The EB-2 visa is for either having an Advanced Degree or Exceptional Ability. It is a second-preference employment-based immigrant visa. The visa is employment-based, which means that an employer must be the one petitioning an applicant with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Because it is an immigrant visa, it will allow the applicant to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis. This visa would allow for your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 to apply for a dependent immigrant visa. You can not only live and work in the United States on this visa and bring your family, but you can also file the I-485 Adjustment of Status concurrently with this visa.
The EB-2 visa can be attained from either the Advanced Degree category or the Exceptional Ability category. Unlike the EB-1 visas, labor certification will be required unless it is waived with the National Interest Waiver (“NIW”). However, it is easier to satisfy the requirements of the EB-2 NIW application than the EB-1 visa.
The EB-2 visa for the Advanced Degree requires that you demonstrate that the job you are applying for requires an advanced degree and that you possess that degree or a foreign equivalent. You should be able to meet the requirements of the labor certification for the job as well. If you have the foreign equivalent of a degree, you must also establish that you have spent 5 progressive post-baccalaureate years working in your field.
The EB-2 visa for Exceptional Ability requires a showing of a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business. You will also need to be able to meet the requirements of the labor certification for the job as well.
For the Exceptional Ability category, you must be able to meet at least three of the following criteria:
- Receipt of a degree / diploma/ certificate/ similar award
- Letters documenting at least 10 years of full-time experience in your field or occupation
- Salary or other remuneration for services that demonstrate your exceptional ability
- Recognition for your achievements & significant contributions to your industry by peers, government, and / or professional or business organizations
- A license to practice your profession or certification for your profession or occupation
- Membership in a professional association
- Any additional applicable criteria listed on the EB1A Extraordinary Ability requirements
National Interest Waiver
The National Interest Waiver, NIW, is a request that the requirement for the job offer, and the labor certification, be waived because it is in the interest of the United States to waive it. The NIW can be filed with the EB-2 together as an EB-2 NIW application.
In order to qualify for the EB-2 NIW, you must prove each of the following in addition to the EB-2 requirements:
- Your proposed endeavor has substantial merit and national importance.
- You are well positioned to advance your proposed endeavor.
- It is beneficial for the United States to waive job offer and labor certification requirements.