On January 21, 2022, USCIS announced updated guidance on adjudicating requests for “National Interest Waivers”, which includes discussing the unique considerations for persons with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.

USCIS recognizes the importance of progress in STEM fields and the essential role of persons with advanced STEM degrees in fostering this progress, especially in focused critical and emerging technologies or other STEM areas important to U.S. competitiveness or national security.

The authoritative lists of critical and emerging technology fields are published by the Executive Office of the President, by either the National Science and Technology Council or the National Security Council.

For more information about the new guidance, please consult the USCIS Policy Manual, Volume 6: Immigrants, Part F, Employment-Based Classifications, Chapter 5, Advanced Degree or Exceptional Ability [6 USCIS-PM F.5], at https://www.uscis.gov/policy-manual/volume-6-part-f-chapter-5