EB-2 Green Card Guide
Do you have exceptional abilities or an advanced degree? If your answer to any of those questions is “yes”, you should know that you may be eligible for the EB-2 visa. There are many categories of visas, but today we will talk specifically about the EB-2 visa and how you can get one.
What is the EB-2 visa?
The EB-2 is the second-preference employment-based Green Card category. This category allows foreign nationals with exceptional abilities or advanced degrees to become permanent residents in the United States.
Are there different types of EB-2 visas?
The EB-2 Green Card includes the three subcategories below:
Exceptional Ability: To be able to apply as an exceptional ability candidate, you must be able to show exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business; the mere possession of a degree by itself does not constitute sufficient proof of ability. Check out below the criteria for applying for the EB-2 Green Card as an individual of exceptional ability.
Advanced Degree: This is the ideal option for those whose job they are applying for must require an advanced degree and the candidate has such degree or its foreign equivalent in their possession. In addition to that, it is obligatory to submit official academic records showing that the candidate has a U.S. baccalaureate degree or a foreign equivalent degree, such as a Masters or Doctorate.
It is also possible to provide a Bachelor’s Degree or foreign equivalent, plus additional evidence from employers showing that the citizen has at least 5 years of experience in the specialty.
National Interest Waiver: This category is usually granted to those whose employment would be advantageous to the U.S in the sense that it would greatly benefit the nation. In this particular category, it is not necessary to have a job offer in the U.S., since the foreign citizen is allowed to self-petition.
Who can apply for the EB-2 visa?
Besides a few exceptions, such as National Interest Waiver applicants who may self-petition and may file their labor certification directly with USCIS along with their Form I-140, all other applications require that the employer shows sufficient evidence that the foreign worker is not taking away jobs from U.S. workers. This first stage is called Labor Certification Stage or PERM, which means “Program for Electronic Review Management”.
To be qualified, the employer must advertise the job in different types of media and show proof that they were unsuccessful in recruiting a U.S. worker for this particular occupation.
Afterwards, once the Labor Certification is approved, a Form I-140 has to be filed by the employer who desires to sponsor the foreign worker. In cases where no labor certification is required, such as with National Interest Waiver applicants, a Form I-140 can be filed.
Once the I-140 application has been formally approved by USCIS, if the foreign national is already in the U.S., it is possible to file for a Form I-485, which allows their adjustment of status to a legal permanent U.S. resident. If the applicant is not in the U.S., prior application through a U.S. Consulate or Embassy is mandatory to determine whether the individual qualifies or not.
What are the EB-2 Eligibility Criteria?
The petitioner must meet at least 3 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 related to your exceptional ability’s field.
• Letters indicating at least 10 years of full-time experience in your occupation.
• A license to practice the profession or certification for a particular occupation.
• Evidence of salary or other remuneration for services that prove your exceptional ability.
• Membership in professional associations.
• Recognition for your achievements and significant contributions to your industry.
• Other comparable evidence of eligibility is also acceptable. Consult with an Immigration Law Attorney to check if your evidence is acceptable.
Criteria for National Interest Waiver
In addition to showing evidence of an advanced-level degree, you must also meet the criteria below:
• The foreign national must be well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor.
• The United States would greatly benefit to waive the job requirement on behalf of the foreign national.
• The proposed endeavor must have substantial merit and national importance.
How long is the EB-2 visa Processing Time?
The processing time may vary according to many factors, each case has its own particularities. On average, the government processing time for the EB-2 petition is about 18 months, from start to finish. In case you are in a hurry, there is also the premium processing option, which allows some applications to be processed much faster. If you are interested and want to learn more, please click here. Our office will make sure that you receive the best and most personalized consultation, available from anywhere in the world.
Are there any fees I have to pay for the EB-2 visa?
There are different fees you will have to pay when applying for the EB-2 visa. For example, the Form I-140 is $700. If you are interested to know more, please click here.
Can I bring my family on an EB-2 visa?
Yes, you can. If your I-140 petition is approved, your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may be eligible to apply for admission to the United States in E-21 and E-22 immigrant status.
How is the application process?
To qualify for an EB-2 visa, your employer must file a Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker, but if you are filing for a National Interest Waiver, you may file Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker on your own behalf. Your employer has to demonstrate a continuing ability to pay the offered wage as of the priority date, as part of the application process.
If you are interested in learning more, please click here.
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