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The American Visa Program Targeted at Overseas Pilots

posted 1 year ago


Since January 1st, 2022, the EB-2 NIW (National Interest Waiver) visa (View the programme) has been offered for experienced foreign pilots interested in living and working in the United-States.

This visa was originally designed for overseas professionals with exceptional ability and high-level academic qualifications who would contribute significantly to the economy of the United States. With America facing a serious and long-term shortage of airline pilots, this group is now eligible.

Under the EB-2 NIW visa, (View the programme) the pilot, and their qualifying family (their spouse and dependent children under the age of 21) receive an unconditional Green Card, which means permanent residency status.

Each Family members gains an independent Green Card, allowing them to reside, go to school, college, or university, and work anywhere in the USA. They may then apply for citizenship after five years of residence.

Normally, prospective workers applying for a US visa are required to show a pre-existing job offer and that there are no American workers for the position. Under the EB-2 National Interest Waiver, these two needs are obviated.

The requirements are stringent, and the applicant needs to undergo a pre-assessment, then collect various necessary documents and appropriate letters of support for their submission.

Jean-François Harvey, Founder and Worldwide Managing Partner of Harvey Law Group (HLG), explains: “This opportunity has only been introduced quite recently and so there is still limited familiarity with the parameters affecting decisions.

“Nonetheless, we have had a number of successes, and we have been pleased to see approvals come through somewhat more quickly than was expected.

“It has become clear that some of the constraints are objective and tangible, and several may be more subjective. Yet others reflect our experience of what will be acceptable. We are delighted to discuss with prospects their training and careers, along with helping them identify areas that may be considered above average, and which will therefore contribute to the success of their application.”


The United-States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has stated that they are looking for applicants to have at least three of the following characteristics.

  1. A minimum of ten full years’ experience as a full-time pilot and a license or certification to practice.
  2. Aspirants must demonstrate that they have been in receipt of a salary reasonable for their level of proficiency and that they are members of pertinent professional pilots’ organizations.
  3. Aspirants must also have good academic credentials, including a degree, diploma, or certificate from a suitable college, university, school, or similar institution.
  4. Significant contributions to aviation, as attested by colleagues, the government, or established professional bodies, will also be considered.
  5. Finally, any other relevant substantiating information, such as management experience and training or other responsibilities that display their expertise and standing, should be included.


“The conditions are strict, and material presented that is inadequate or incomplete will definitely result in a denial,” elaborated Mr. Harvey. “However, it is achievable, and our experience has been that considerations that concern many, such as their age, nationality, or rank, are not viewed negatively.

We have had approvals for a range of applicants, captains, and senior first officers, spanning from those aged in their 30s to others in their 50s and from countries as diverse as Australia, Spain, China, India, and Hungary. The USCIS (United-States Citizenship and Immigration Services) seems to be judging each case on its own individual merits.”

In the United States, immigration-related advice is reserved for lawyers. Harvey Law Group (HLG) has more than 20 offices around the world, including in the United States of America, and over 30 years’ experience in the immigration field.

Unlike agents or non-authorized firms, HLG is a professional immigration law firm and, as such, has an obligation to advise you on the best options and on the programs most suited to your goals.

For more information about the EB-2 NIW for experienced pilots, please visit https://harveylawcorporation.com/eb-2-immigration-program-for-experienced-pilots/

If you would like to receive a complimentary assessment of your eligibility for the program, please contact us at [email protected]



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