If you are considering which visa may be right for you, you may have already examined the variety of employment-based visa options available. An EB-2 visa is not right for everyone, but if you are a foreign worker who possesses an advanced degree, exceptional ability in your field or the skill to perform a job that is in the national interest of the United States, you may qualify for an EB-2 visa. Working with a qualified attorney can also you to understand all the EB-2 visa requirements.
Steps Involved In Obtaining An EB-2 Visa
The EB-2 visa process occurs over multiple steps, and not all of them are within your control. You will need to complete tasks alongside your sponsoring employer in order to fill out the forms and complete the requirements for an EB-2. This is why choosing to work with a skilled immigration attorney is critical; they can liaise between you and your employer to ensure that all the necessary steps are completed, and you meet all EB-2 visa requirements.
Determine If You Are Eligible
The first step to acquiring an EB-2 visa is to make sure that you are eligible. In order to qualify for an EB-2, you need to possess one of three attributes: have an advanced degree (a degree beyond a bachelor’s or the foreign equivalent, or a bachelor’s plus five years of experience), possess exceptional ability (typically in art, business, or science), or perform a job that is in the national interest of the United States. Those applying for a national interest waiver for the EB-2 are the only people who can file on their own behalf; all others must have an employer to sponsor them.
Obtain A Permanent Labor Certification
Next, the employer must seek Permanent Labor Certification through the PERM (Program Electronic Review Management) system. The recruiting process during this step can be lengthy, especially if the employer is audited; an immigration attorney can guide employers during this complex process to ensure that they only need to do it once. Everything, from the visibility of job ads to their duration and even where the position is advertised, will be critically important details at this stage.
The employer will need to demonstrate that the job posting is available to any US workers who are interested, that the pay for the job is at the prevailing industry rate and that no applicant besides the sponsored person fulfills the job requirements. They must be able to demonstrate that there are no qualified, able and willing US workers to take the job by testing the labor market.
File Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers
After the PERM form is submitted and received, the employer must complete a Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers. This step requires the employer to communicate with the potential employee to ensure that all information is accurate. The processing time for this step will depend upon the immigrant’s priority date, or the date that the petition was received. This date may move forward, or backward, until it matches the receipt date; then, you may proceed.
Attend An Interview With A Consular Officer
Once the petition is processed, the foreign national will require further vetting. If you are not in the United States, you will need to be interviewed at a US consulate in your home country. If you are already in the US on a different visa, you will need to file an I-485 Adjustment of Status and then go to a USCIS Application Support Center, where you will have your fingerprints and photo taken. Some applicants may attend an interview here, but not all will need to.
How An Immigration Attorney Can Help
The application process for an EB-2 visa is complex, and even minor or seemingly inconsequential decisions, especially during the PERM process, can delay or even completely stop the immigrant from receiving an EB-2. For this reason, working with an immigration attorney is very important; the attorney will walk both you and your prospective employer through the process, ensuring that you are completing the forms and PERM in compliance with government regulations.
Reach Out To An Experienced Immigration Law Firm
If you believe that an EB-2 visa is right for you because you are performing a job that is in the US national interest, possess exceptional ability or have attained an advanced degree, reach out to an experienced immigration lawyer to help you and your employer complete the application process. The Law Offices of Kermit A. Monge would be happy to guide you in compiling all the necessary information, developing job descriptions, offering insight into posting job ads and informing you of each important step along the way. Our attorneys will help you to understand all EB-2 visa requirements and the process. Get in touch by phone at 703.273.5500 or schedule a consultation online. You can discuss your individual situation and develop a plan to achieve your EB-2 visa as soon as possible.