For the following individuals, Second Preference Employment Based Immigration EB-2s (Green Cards) are available:
Advantage in Application Process
While around 40,000 annual visas are allotted for individuals who qualify for EB-2 Second Preference Employment Based Immigration, any unused visas from the EB-1 First Preference Employment Based Immigration may also be claimed under the EB-2 status. In most cases, both Labor Certification (PERM) and a job offer for a specific position will be required for individuals who wish to be granted EB-2 status. However, any individual may be exempt from obtaining both a Labor Certification (PERM) and the job offer for a specific position by requesting and filing a National Interest Waiver. Should the USCIS determine that the exemption of these requirements for an individual be in the United States’ national interest, individuals may be granted EB-2 status without them.
When immigrating from most countries (except China and India), individuals are allowed to file their application for EB-2 status immediately after gaining their Labor Certification (PERM), even before waiting for numerical availability. This immediate availability for EB-2 status is expected to continue for individuals emigrating from most countries.
Second-Preference Employment-Based Immigration (EB-2)
Only 40,000 EB-2 visas are granted annually in the US. If you are a member of the professions holding an advanced degree (or its equivalent), or a foreign national who has exceptional ability, or one whose exceptional abilities mean that their employment here would benefit the nation, you may be eligible for an employment-based, second-preference visa.
The first step in obtaining your visa employment status is to have a potential employer. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) expects that EB-2 petitions be accompanied by an approved individual labor certification from the Department of Labor, that is obtained by your employer. Your employer must also file a Petition for Alien Worker.
EB-2 Advanced Degree Eligibility
The job you apply for, and list in your petition, necessitates an advanced degree or its equivalent. The USCIS defines the equivalent as a baccalaureate degree plus five years of progressive work experience in the field. Documentation required to prove your education is the official academic record from the educational institution, either from the US or a foreign equivalent, that shows your advanced degree.
Alternatively, you can provide the official academic record of your US or foreign baccalaureate degree along with letters from your current or former employers that characterize your work experience in your specialized field.
EB-2 Exceptional Ability Eligibility
If you have exceptional ability in the fields of science, education, the arts, business, or athletics, you may also be eligible to obtain an EB-2 visa. Exceptional ability is defined as a level of expertise that is significantly above that which is ordinarily encountered in those fields. You must meet at least three of the criteria below to be eligible for this type of visa:
- 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
- Other comparable evidence of eligibility is also acceptable.
Typical professionals who qualify for an EB-2 visa may include actors, economists, doctors, musicians, physicists, geographers, and others who have risen to the very top of their respective fields and those who have been recognized nationally or internationally, with distinction.
National Interest Waiver
The third option of qualifying for an EB-2 visa is to obtain a National Interest Waiver. They are usually granted to those who have exceptional ability and whose employment in the US would greatly benefit the nation.
Immigrants who are seeking a national interest waiver are requesting that the Labor Certification be waived because it is in our country’s best interest. Those who wish to pursue this type of waiver may self-petition, meaning that an employer need not sponsor them. The petitioner may file their labor certification directly with USCIS along with their Petition for Alien Worker.
If you are seeking such a petition with the waiver, you must also meet at least three of the criteria for exceptional ability, as well as demonstrate how your permanent work in the United States serves the country’s national interest.
For individuals who receive a EB-2 Second-Preference Employment-Based Immigration status, their spouses and children, so long as they are unmarried and under 21, will be eligible to obtain a green card to accompany the main beneficiary as derivatives.
At the Law Office of William Jang, PLLC, our team of immigration lawyers has experience representing companies and individuals while they are in the process of obtaining their EB-2 Second Preference Employment Based Immigration Permanent Residency (Green Cards). To speak with one of our experienced immigration lawyers today, please call (512) 323-2333.