Fifteen years after its publication, Matter of New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) remains the standard for eligibility in the elusive “National Interest Waiver” (NIW) immigrant visa category. Since 1998, the Immigration and Naturalization Service and now its successor, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), have applied the NYSDOT criteria to myriad scenarios and refined the interpretation of the criteria as they apply to a wide range of fields and petitioners. This article addresses USCIS’s recent NIW adjudication trends at the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) level to see where NYSDOT has taken us over the years and to establish some guidance for practitioners in 2013.

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