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EB-2 NIW Myths: English Proficiency and Age Limits

EB-2 NIW Myths: English Proficiency and Age Limits

When considering the EB-2 NIW (National Interest Waiver) visa process, many potential candidates may have concerns about English proficiency and age limits. However, these concerns are unfounded, as neither factor is a requirement for obtaining the visa. In this blog, we'll explain why you don't have to worry about English proficiency or an age limit when applying for an EB-2 NIW visa.

English Proficiency Is Not a Requirement Under the Law:

The EB-2 NIW visa focuses on the applicant's qualifications and their ability to contribute to matters that are of national interest to the United States. English proficiency is not a legal requirement for the petition, as the visa is primarily concerned with your professional achievements, expertise, and potential impact on the country.

While English proficiency may be helpful in navigating the visa process and integrating into American society, the United States has no official language set by law. Furthermore, the legal framework that established the EB-2 NIW, and all subsequent policies and case law surrounding this visa category, do not require fluency in English. As such, your fluency will not be the determinative factor directly impacting the outcome of your case. Moreover, in some cases, it is even an advantage that you speak a certain language that is not English, as there may be a need in the U.S. for more professionals that speak your language.

When it comes time to receive your EB-2 NIW visa at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate, that interview with be done in your native language. If you are adjusting status inside the U.S., meaning that you have applied for a Green Card inside the U.S., then you are allowed to have both a translator and your attorney present during said interview. If you are worried about your English fluency, remember that the you can always seek the assistance of a qualified immigration attorney or translator to guide you through the process and to advise you on how best to present your case.

EB-2 NIW Myths: English Proficiency and Age Limits

There Is No Age Limit:

Contrary to popular belief, there is no age limit for applicants pursuing the EB-2 NIW visa. The focus of the application process is on your professional qualifications, experience, and the potential benefit you can bring to the United States. Your age does not play a final role in determining your eligibility for the visa.

In fact, applicants with more years of experience in their field may have a stronger case for the National Interest Waiver, as they can demonstrate a significant history of professional achievements and contributions to their industry. We have had clients well into their Golden Years receive approvals, so as long as you have an intent to work and generate a benefit that is of national interest to the U.S., then you remain eligible no matter your age.

Just as there is no set maximum age, there is also no set minimum age. A 15-year-old or 17-year-old, for example, could potentially be granted an EB-2 NIW visa if they can show that they will continue working in the same area of interest they were working in abroad. If they are a minor and have already created their own business, and the business is in their name, and they are achieving feats within that commercial space and are ready to create a new business in the United States, that minor can definitely make an argument that they are well positioned to replicate that success in the U.S. given their demonstrated business success in their home country.

While it’s unlikely that a 17-year-old can demonstrate an Advanced Degree or 10-years employment experience, for example, it is not impossible for that individual to have completed school early or to prove an exceptional ability in athletics or the arts by other means. There are sports like gymnastics or figure skating where a 15-year-old or a 17-year-old can become an Olympic champion that would qualify her or him for the EB-2 NIW category or even the EB-1A visa for extraordinary ability. There are also many child actors and young singers who can qualify for their achievements in the arts.

The issue that may then be addressed with a minor or adolescent is if the candidate is working during school hours - as certain state and federal laws may regulate such work. If the candidate has already graduated from school or is taking some kind of home schooling in addition to their business or activity, that aspect should be addressed to show that the minor or adolescent can work during any purported hours. If the person is still very young and attending school full-time during regular hours, then they should consult an experienced immigration attorney to see about waiting until the age of 18 depending on their school situation or intentions for future study. All in all, if a child is maintaining their studies and still achieving a level of success that will qualify them for the EB-2 NIW visa, then they remain eligible despite their age.


When considering the EB-2 NIW visa, it's essential to separate fact from fiction. English proficiency and age limits are not factors that will hinder your application. Instead, the focus is on your professional qualifications and the potential positive impact you can have on the United States.

If you are a professional with an advanced degree or exceptional ability, please do not let misconceptions about language or age hold you back from pursuing the EB-2 NIW visa. Take the first step towards your American Dream, and explore your options for securing a Green Card through the EB-2 National Interest Waiver with G.E.B. GLOBAL.

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