appointments but its always nice if you can let us know ahead of time so we can schedule a time. Areas codes in Colombia have changed. To reach our office please call (57) 604-444-6634.

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