Immigration visas

EB-2 Visa

Employment-Based Immigration: Second Preference EB-2

Immigration visas EB-2You may be eligible for an employment-based, second preference visa if you are a member of the professions holding an advanced degree or its equivalent, or a foreign national who has exceptional ability.

Advanced Degree

The job you apply for must require an advanced degree. You must possess such a degree or its equivalent. It’s equivalent is considered to be a baccalaureate degree plus five years’ progressive work experience in the field). Documentation, such as

  • an official academic record showing that you have a U.S. advanced degree or a foreign equivalent degree, or
  • an official academic record showing that you have a U.S. baccalaureate degree, or
  • a foreign equivalent degree and letters from current or former employers showing that you have at least five years of progressive post-baccalaureate work experience in your specialty.

Exceptional Ability

You must be able to show exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business. Exceptional ability means “a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business.” You must meet at least three of the following criteria:

  • Official academic record showing that you have a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution of learning relating to your area of exceptional ability.
  • Letters documenting at least 10 years of full-time experience in your occupation.
  • A license to practice your profession or certification for your profession or occupation.
  • Evidence that you have commanded a salary or other remuneration for services that demonstrates your exceptional ability.
  • Membership in a professional association(s).
  • Recognition for your achievements and significant contributions to your industry or field by your peers, government entities, professional or business organizations.

Exception: National Interest Waiver

Petitioners may request that the Labor Certification be waived because it is in the interest of the United States. Though the jobs that qualify for a national interest waiver are not defined by statute, national interest waivers are usually granted to those who have exceptional ability (see above) and whose employment in the United States would greatly benefit the nation.

Those seeking a national interest waiver may self-petition (they do not need an employer to sponsor them) and may file their labor certification directly with USCIS along with their Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker.

Family Members

Your spouse and children under the age of 21 may be admitted to the United States in E-21 and E-22 immigrant status, respectively. During the process where you and your spouse are applying for permanent resident status (status as a green card holder), your spouse is eligible to file for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

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