Employment Based (EB) visas afford the opportunity for foreign national professionals to apply for permanent residency, work in the United States, and offers a path to U.S. citizenship. There are 5 preference categories under the EB classification. One such category is the EB-2 preference category.
There are two ways to qualify for the EB-2. The first is by holding an advanced degree such as a Ph.D., a Juris Doctor, or a Master’s degree. A foreign national can also qualify as having an advanced degree by possessing a Bachelor’s degree and at least 5 years of post-baccalaureate professional experience. Possessing a Bachelor’s degree and at least 5 years of post-baccalaureate professional experience is considered equivalent to a Master’s degree for EB-2 qualification purposes.
The second method of qualifying for the EB-2 visa is by possessing exceptional ability in their professional field. Under this option, the foreign national must demonstrate an exceptional ability in the arts, business, or sciences.
The applicant generally must possess at least three of the following criteria:
The Petitioning Employer generally must obtain a Permanent Labor Certification and demonstrate the ability to pay the prevailing wage for the position. There are 2 categories of labor certifications.
The first is the General Permanent Labor Certification. This requires that the Employer apply for a Permanent Labor Certification from the Department of Labor.
The second is the Schedule A Blanket Labor Certification. This certification covers professionals with demonstrated exceptional ability.
There is one alternative to the Labor Certification. The National Interest Waiver makes the job offer and labor certification requirement obsolete. The Foreign National can petition for themselves to be admitted for permanent residency. However, it must be in the national interest to do so.
“In the national interest” is not statutorily defined, but United States Customs and Immigration Services uses three factors to determine if the individual qualifies for the National Interest Waiver.
Contact us to see if you may qualify for the EB-2 or another visa.