What is an EB-2 Visa, and Who Qualifies
An immigrant visa category is the EB-2 visa, an employment-based visa designed for individuals with advanced degrees or exceptional abilities. If you have an advanced degree or exceptional ability in a particular field, contact the Houston immigration attorneys at BBA Immigration to find out how to qualify for an EB-2 visa.
What is an EB-2 Visa?
The EB-2 visa is an employment-based immigrant visa category for foreign nationals who possess either an advanced degree or exceptional ability in their field. This visa provides a pathway to lawful permanent residency, commonly known as a green card.
Who Qualifies for an EB-2 Visa?
Advanced Degree Holders
- Educational Qualifications: Applicants must possess a U.S. advanced degree or its foreign equivalent. Alternatively, a bachelor’s degree plus five years of progressive work experience in the field can also qualify.
- Job Offer: A specific job offer is generally required, and the job must necessitate an advanced degree.
- Field of Expertise: The exceptional ability must be in the sciences, arts, or business.
- Evidence: Applicants must meet at least three of the following criteria: academic records, professional licenses, work experience, high salary, recognition for achievements, or participation in professional associations.
National Interest Waiver (NIW)
Some EB-2 applicants may qualify for a National Interest Waiver, which allows them to bypass the labor certification and job offer requirements if they can demonstrate that their work benefits the United States.
Step 1: Labor Certification (Unless NIW Applies)
The employer must obtain a Labor Certification from the Department of Labor, proving that there are no qualified U.S. workers for the position. This involves advertising the job and going through a recruitment process.
Step 2: Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker
Once the Labor Certification is approved (or if you qualify for an NIW), the next step is to file Form I-140. The employer usually files this form, but NIW applicants can self-petition.
Step 3: Adjustment of Status or Consular Processing
After the I-140 is approved and a visa number is available, you can either adjust your status in the U.S. using Form I-485 or go through consular processing in your home country.
Step 4: Receive Your Green Card
Once your application is approved, you’ll receive your green card, granting you lawful permanent residency in the U.S.
Elements for a Successful Application
- Gather Strong Evidence: Whether you’re applying based on an advanced degree or exceptional ability, make sure to gather strong evidence to support your case. This could include academic records, employment letters, or awards.
- Consult an Immigration Attorney: The EB-2 application process involves multiple steps and stringent requirements. An experienced immigration attorney can guide you through the process and help you avoid common pitfalls.
- Consider the NIW: If you believe your work is in the national interest, consult an immigration attorney to see if you qualify for a National Interest Waiver. This could expedite your application and offer more flexibility in your employment.
Contact BBA Immigration
The EB-2 visa offers a valuable opportunity for individuals with advanced degrees or exceptional abilities to become permanent residents of the United States. However, the application process is complex and requires careful planning and execution.
If you’re considering applying for an EB-2 visa, don’t navigate these complexities alone. Contact BBA Houston Immigration Lawyers for a comprehensive consultation. We are well-versed in the intricacies of the EB-2 visa process and can help you file a successful application.