You may be eligible for an employment-based, second preference visa if you are a member of the professions holding an advanced degree or its equivalent, or a foreign national who has exceptional ability. Below are the occupational categories and requirements.
Eligibility Criteria for EB-2 Category:
The job must require an advanced degree and you must possess such a degree or its equivalent (a baccalaureate degree plus 5 years progressive work experience in the field).
Documentation, such as an official academic record showing that you have a U.S. advanced degree or a foreign equivalent degree, or an official academic record showing that you have a U.S. baccalaureate degree or a foreign equivalent degree and letters from current or former employers showing that you have at least 5 years of progressive post-baccalaureate work experience in the specialty.
You must be able to show exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business. “Exceptional ability” means a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business. You must meet at least three of the criteria listed below.
National Interest Waiver:
Aliens seeking a national interest waiver are requesting that the Labor Certification be waived because it is in the interest of the United States. Though the jobs that qualify for a national interest waiver are not defined by statute, national interest waivers are usually granted to those who have exceptional ability (see above) and whose employment in the United States would greatly benefit the nation. Those seeking a national interest waiver may self-petition (they do not need an employer to sponsor them) and may file their labor certification directly with USCIS along with their Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker. You must meet at least three of the criteria below and demonstrate that it is in the national interest that you work permanently in the United States.
Criteria for Exceptional Ability and National Interest Waiver:
- Official academic record showing that you have a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution of learning relating to your area of exceptional ability;
- Letters documenting at least 10 years of full-time experience in your occupation;
- A license to practice your profession or certification for your profession or occupation;
- Evidence that you have commanded a salary or other remuneration for services that demonstrates your exceptional ability;
- Membership in a professional association(s);
- Recognition for your achievements and significant contributions to your industry or field by your peers, government entities, professional or business organizations;
- Other comparable evidence of eligibility is also acceptable.
Employment-based, second-preference petitions must generally be accompanied by an approved individual labor certification from the Department of Labor. National Interest Waiver petitioners are exempt from this requirement and allow for self-petition.
To qualify for an EB-2 visa, your employer must also file a Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker.
Family of EB-2 Visa Holders
Your spouse and children under the age of 21 may be admitted to the United States in E-21 and E-22 immigrant status, respectively. During the process where you and your spouse are applying for permanent resident status (status as a green card holder), your spouse is eligible to file for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).