Navigating Self-Sponsorship for Green Cards: A Comprehensive Guide

At NPZ Law Group, our immigration attorneys frequently receive questions about whether an employer is necessary to pursue a green card. In this blog post, we’ll explore the various options available for individuals looking to self-sponsor their green card applications, particularly in the EB-1 and EB-2 classifications.

Self-Sponsorship Categories: EB-1 and EB-2

The primary self-sponsorship categories are the EB-1 for individuals with extraordinary ability and the EB-2 National Interest Waiver (NIW). Let’s delve into these options:

EB-1: Individuals with Extraordinary Ability

The EB-1 classification is for individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary ability in their field. This includes:

  • Publications and Citations: Recognized work published in major journals or cited by peers.
  • High Salary: Earning a significantly high salary compared to others in the field.
  • Recognition and Awards: Receiving national or international awards for excellence.
  • Employment with Distinguished Institutions: Having worked for reputable organizations in the industry.

Meeting the criteria for an EB-1 classification involves passing the “Kazarian standard,” which combines objective achievements with a subjective assessment of the individual’s impact in their field. This classification requires a robust resume that showcases significant accomplishments, making it a challenging but rewarding path.

EB-2: National Interest Waiver

The EB-2 NIW category is designed for individuals whose work is in the national interest of the United States. This category is particularly beneficial for those who:

  • Have Exceptional Ability: Demonstrating expertise that significantly benefits the U.S.
  • Plan to Continue Work in Their Field: Showing a commitment to persisting in their field of expertise, which benefits the nation.

The “Dhanasar standard” applies to the EB-2 NIW, evaluating the potential national benefits of the applicant’s continued work in the U.S. This category is often used by individuals looking to extend their H-1B status beyond the typical six-year limit while working towards an EB-1 classification.

Combining EB-1 and EB-2 Applications

Individuals can simultaneously pursue both EB-1 and EB-2 NIW classifications. This dual approach allows applicants to maximize their chances of success. Our firm provides discounts for clients who choose to file for both classifications, recognizing the overlap in required documentation and effort.

The Role of Employer Sponsorship

While the EB-1 and EB-2 NIW classifications do not require an employer sponsor, having one can strengthen an application. A supportive employer can provide additional evidence of the individual’s extraordinary ability or national interest, enhancing the overall case.


Navigating the self-sponsorship process for a green card can be complex, but understanding the requirements and strategic advantages of the EB-1 and EB-2 NIW classifications is essential. At NPZ Law Group, we specialize in analyzing individual cases to determine the best path forward, ensuring our clients have the strongest possible applications.

For personalized assistance and to explore your green card options, contact NPZ Law Group today at 201-670-0006 or visit