If you are looking at the variety of visa options available to you, it is likely that you have at least heard of employment-based visas. Not everyone qualifies for an EB visa, but if you have advanced knowledge or degrees in your field, you may find that the EB-2 visa is best suited for your situation. The EB-2 visa requirements are as follows:
Eligibility And Requirements For EB-2 Visas
The EB-2 visa is a second preference employment-based visa; in other words, petitions for EB-2s are accepted in greater numbers than categories of lower preference like EB-4s. You have a number of options for fulfilling the eligibility requirements for an EB-2, from your educational and skill background to the type of job you are able to perform.
EB-2A: Advanced Degree
If you hold an advanced degree, you may qualify for an EB-2A visa. An advanced degree is defined by USCIS as a degree exceeding a bachelor’s or the foreign equivalent of such. Alternatively, you may also possess a bachelor’s degree and five years of progressive experience in your field. Earning your degree in the United States is not necessary, but it does make the degree evaluation process easier. If you have a foreign degree, you will likely need to have an outside organization verify that the degree you possess is equivalent to the US standard of a master’s or higher.
EB-2B: Exceptional Ability
For those seeking an employment visa on the basis of exceptional ability, the correct filing category will be EB-2B. Exceptional ability is defined by the USCIS as “a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts or business.” You can demonstrate this in a number of ways, such as by proving that your current salary is commensurate with exceptional ability and is above standard. You can also show your membership in professional organizations or associations or share achievements and significant contributions in your field, such as an award by a reputable organization or a patent for a product.
EB-2C: National Interest Waiver
If you can perform a job that the United States deems is in its own national interest, you may qualify for an EB-2C visa. Unlike the other two EB-2 categories, those seeking a national interest waiver may apply on their own behalf rather than relying on an employer for sponsorship. The work you propose must demonstrate both substantial merit and national importance, and you must demonstrate that you, specifically, are in a position to advance this cause.
How To Apply For An EB-2 Visa
In order to apply for an EB-2 visa, you will need to undergo a number of steps. Unless you are filing for a national interest waiver, you will not be able to complete all of these steps on your own; you will need to rely on a sponsoring employer.
Acquire An Immigration Attorney
First, it is critical that you begin your EB-2 process by speaking with a skilled immigration attorney. The requirements for an EB-2, particularly on the employer’s part, are particularly stringent, and minor or even seemingly inconsequential decisions can have long-term impacts on your chances of securing a visa. An immigration attorney can work with you and your employer to ensure everything is done correctly.
Ensure You Meet The USCIS Criteria
Before filing for an EB-2 visa, you must ensure that you meet the criteria required by USCIS. If you cannot demonstrate that your degree is equivalent to a US master’s or higher, or if you are unsure if your abilities qualify as exceptional, a different visa category may be better for you.
Submit Required Documentation And Evidence
When filing an EB-2, your petition will require very specific documentation. Your employer must complete PERM labor certification; documentation for this step includes proof that U.S. candidates were properly interviewed, job postings were adequately displayed in public places and that the compensation is at least the prevailing wage. Your employer will need to file an I-140 on your behalf in addition to proof that the company will be able to continue paying your wage. If you have family coming in with you, additional forms like the E-21 and E-22 will also be required.
Reach Out To An Experienced Immigration Law Firm
The process of acquiring an EB-2 visa can be complex, particularly in the areas that foreign nationals have no control over, such as the PERM process. For this reason, it is critical that anyone seeking an EB-2 work with a skilled immigration attorney who can advocate on their behalf to ensure that all the documentation is done correctly.
The Law Offices of Kermit A. Monge would be happy to help you and your employer work together to successfully achieve all EB-2 visa requirements for you by carefully planning how you will demonstrate your advanced knowledge and abilities or your critical role to the national interest. Reach out today by phone at 703.273.5500 or request a consultation online.