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If you are a foreign educated national specializing in food engineering or agricultural science, your background and professional plans might be nationally important especially now—- during an ongoing healthcare crisis— that has been devastating the U.S. economy and the health of many US citizens.  In order to qualify for an EB-2 National Interest Waiver Petition, you need to prove that your proposed endeavor is substantially meritorious and nationally important, you are well-suited to advance it, and it is in the national interest of the U.S. to waive the labor certification process.  National Importance encompasses the creation of job opportunities for U.S. residents, the enhancement of societal welfare as well as the proposed endeavor being the subject of national initiatives.

  • National Importance

Innovations in food/agricultural engineering are the subject of national initiatives and professionals specialized in those areas are considered essential for the revival of our economy. Food engineering is one of the most multidisciplinary fields in engineering, as it entails the combined knowledge of microbiology, physical sciences, supply chain management, and chemistry principles, among others. Food engineers are involved in every step of the process including safe and efficient processing, packaging and delivery of food to every shelf in the world. Their role is crucial for the global health and economy as they are pioneers in implementing environmentally sustainable and safety compliant packaging procedures as well as in introducing efficient distribution practices, thus ensuring uninterrupted supply chain.

As widely reported, the coronavirus has shaken supply chains to their core. Stories of stretched and broken supply chains in industries as diverse as medical equipment, and food have been widely documented. The public’s response to the pandemic was to enter a state akin to “survival mode” which caused widespread anxiety within society, created enormous demand fluctuations, and forced an immediate response from supply chains. The need for Food Engineers is therefore urgent to evaluate supply chain processes, perform integrated planning, coordination and control of business processes and activities in the supply chain to deliver superior consumer value at less cost to supply chains, while also satisfying the requirements of stakeholders.

Their role indeed enhances societal welfare as it guarantees that supply and demand in the food/agricultural industries are met and at the same time ensures that food manufacturers, distributors, retail, and wholesale companies remain in business, thus preserving employment opportunities for our residents. The need for qualified food and agricultural engineers has been so urgent that the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have implemented several initiatives to support the U.S. food and agriculture sector so that Americans continue to have access to a safe and robust food supply.

Beyond their role in supply chain management, food and agricultural engineers also ameliorate our residents’ welfare by designing food safety programs that improve the safety and quality of the U.S. food supply for a healthy population and improved quality of life. Food safety is becoming a serious policy matter due to rigorous agricultural activities, pollution, and man-made and natural disasters. Each year, millions of Americans suffer — and thousands die — from foodborne illnesses. This is a preventable problem that is damaging to both individuals and the economy, but many of these illnesses can be prevented. Ongoing food safety improvements, in addition to reducing foodborne illnesses, can yield economic and social benefits including reduced loss of income and health care costs for the affected individual; improved productivity; reduction of burden on the country’s healthcare system through improved public health; and a safer food supply among others.

What’s more, safe food production improves sustainability by enabling market access and productivity, which drives economic development and poverty alleviation, especially in rural areas. Investment in consumer food safety education has the potential to reduce foodborne disease and return savings of up to $10 for each dollar invested.

It is therefore evident that food engineers are essential as they enhance societal welfare, promote economic development, alleviate the devastating consequences of covid-19 to our global food supply chain.


When evaluating whether an individual is well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor, the USCIS examines the factors set forth in the landmark Dhanasar case to determine whether, for instance, the individual’s progress towards achieving the goals of the proposed endeavor/research, record of success in similar efforts, impact of work on the field, or generation of interest among relevant parties supports such a finding.  It is noteworthy that the petitioner may be well-positioned to advance the endeavor even if there is no certainty that the proposed endeavor will be a success.

The petitioner therefore must prove that his educational and professional background including his/her accomplishments in his/her field has the potential to prospectively benefit our nation regardless of the outcome of their endeavor. To document their well positioning, the petitioner can offer letters of support, proof of successful projects as well as research in their field.

Waiver of the Labor Certification

The food engineering industry is one of the largest in the world. Food engineering professionals play a pivotal role in designing sustainable and environmentally responsible food processes as well as in minimizing supply chain disruption during the ongoing coronavirus global crisis. It is therefore urgent that the most talented foreign educated food engineers are encouraged to lend their expertise to the U.S. market to ameliorate our residents’ lives, improve their quality of living, and combat the devastating consequences of COVID-19 to our global food supply chain.

If you are interested in in the EB-2 National Interest Waiver, contact our office today to schedule a consultation.  Initial consultations can be scheduled online, or by calling our Orlando office at (407) 478-1111 our Tampa office at (813) 444-1114 or our Miami office at 305-455-0590. We assist foreign nationals from all over the world file successful NIW applications and would like to provide a thorough analysis concerning the specifics of your matter to determine if you are qualified to apply.

Carlos Colombo

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