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A Comprehensive EB-2 NIW Business Plan Sample and Guide

Wondering how to self-petition for an EB-2 visa as a business owner? Check our EB-2 NIW business plan sample with a detailed guide to each section.

The EB-2 NIW allows you to self-petition for a United States visa without a sponsor or labor certification. Writing a compelling business plan is a crucial part of the application process. It gives you the opportunity to prove to USCIS that your work is of national interest and substantial benefit.

Read our EB-2 NIW business plan sample to understand what sections to include and how to position yourself. We also include some examples of what to write for inspiration.

EB-2 NIW Business Plan Sample

What is an EB-2 NIW business plan?

The EB-2 NIW business plan is a document foreign entrepreneurs can use to support their self-petition for an employment-based visa. Although the plan isn’t a formal part of the visa application process, USCIS officials often request it.

Applicants apply for the national interest waiver (NIW) to skip the lengthy process for employment-based visas. Usually, the employment-based second preference visa (EB-2) requires a job offer and legal labor certification. Often, foreign nationals end up waiting over a year to finalize these arrangements.

The importance of an EB-2 NIW business plan

Writing a business plan helps to convince immigration officials that you meet their three requirements, otherwise known as the ‘matter of dhanasar.’ You can prove that:

  • Your venture holds substantial merit and national significance
  • Your business is likely to succeed
  • You and the country would benefit from expediting the visa

If your NIW petition is successful, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will waive the visa requirements for a job offer and permanent labor certification. You can get your visa upfront and enter the country without a wait.

Like a traditional business plan, this document should provide a detailed description of your company, your mission and objectives, and your strategy. You may think of it as pitching yourself to the U.S. to secure their investment.

Immigration business plans can range from launching a new product to pioneering research and opening a franchise. The most successful applicants don’t necessarily have the most innovative ideas but can prove they’ll have a positive impact on the country.

What to include in an EB-2 NIW business plan

NIW visa business plans vary between applicants. The size and format of the document depend on the complexity of your proposal and the types of information you need to include. However, here’s a breakdown of sections every EB-2 NIW business plan needs, alongside some templates:

Executive summary

Outline your proposed endeavor and explain why it’s in the interest of the United States. Be clear and brief to help the official quickly grasp the core of your proposal. If your

Example:

This plan showcases my exceptional ability in [field]. With a [qualification] in [area of study] and [number] years of experience in [industry], I’ve become one of the leading experts in my field.

My work in [field] has the potential to revolutionize [specific industry], leading to significant advancements in [specific technology or field] that are crucial to the United States' leadership in the global market.

Applicant’s background

Discuss your work experience, qualifications, and achievements. You can summarize your history but go into further detail in subsequent sections. You should provide evidence such as degree certificates and professional references for all your claims.

Everything you include should emphasize why you’re best suited to lead your venture. You want to rule out the possibility that a current American citizen or another applicant could be a better fit for the role.

For example, you might have a degree in sustainable agriculture in a country with farming techniques not yet prevalent in North America. You’d be uniquely qualified to introduce these practices to the U.S. and help them increase their agricultural yield.

Example:

My qualifications, including [list credentials], uniquely position me to drive the success of this venture.

I also have over [number] of experience working for [company name], a market leader in [field] in [home country]. During that time, I won [list achievements] for contributing to [industry]. I could use this expertise to further [area of research or development] in the United States and improve [area of U.S. society or economy].

Business analysis

Give a detailed description of your current business or professional endeavors, including your:

  • Role and responsibilities
  • Mission and objectives
  • Description and scope of services
  • Target market
  • Processes
  • Resources and equipment used
  • Achievements to date

You want to demonstrate that you’ve got a thorough understanding of your business, the industry, and the global market. Immigration officers must see that you have the expertise to implement your plan.

Support your analysis with research and reports to substantiate your claims. If you’ve run a similar business in your home country, you could present your financial records. You could also use employee surveys and customer feedback forms as qualitative data.

The immigration official may also need to see that your business is compliant. Look for evidence that you meet international guidelines and laws. For example, you could include patents for new technology or the results of audits.

Example:

I serve as the [position] of a fast-growing [field] business in [home country]. Within the next [number] years, we’re poised to [list objectives] with our high-quality [product or service].

The company has recently invested in [processes, resources, or equipment] to further our success. Now we are the leading [achievement] in [area] and have [percentage] of the market.

Market analysis

Describe the current state of your industry. Ideally, you’ll demonstrate there’s either a national or global demand for your business.

Some common examples include a shortage of a specific product or service or an emerging need. For instance, as companies move online, cyber security has become more of a concern. Applicants who can demonstrate they’ve got innovative software solutions to protect U.S.-based servers could be front-runners for EB-2 visas.

Present extensive, current market data to support your analysis. The immigration official may not know about the industry, and they’ll need proof of the demand.

Going back to the example about cybersecurity, you could present statistics about how online data breaches are increasing. You could also include information about the cost to U.S. companies and the increase in hiring for in-house cybersecurity experts.

Ensure your information is recent, as the market fluctuates constantly. The cut-off point for research materials depends on your exact industry. In fast-changing sectors like technology and commerce, information could be outdated within months.

Example:

I’ve extensively researched [industry] using [list resources]. The market for [ product/service] is rapidly growing, with a projected annual growth rate of [percentage], indicating the strong demand for such [products/service].

My business can fill this demand by [list projects].

Social and economic impact

Your market analysis shows how your business could tick a box. In this section, you’ll go a step further by discussing the positive contributions you could make to the United States. You should cover:

  • Tax payments: Give your projected revenue alongside how you’ll sustain or even grow your income. The more money you make, the more you’ll contribute to the country in taxes
  • Economic growth: Show how your business could have a knock-on effect on other organizations. If they earn more money, they’ll also end up paying more tax
  • Job creation: List the roles you’ll hire for within the United States. You’ll demonstrate how you’re creating job opportunities for U.S. citizens, reducing unemployment, and alleviating the burden on taxpayers
  • Community impact: Discuss how you’ll have a social impact on U.S. citizens. That might be by hiring underprivileged groups, providing a service for vulnerable people, or improving impoverished areas
  • Likelihood to succeed: Calculate the probability that your venture will have the intended results. You can provide additional support for your claim through similar case studies and historical trends and patterns

Compare what you could achieve with potential competitors on the market. You can prove how you’d provide more jobs or encourage economic growth in your sector. For example, a business could show how they’ll rely less on imported goods than competitors and thus support local U.S. suppliers.

Example:

My business is expected to create [number] jobs for U.S. workers within the first [number] years of operation.

As you can see from the financial projections above, my revenue will hit [number] by the end of [quarter] in [year].

National interest waiver

Discuss how the U.S. would benefit from not only allowing you into the country but also waiving the EB-2 visa requirements. You need to convince USCIS that your work is of such national importance that they should expedite your entry into the country.

In many cases, you can state that you’ll be addressing an immediate need. You could include data on how the issue will deteriorate and affect the country if you don’t take action soon. One example is how a shortage of the renewable technology your business provides will lead to escalating utility bills and more energy poverty.

It could also be a matter of strategic timing. Other countries may be on the verge of seizing global dominance over your industry. The U.S. could need to move quickly to outdo them and position themselves as market leaders.

Timing could also affect applicants in research and development. You may only have a small window when you can carry out your work in fields like technology, politics, and the environment. For instance, natural events like comets or El Nino only occur periodically.

Conclude this section with a summary of your overall plan and how you’ve proven you met the three requirements for the national internet waiver.

Example:

The U.S. stands at a pivotal juncture concerning [industry], where timing is paramount. As [issue] advances, the need for my [product/service] increases.

We need to launch [product/service] by [time] to see [percentage] increase in [issue]. If the launch is just one year later, that figure drops to [percentage].

Supporting documents

You should provide the following documents alongside your NIW petition:

  • Your passport
  • A resume
  • Any degree certificates
  • A transcript of your academic record
  • A minimum of three professional references

Alongside this paperwork, you need evidence of three of the following to show you have exceptional ability in your field:

  • An advanced degree, such as a Master’s degree or your country’s equivalent
  • Ten years of experience in your industry
  • A license to practice your profession
  • Evidence that you’ve received a salary for your work
  • Membership in a professional association
  • Awards or recognitions for your achievements

While you may need other documents to substantiate your plan’s claims, these aren’t a mandatory part of the visa process.

Key points to consider

There are some common pitfalls to avoid when writing an EB-2 NIW business plan. You can increase your chances of immediate approval by identifying them and proactively addressing them.

  • Tailor your submission to the requirements: Ensure every aspect of your plan focuses on proving you meet the three main visa criteria
  • Use reliable sources for research: You’ll appear more professional and knowledgeable if you use original, reputable sites, journals, and databases to support your plan
  • Avoid treating your plan like a biography: Many sections may focus on your background, but the immigration officer will only be interested in how your experience makes you a good candidate. Prioritize facts over anecdotal evidence
  • Spare no details: If you don’t provide a comprehensive business plan, the officer may ask for extra information and delay your application. You also only have one chance to make a response to this request for information (RFE)
  • Get a proofreader: Officials won’t judge you on your writing or language proficiency. However, getting someone to error check and make revisions can make you look more professional
  • Outsource to experts where necessary: USCIS won’t penalize you for getting help with your proposal. You can hire researchers, graphic designers, and even business plan writers, provided the ideas are your own

It’s highly recommended to consult with an immigration attorney for the entire EB-2 NIW process. They can provide specialist guidance and ensure your plan aligns with USCIS expectations.

Create a visa business plan that stands out

Writing a compelling EB-2 NIW plan requires a lot of time, energy, and resources. However, it’s worthwhile to convince US immigration to waive the lengthy labor certification process and grant you immediate visa approval.

To help you draft the plan, seek expert legal advice from services like LegalPad, specializing in the EB-2 NIW process. They can help you tailor your document to the USCIS guidelines and prove you meet the requirements.

Contact our team to see how we could streamline your EB-2 NIW visa process.

About the author:

Jemima Owen-Jones

Jemima helps international startups and their teams navigate the work visa process so they can get approved fast and focus on what they do best.