Whether you’re a non-U.S. citizen seeking to use your exceptional skills in the United States, or an employer considering hiring a foreign employee in the EB-2 visa category, the attorneys at Garvish Immigration Law Group can help you achieve the American Dream. One of the most common ways to obtain an employment-based green card to live and work in the United States is through a job offer from a U.S. employer via the labor certification process.
Our Atlanta business immigration law firm focuses exclusively on employment-based and family-based visa cases. We represent corporate and individual clients worldwide. We’re confident that we can assist you in achieving your employment and hiring goals.
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Your trusted guide to the American Dream
What is an EB-2 Visa?
An EB-2 visa (also known as an EB-2 green card) is a second-preference employment-based visa that enables employees to gain permanent residence status in the U.S.
Generally, EB-2 visa green cards are reserved for foreigners who hold advanced degrees, exhibit exceptional ability, or receive a National Interest Waiver.
The three categories of EB-2 visas are:
- EB-2A visa for advanced degree professionals
- EB-2B visa for individuals with exceptional abilities
- EB-2C visa for national interest waiver (NIW)
EB-2 Advanced Degree Professionals, Exceptional Ability, and National Interest Waivers
USCIS issues approximately 140,000 employment-based visas per year. With that in mind, it’s essential to understand who qualifies for an EB-2 green card and under what category.
EB-2 For Advanced Degree
Individuals seeking an EB-2A visa must apply for a job that requires an advanced degree (i.e., Master’s, Ph.D., law degree or medical degree) or its foreign equivalent.
However, in some cases, a Bachelor’s degree, or foreign equivalent, plus five years of post-degree work in the field can be substituted for an advanced degree.
Qualifications and requirements for an advanced degree EB-2 visa include:
- A valid job offer, and
- Official academic records showing an advanced degree or its equivalent, OR
- Official academic records showing a U.S. baccalaureate degree or its equivalent, plus documentation from employers proving five years of post-graduate work experience.
EB-2 For Exceptional Ability
Those applying for an EB-2B visa may show an exceptional skill or ability in the sciences, arts, or business. Generally, “exceptional ability” can be defined as a high degree of expertise not commonly found within the industry.
Individuals applying for an EB-2 for exceptional abilities must have a valid job offer and meet at least three of the following criteria, but not limited to:
- Official academic record showing related to their exceptional ability
- Documentation proving at least ten years of full-time experience
- A license or certification to practice their skill
- Evidence of a salary or other benefits that demonstrate exceptional ability
- Membership in professional associations
- Other forms of recognition within an industry (i.e., awards, achievements, etc.)
EB-2 For National Interest Waiver
The law does not specify which jobs or talents qualify for a National Interest Waiver (NIW). However, most National Interest Waivers are granted to individuals who have an exceptional ability within their field and can benefit the U.S. if employed in that field.
Individuals seeking a National Interest Waiver don’t need an employer to sponsor them. They can self-petition (Form-I-140) and file the Labor Certification directly to USCIS.
In addition to meeting the requirements for an advanced degree or exceptional ability, NIW seekers must also meet the requirements listed below:
- The proposed job, occupation, or endeavor has “substantial merit and national importance.”
- The individual is in a position to move the proposed endeavor forward.
- It would benefit the U.S. to waive the labor certification requirement.
Three Phases of EB-2 Process
If you’re seeking an EB-2 visa green card for an individual with an advanced degree or exceptional ability, the process involves the following three phases:
- Obtaining a PERM Labor Certification from the Department of Labor
- Submitting Form I-140 to USCIS
- Application for permanent residence (i.e., adjustment of status or consular processing)
However, with the National Interest Waiver, you can skip the PERM step.
Benefits of an EB-2 Visa
There are countless benefits to obtaining an EB-2 visa green card for employers and employees. A few of the most common benefits include:
- Ability to obtain legal permanent residence in the U.S.
- More visas available per year than employment-based visa categories
- Ability to sponsor family members
- Filling roles that are vital to a company’s success and are beneficial to the U.S.
Are you interested in learning more about EB-2 visa green cards and how you can live and work in the United States? If so, we can help. Navigating the immigration journey can be complicated and confusing, and missed paperwork or deadlines can cause delays, stress and extra costs. Our Atlanta immigration business attorneys work exclusively in immigration law across Georgia and have over five decades of combined experience helping businesses and individuals obtain EB-2 visas and other PERM employment-based visas and NIWs.
We’re here to help guide you through the EB-2 visa process and obtain the best possible result in the fastest time possible. Contact Garvish Immigration Law Group today at 1-800-951-4980 or online to discuss your goals.