Houston EB-2 Visa Lawyer
A large portion of our immigration law practice at BBA Immigration involves helping individuals with exceptional ability or advanced degrees petition for an EB-2 visa without already having a job offer in hand from an employer who has gone through the labor certification process. This is done by obtaining a waiver from the government after proving that granting a waiver would be in the national interest. Proving that an endeavor has national interest however, involves a lot of research into an applicants area of expertise and how it can be tied to matters that have been deemed as “in the national interest” If you would like to explore whether this waiver might be available to you, we would be happy to visit with you. Contact our experienced Houston EB-2 Visa lawyers today.
EB-2: The Employment-Based, Second Preference Visa
Typically, getting an EB-2 visa requires having a job offer from an employer who has obtained labor certification, meaning they have tested the market and could not recruit enough qualified domestic workers willing and available to do the job. Employers must also prove a job is available and they have the ability to pay the offered wage.
The U.S. government awards about 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas each year to qualified applicants, allowing the visa holders to live and work long-term or permanently in the United States without fear of deportation based on their immigrant status. Visa holders can bring along their spouses and children as well, who may accompany them upon initial entry or follow along later.
These employment-based (EB) visas are broken out into five different preference categories. EB-2, the second preference, is for professionals who hold an advanced degree or who have exceptional ability. For those with an advanced degree, the work itself must require an advanced degree, and the individual must hold at least an advanced degree (masters or doctorate), or a bachelor’s degree or foreign equivalent plus five years of post-baccalaureate experience in the field, along with any other requirements specified in the applicable labor certification. For those applying based on exceptional ability, they must be able to show a significant degree of expertise in the sciences, arts, or business beyond that ordinarily encountered. This is demonstrated by showing that the individual meets at least three of the seven listed criteria.
Our area of expertise at BBA Immigration lies in knowing what information USCIS looks for in approving petitions and gathering the right kind of supporting documentation from the client for a strong application. If you are an employer looking to sponsor an employee under an EB-2 visa in Texas, give us a call.
EB-2 National Interest Waivers
However, if you can prove that allowing your entry into the U.S. would benefit the United States and serve the national interest, then you can apply for a waiver from the job offer and labor certification requirements. Since a job offer is not required, you do not have to be sponsored by an employer and can “self-petition” to apply for a National Interest Waiver (NIW).
In order to convince United States Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) to grant a waiver, you’ll need to demonstrate how the following three factors apply to your case:
- The proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance.
- You are well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor.
- On balance, it would be beneficial to the United States to waive the requirements of a job offer and thus the labor certification requirements.
USCIS has published an in-depth policy manual regarding the EB-2 visa for persons of exceptional ability or with an advanced degree, including an entire lengthy section devoted to the national interest waiver of a job offer and the three prongs the petitioner must demonstrate. Our EB-2 NIW attorneys at BBA Immigration have spent a great deal of time dealing with the intricacies of the NIW and have successfully helped many individuals with their EB-2 NIW petitions.
Contact BBA Immigration Today
Ultimately, USCIS has the discretion to determine whether it is in the national interest to waive the requirement of a job offer and labor certification. We can help you put your best foot forward and present a strong case that proves your eligibility for a waiver by a preponderance of the evidence. Let BBA Immigration advise you and assist you in your NIW petition. Call our experienced Houston EB-2 national interest waiver lawyers today.