EB-2 visa

EB-2 visa is the second of the five employment-based preference categories under which a foreign worker may obtain work and permanent residence (green card) in the U.S.

The EB-2 category is for professionals holding advanced degrees (doctorate degree, master’s degrees, or the equivalent). It may also be utilized for individuals with exceptional abilities in arts, sciences or business, as well as physicians intending to practice medicine in underserved areas.

EB-2 Quick Facts

  • EB-2 visa requires sponsorship by a U.S. employer and requires labor certification. However, there is a waiver of labor certification for those individuals who can establish that his/her admission in the U.S. would be of national interest (National Interest Waiver).

Professionals with advanced degree

  • EB-2 visa applicants in this classification must prove that they have advanced degrees (beyond baccalaureate) or the equivalent.
  • Applicants must provide copies of relevant academic records that establish the required qualifications.

Individuals with exceptional abilities in sciences, arts, or business - National Interest Waivers

  • EB-2 visa applicants in this classification must prove that their abilities will substantially benefit the economy, culture, educational interests or welfare of the United States.
  • EB-2 visa applicants must provide at least three of the following types of evidence:
    1. Proof of academic achievements (diplomas, college degree etc.).
    2. Letters that prove that applicant has at least 10 years of experience in his/her field.
    3. License to practice in the applicant's profession or certification for a particular occupation.
    4. Membership in professional associations.
    5. Proof that applicant has received recognition in his/her field (Awards from government organization, officials or peers).
    6. Proof that applicant has received the highest salary in his/her field of work.

More on National Interest Waiver

Individuals who can document their exceptional abilities (in sciences, arts or business), and qualified physicians may choose the national interest waiver option (NIW) to obtain their permanent resident status without the need of a permanent job offer. Therefore, this eliminates the need to file for labor certification, provided that the applicant can establish that his/her work in the U.S. would be of national interest.

  1. The national interest waiver option does not require labor certification thereby reducing the processing time for permanent resident status petition.
  2. Applicants petitioning under this category must have the minimum of a master’s degree.
  3. To obtain a national waiver, an applicant must provide at least three types of evidences:
    • First, the applicant must prove that he/she is more qualified than the average person in the same field of national interest.
    • Second, the applicant’s work must be in the national interest and should meet any of the following factors that will improve:
      • The economy of the U.S.
      • Wages and working conditions of U.S. workers.
      • Health care.
      • Quality of education for U.S. children and under qualified workers or,
      • The U.S. environment.
    • Third, the applicant seeking the waiver must persuasively demonstrate that the national interest would be adversely affected if a labor certification were required.

EB-2 Visa Process

  1. Our firm prepares and files a labor certification on behalf of the employer (only applicable for professionals in the advanced degree category).
  2. Upon approval of the labor certification, the employer files the I-140 immigrant petition. EB-2 applicants who are applying in the exceptional abilities or national interest waiver category may skip the labor certification requirement and start with the I-140 filing. However, a national interest waiver applicant must submit a completed Form ETA 9089 along with the I-140 filing.
  3. Once the petition is approved, the foreign national is notified and if he/she is in the U.S., the individual can file for adjustment of status. If the applicant is outside the U.S., he/she attains the immigrant visa at the local U.S. Consulate in the applicant's home country.