High professional performance and worldwide recognition – the sure way to the USA
U.S. immigration is a privilege. But there is at least one category of immigrants, whose presence in the U.S. is a benefit for the U.S. government itself. Any country would be honored to welcome those people as citizens.
They are individuals with great accomplishments in their professional field, ones recognized throughout the world, even if only within a closed circle of experts. They have gained knowledge and skills that most people never achieve due to their talent and years of education, practice, labor, and dedication. They have proven expertise that is useful for building the American society and economy.
But what are the grounds for their immigrant status? And how can you know if you qualify?
Benefits of immigration for highly-educated and experienced people
Any expert or a person with unique talents is, in fact, a precious asset to the American economy. That’s why we speak of work migration. Because their usefulness can already be measured and proven by years of experience, American immigration authorities provide such individuals with an option to receive U.S. permanent residence permission with no restrictions. One may apply for a work visa with an option to receive a Green Card afterward. After holding a Green Card for five years, the permanent resident (Green Card holder) may apply for U.S. citizenship.
Although the process leading to the issuance of an employment-based visa may probably take some time, it will guarantee an individual lawful residence in the country, where a person has not only growth opportunities but the potential for solid rewards as well. Family members of the visa holder (spouse, unmarried children under 21) may also apply for the immigrant status. The processing period after the application is submitted takes eight to nine months on average.
The process of applying for permanent residence can be started by, for example, EB-1A visa applicants themselves, without support from the American sponsor. On the other hand, having an employer is a guarantee of stable income on the very arrival. In most cases, any expert-in-demand seeks is usually seeking a higher income from their professional activities than in their home country.
According to the USCIS, from 140 thousand employment-based immigration visas granted annually, applicants for EB-1 and EB-2 visas receive first-preference. (Preference degree is defined by the number after the character index, (i.e., EB-1 = Employment-Based, First Preference; EB-2 = Employment-Based, Second Preference). So, the visa processing time for EB-1 or EB-2 is considerably shorter than for other categories such as EB-5.
Visa types for priority experts and individuals with high level of experience and education
The list of employment-based immigration visas comprises five categories and many sub-categories. But we are focused on two sub-categories.
EB-1 visa for top-priority specialists
If you understand that you have unique accomplishments in science (teaching or research), art, education, business, or sports, you may apply for the EB-1A or EB-1B visa. You may not need a job offer from any given employer, but giving convincing proof of your accomplishments is a must. More information on the visas of this category is available on the link.
EB-2 visa for a specialist with a high level of knowledge and work experience
If you don’t have exceptional abilities and your experience is not acknowledged worldwide, but your skills and competence levels are much higher than average for your profession, you may want to apply for the EB-2 visa. In this case, you will need a job offer from an employer, who needs your particular skills and experience.
You will have to go through the labor certification procedure. The Labor Department must be sure that your qualifications correspond with the employer’s stated requirements. A verification of your education level's match with an American one may be required. That means you will have to verify your that your course studies are similar to those offered in American universities for the same diploma or degree.
EB-2A for experts with a degree of not less than a masters
The noticeable feature of the category is that the supposed vacancy requests a candidate to have a degree higher than a bachelor or its equivalent (e.g., a bachelor’s degree + minimum 5 years of intensive work experience in the field). Your petition must be approved by the Labor Department and your sponsoring employer will have to prove that your particular expertise is not currently available in the American labor market
EB-2B for individuals with above-average qualification in the field of science, art, business, or sports
If you work in one of these spheres and haven’t gained prominence yet, but you acknowledge that accomplishments, experience, and knowledge you have in the sphere are higher than your contemporaries possess, you may apply for the EB-2B Visa.
You must be able to demonstrate your exceptional accomplishments in science, art, or business. The exceptional accomplishment condition means the results of the application of your competence in the field is considerably higher than average.
These visas can be applied for either from abroad or from with the United States. For instance, if you are already working in the U.S. on a temporary work permit, you may apply for these particular visas.
How can I prove my right to immigrate to the U.S. as a person of exceptional accomplishments, high level of education and rich work experience?
Before filing a visa application you should collect all available documentation regarding your education, qualification, knowledge, and skillfulness.
You will need to determine which visa is most appropriate for your experience and expertise. Each category has its own list of criteria, compliance with which proofs the satisfactory level of education, qualification, and skills to become an applicant for that specific visa. Criteria are listed on the official USCIS website in the sections for each visa type. Read them carefully and thoroughly to understand which visa best suits your situation.
For instance, candidates for the EB-1 Visa unquestionably include winners of major awards in their field or profession. Alternatively, candidates who possess three of the ten criteria for every type of the visa may be eligible. So, if the candidate is not the recipient of any international prizes, but has received national recognition, the individual must fit only two more criteria. Musicians, in particular, must prove the commercial success of at least one of their projects in addition to awards, and prove their recognition as talented performers by mass media.
Criteria for immigration to the U.S. for experts with a degree higher than a bachelor and for individuals with above-average competence in the fields of science, art, business, and sports (the EB-2 visa) are linked here.
Understand that the process is as much about dealing with people and common sense as it is with compliance with immigration law. Labor Department officials will assess your value not only on the basis of your expertise but also on your relative ability to contribute to the American economy.
Filing documents, applying for an immigration visa, and contacts with U.S. officials requires close attention to details and accuracy. It takes time to go through all the formal proceedings. For experts involved in intensive professional activities, time is often of the essence.
For this reason, even if you are an expert in your field, we recommend that you enlist the services of highly-experienced Immigration Law Attorneys. They won’t be taken by surprise by an immigration officer's inquiry for additional proof, they know how to handle otherwise unforeseen problems encountered in the visa application process. ACS Law Offices lawyers give exceptional attention to every client and put maximum effort to arrive at your desired outcome.