Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Houston Immigration Lawyers > Blog > EB-2 Visa > The EB-2 ‘Exceptional Ability’ Category

The EB-2 ‘Exceptional Ability’ Category


While many applicants in the EB-2 category possess advanced degrees, another route to qualify is through establishing that you have “exceptional ability” in your field. If you do not possess an advanced degree but feel you have exceptional ability in a particular field, contact the Houston EB-2 Visa attorneys at BBA Immigration to evaluate if your expertise and experience constitute exceptional ability under the EB-2 category.

What is “Exceptional Ability”?

Exceptional ability refers to a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business. It’s not just about being good at what you do; it’s about standing out in your field in a way that can be quantified and documented.

Criteria for Demonstrating Exceptional Ability

To qualify for the EB-2 category based on exceptional ability, you must meet at least three of the following criteria:

  1. Academic Records: An official academic record showing a degree, diploma, or certificate from a college, university, or other educational institution related to your field.
  1. Professional Licenses: Licenses or certifications that authorize you to practice in your profession.
  1. Work Experience: Letters from current or former employers showing at least ten years of full-time experience in your occupation.
  1. High Salary: Evidence of a high salary or other remuneration for services that indicates your exceptional ability.
  1. Recognition for Achievements: Awards or other recognition for exceptional achievement received from professional organizations.
  1. Participation in Professional Associations: Membership in professional associations related to your field.
  1. Other Comparable Evidence: If the above criteria do not readily apply, you may submit comparable evidence to establish your exceptional ability.

The National Interest Waiver (NIW)

If you’re applying under the exceptional ability category, you may also be eligible for a National Interest Waiver (NIW). An NIW allows you to bypass the labor certification process and self-petition, provided you can demonstrate that your work is in the national interest of the United States.

Application Process

The application process for the EB-2 exceptional ability category is complicated, with extensive documentation required. It is beneficial to consult with a qualified immigration attorney with experience and success going through the EB-2 application process. Your application must be a portfolio that showcases your talents and achievements. Just like you wouldn’t submit a half-finished project at work, you’ll want to ensure your application is as complete as possible with comprehensive evidence that meets at least three of the criteria for exceptional ability. The stronger your application, the better your chances for a successful outcome. Further, an experienced immigration attorney will also investigate if you are a potential candidate for a successful National Interest Waiver (NIW). If your work has a far-reaching impact—perhaps it’s groundbreaking research or technological innovation that could benefit the U.S. as a whole—an NIW could not only expedite your application but also give you greater flexibility in your employment options.

Contact BBA Immigration

The EB-2 ‘Exceptional Ability’ category offers an opportunity for individuals who excel in their fields to gain U.S. permanent residency. If you believe you qualify under this category and are considering applying for an EB-2 visa, contact BBA Houston Immigration Lawyers for a comprehensive consultation. We can help you navigate the complexities of the application process and build a successful case.



Facebook Twitter LinkedIn