Despite efforts to close the gap, the Aircraft Maintenance Engineer shortage in the U.S continues to rise. This shortage has brought to light the EB-2 NIW AME program which allows non-U.S. citizens the opportunity to apply for a green card on the grounds of their exceptional ability as an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer.

As the growing demand for AMEs in the U.S continues to rise, experienced and accomplished AMEs having the appropriate background may apply for a Green Card for themselves and their families through the EB-2 National Interest Waiver Program.

What are the benefits of the EB-2 NIW Program?

  • Renewable 10-year permit (green card) that allows for the unconditional right to work and live in the U.S.
  • A green card is the pathway to US citizenship after 5 years of residence in the U.S.
  • Family members such as legally married spouse and dependent children under 21 years old will receive their own green card independent of the main applicant’s.
  • Applicants do not require a job offer to apply.
  • Applicants do not need to reside or travel to the U.S to apply.

What are the criteria?

  1. Degree, diploma, certificate relating to the aviation industry.
  2. 10 years full-time work experience as an AME.
  3. A valid license to practice your profession.
  4. Evidence that you have commanded a salary showing your exceptional ability.
  5. Membership in a professional AME association(s).
  6. Recognition of achievements in the AME industry from peers, government entities, professional or business organizations.
  7. Other comparable evidence (anything that makes your training and/or experience special or noteworthy, including management and/or training duties)

*Note that in certain circumstances, applicants may apply without meeting 3 criteria, provided that they hold a qualifying university degree at least equivalent to a U.S. Bachelor.

What is the application process?

  1. Submit an expression of interest through our form.
  2. Profile assessment to ensure you meet at least 3 of the criteria (or advanced degree criteria).
  3. Documents collection and preparation & case support letter.
  4. Submit the completed application forms and required documents to USCIS.
  5. Obtain the National Interest Waiver.
  6. Apply for immigrant visas (and Green Cards) and attend consulate interview.
  7. Arrival to the U.S. within 6 months of issue of immigrant visas. Receive Green Cards 2 or 3 months later.

*The application processing time varies according to the applicant’s country of birth.

*Typical processing time is 12-18 months, but this time frame can vary (quicker if applicant applies for premium processing; or longer depending on the evaluation of priority dates).

What Do I Need to Know?

No. The NIW EB-2 Program allows individuals who meet the requirements to apply without the need for a US Company to get involved.
No. The NIW EB-2 Program does not require applicants to secure a job offer.
Although an FAA license will be required to work as an AME in the U.S., is it NOT required to have one at the time of your application. If you have begun the FAA licensure process and can finish it before filing the NIW, it is encouraged.
No. See eligibility/criteria requirement explained above.
This depends on the expedience of the U.S. Authorities. On average, we expect a decision within 6 to 8 months, but it would take more or less time. We have seen decisions taken within a month on a few occasions, usually when a pilot applies for premium processing.
Yes. There is premium processing, which was introduced earlier this year. Under premium processing, UCIS undertakes to reply to any communication within 45 days.
Yes, green card holders may apply for U.S citizenship after 5 years of main residence in the U.S, if they demonstrate they have spent at least 2.5 years of those 5 years in the U.S, with no absences of more than 6 cumulative months in any 12 months period outside the U.S., after becoming a permanent resident of the United States.

Founded in 1992 and headquartered in Hong Kong and has since developed into a leading multinational law firm. From its over 20 offices around the world, HLG advises on a range of legal matters including investment and business immigration, corporate law and a range of private client services.

There is a high threshold to qualify for the EB-2 NIW AME Program and successfully proving this to United States Immigration Department is equally as challenging. Harvey Law Group’s success with the EB-2 NIW Pilot Program and experience in processing hundreds of applications for airplane and helicopter pilots all over the world with varying profiles has made HLG our partner of choice to recommend candidates who are interested in this program.