Six years following the ruling in Mississippi Phosphate, the Administrative Appeals Office modified stricter standards for granting NIWs; however, the reasoning was unclear as to why. At the time, the AAO emphasized the significance of requiring the labor certification route in relation to the issue of US worker shortages. Furthermore, the AAO opined that legislative history does not suggest that NIWs were intended simply as a means for self-petitioning foreigners to avoid the inconvenience of the labor certification process, and held that an applicant must demonstrate why the labor certification would be detrimental to the national interest.
The ruling in this case placed an insurmountable burden on aspiring national interest applicants. Moreover, it generated greater problems in the application processing system where many INS service centers returned NIW applications without a glance and issued RFEs asking petitioners for lengthy lists of additional evidence to be submitted. Overall, the ruling made the process more burdensome for both sides, and ultimately, NIWs were hardly administered and applications were never processed in a timely manner.