National Interest Waiver Best Practices: Reality Check

National Interest Waiver Best Practices: Reality Check

National Interest Waiver Best Practices: Reality Check - Recording (CLE Included)
Live Event Date: 10/27/2022
Format Length CLE Eligible
Web Seminar 90 min. Yes

A National Interest Waiver (NIW) is a method of obtaining U.S. lawful permanent residence with or without an employer as sponsor. It is a critical tool in any practitioner’s toolbox. There is a wide breadth of jobs that may qualify for an NIW, including those involving work that benefits the U.S. economy, education system, health, arts, or some other aspect of American society. The panelists will focus on the occupations and qualifications of individuals who may be eligible for this benefit.

Featured Topics:

  • Review of Initial NIW Requirements
  • Matter of Dhanasar Analysis: How to Measure Substantial Merit and National Importance
  • Impact of Biden STEM Guidance on NIWs
  • Red Herrings and Other Pitfalls for NIWs, Including Labor Shortages and Assessing the National Impact of a Given Occupation
  • Impact of Premium Processing on Assessing NIW as a Filing Strategy

AILA Membership Benefit – Access to Free Seminar Recordings (CLE Credit Available for $35)
Enjoy access to free seminar recordings (from October 2020–present) as an AILA Member. AILA encourages live attendance for those wishing to ask the speaker questions. CLE credit is included with purchase for live participants.

Recordings will be available approximately two weeks after the live event date. AILA members can access these seminars, with no CLE credit, for free. Recordings are CLE eligible in most jurisdictions and an administration fee is required to obtain CLE credit.

Contact us at or visit AILA’s Web Seminar Recordings page for more information about receiving CLE credit for a web seminar recording.

James W. Hollis (DL), Memphis, TN

James W. Hollis is an attorney at Siskind Susser PC in Memphis, TN. His practice focuses on immigration for entrepreneurs, athletes, artists, and other talent workers. He has served as Lecturer in Business Immigration Law at Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law, has spoken on a variety of AILA panels, and has contributed to AILA books and other publications. Mr. Hollis received his J.D. from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, MO.

Sophia R. Johnykutty, Sugar Land, TX

Sophia R. Johnykutty remotely served as senior in-house legal counsel and immigration leader for trucking and software companies. Her employment includes Senior Associate for global immigration law firms where she was named as Texas Rising Star and Best Lawyers of America. In her spare time, she volunteers for YMCA Refugee program and The Village Connect. In 2012, Sophia was recognized as AILA Probono Star. She received her J.D. from Texas Tech University.

Anna Stepanova, Owings Mills, MD

Anna Stepanova is an Assistant Managing Attorney and a Member of Murthy Law Firm. She is a frequent speaker and author of articles on a large variety of employment and family-based immigration topics. Ms. Stepanova received her J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law (2004).

Daniel Larson, San Francisco, CA

Daniel S. Larson is an associate with Nathan Waxman, PLLC, a firm with a long, established history of working on complex self-sponsorship scenarios on behalf of diverse client base, which has included actors, artists, musicians, playwrights, entrepreneurs, IT professionals, scientists, financial workers, business managers and corporate executives. Mr. Larson is a member of AILA Nor Cal Chapter and received his J.D. from Michigan State University College of Law (2012).

The speaker's/author's views do not necessarily represent the views of AILA, nor do they constitute legal advice or representation. Practice tips provided are based on the speaker's/author's experiences and the current state of the law. Please be sure to conduct legal research and analysis for your unique situation as the law changes quickly and experiences may differ from your own.

Eligible participants can receive up to 1.8 CLE credit hours. AILA will administer CLE credit only to individuals who register and log into the web seminar. AILA cannot verify your attendance and participation in this program unless you register directly for the web seminar and use your name to log in to participate in the program. Therefore, persons who log in or listen in on the web seminar as part of a group will not be able to obtain CLE credit.

Please note that your jurisdiction may limit the amount of distance learning credit you can earn. To view details on your jurisdiction's credit restrictions and CLE requirements, visit the CLE Center.

AILA has filed for CLE and specialized credit in all jurisdictions with mandatory CLE requirements. For details about specific approvals, contact us at

  • AILA applies for accreditation upon attorneys’ request after participation for the following states: AR, DE, IA, ID, KS, KY, LA, ME, MN, MS, OR, TN and WY. Programs are typically approved.
  • Florida and Rhode Island - Attorneys must apply on their own for approval of seminars in FL and RI. Programs are typically approved.
  • The OnDemand Recording format does not qualify for CLE credit in the following jurisdictions: MO and PR. Please note that your jurisdiction may limit OnDemand credit based on the date of the original presentation. View the OnDemand Downloadable Expiration Chart for more details.

To receive CLE credit for the live event, attorneys must record web seminar attendance and the CLE code provided within one week of the web seminar date via webCLE.

Contact us at or visit AILA’s Web Seminar Recordings page for more information about receiving CLE credit for a seminar recording.