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What Is an Expert Opinion Letter for the EB-2 NIW Visa?

Updated 26.04.24 11 minutes read
Business PlansImmigration

The EB-2 NIW visa allows foreign nationals who are professionals with advanced degrees or have exceptional ability in their field to seek permanent residency in the United States without the need for a specific job offer or labor certification. This can be done by demonstrating that admission to the country is in the national interest of the United States.

To meet this key requirement for the EB-2 NIW visa, applicants often include Expert Opinion Letters with their applications. These are documents that help immigration authorities evaluate the credentials of visa applicants and make decisions regarding their accomplishments in their field of expertise.

An effective Expert Opinion Letter can significantly influence the success of an EB-2 NIW visa application by providing a compelling description of the applicant’s merits and how the US national interests are served by allowing the applicant to continue their work in the United States.

Who writes Expert Opinion Letters and what do they do?


Expert Opinion Letters typically come from an expert or authority in the visa applicant’s field. The writer could be an academic, industry leader, or recognized professional holding significant positions in relevant organizations. Their endorsement helps to support the application by providing an authoritative third-party assessment of the applicant’s existing contributions and their potential impact on their field after being admitted to the United States.

The purpose of the Expert Opinion Letter is to confirm the applicant’s professional experience and support their claims of exceptional accomplishments, influence, or notoriety that result from the applicant’s outstanding position in his or her field.

It does this by:

  • Validating the applicant’s claims.

The letter confirms the authenticity of the applicant’s achievements and the significance of his or her work. This can include an assessment of the applicant’s achievements, such as publications, awards, membership in professional associations, and other recognitions by peers in the field. This helps establish the applicant’s position as an individual of exceptional ability or prominence in their area of expertise.

  • Providing credentialed endorsement.

An endorsement from a recognized expert adds credibility to the applicant’s claim of being an asset to the US economy. The writer of the letter should include his or her own achievements and position in the field to establish their professional credibility.

  • Aligning the applicant’s achievements with US national interests.

The letter should specifically address how the applicant’s work promotes the national interests of the United States, which is a key requirement for the EB-2 NIW visa. The importance of the applicant’s contributions needs to be articulated in a way that is understandable to those not specialized in the field.

Obtaining a compelling Expert Opinion Letter isn’t easy, but doing so demonstrates that EB-2 NIW visa applicants are legitimately among the elite in their fields. Having contacts that include experts who are well-respected in the applicant’s field and who can convincingly argue the case for the national interest waiver is a major source of support for the visa applicant.

Demonstrating “exceptional ability” is central to the purpose of the EB-2 NIW visa, so a high bar is set for applicants. Using Expert Opinion Letters is the best way to show that both the applicant truly has an “exceptional” record of achievement and is likely to continue to do so in a way that serves the national interests of the United States.

How to ensure your expert opinion letter meets the standards?


Work with an immigration professional to be sure that any Expert Opinion Letter you submit meets the expected industry standards. If you’re looking for guidance on this matter, Joorney can put you in touch with one of our trusted partners from our extensive network.

If you need support with an EB-2 NIW application, Joorney’s expertise can make the difference. Expert Opinion Letters are just one component of a range of important documents that you need to be successful. We provide professional business plans, market research, financial statements, and other documentation that can help applicants demonstrate their eligibility for the EB-2 NIW program.

Contact us today and discover how you can make any application stronger with our help.

Disclaimer: Joorney Business Plans is not a law firm nor an immigration consulting firm, and all information provided in this document should not be considered as legal advice or any advice or recommendation on any immigration application program. All information provided in this document should be verified by a licensed or certified immigration professional before the reader can act on this information. As such, it is understood that Joorney Business Plans Inc. shall not be liable for any loss or damage of whatever nature (direct, indirect, consequential, or other), whether arising in contract, tort, or otherwise, which may arise as a result of your use of (or inability to use) this document, or from your use of (or failure to use) the information on this document.