What is an EB-2 Visa?
A series of EB visas, referred to as employment-based visas, allow you to enter the US to live and work. The EB-2 visa is the second preference (second to the EB-1, which involves extraordinary characteristics in order to obtain) an employment visa or green card. It is designed for those who have graduated with an advanced degree in certain areas or a foreign national with exceptional abilities in their area of expertise.
Obtaining a visa can be a challenging task. A specific set of guidelines must be followed throughout the lengthy process of finalizing your visa. I have worked with several clients over the years to ensure their application process is effective and streamlined, helping them through the process with the least amount of stress and mistakes. Contact my office today at 407-499-5680 to learn how I can help you.
What are the “Advanced Degree” Requirements?
If the applicant is applying for a position requiring an advanced degree and can provide proof of their advanced degree, they can be eligible to apply. The applicant can prove that they have an advanced US degree, baccalaureate degree, or foreign equivalent that will suffice the requirements for the position they are applying for. Documentation of this degree/equivalent must be provided to satisfy the requirement.
Suppose your accreditations are of a baccalaureate degree or foreign equivalent. In that case, they must be accompanied by letters from current or previous employers proving that you have had extensive work experience (at least five years) post-degree in your specialized field. If a doctoral degree is required, you must prove you hold a US doctorate or a foreign equivalent degree.
What are the “Exceptional Ability” Requirements?
Another common way of obtaining an EB-2 is through exceptional abilities. Exceptional ability is defined as “a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business.” you must meet any requirements specified on the labor certification and be able to exhibit proof of at least three of the below characteristics to be eligible.
- Letters from current or previous employers reflecting at least ten years of full-time experience in your occupation
- An official certified record of your degree, diploma, or certificate, from a college, university, school, or other learning institution
- Evidence that you have commanded a salary or other bonuses for your proven exceptional abilities in your field
- Membership in professional associations that require exceptional abilities to be a part of
- A license to practice or certification for your profession or occupation
- Recognition of your achievements (awards/letters of recognition) or significant contributions to your industry from peers, professional or business organizations, and government entities
Suppose you can sufficiently prove that you have evidence of three of the items listed above and can meet the labor certification requirements. In that case, it commonly means you are eligible for an EB-2 visa.
What is a National Interest Waiver?
Suppose you qualify for a National Interest Waiver (NIW). In that case, it can mean that you can avoid the PERM or Labor Certification Process, which can be pretty lengthy and can slow the process tremendously. This also allows the applicant to obtain an EB-2 green card without an employer or position.
There are three elements that you must suffice to pass the NIW test. The first is that your proposed work has both national importance and substantial merit. Second, you are well-positioned (imperative) to advance your proposed career. Finally, it needs to be evident that it would be in the national interest of the US to grant you a waiver of the typical labor and job requirements.
A few reasons to apply for an NIW green card appeal to applicants. The first is the ability to fast-track their application, as stated above. Also noted above is the applicant’s ability to act as their own sponsor, or “self-petition,” rather than relying on an employer for their application process. Comparatively speaking, the requirements that need to be met for the NIW applicant vs. that of the EB-1 categories (the applicant must demonstrate multiple aspects of extraordinary ability) are a little less strict and, therefore, easier to prove.
The one unappealing factor of the NIW is that there is no option for premium processing. Sometimes you can speed up the application process by paying a premium, which is not currently an option with the NIW process.
What About my Family?
A legal spouse of an EB-2 visa holder can also apply to join their spouse by using an E-21 application. The spouse can also apply for an Employment Authorization Document, EAD, to obtain gainful employment in the US during their time here. Children that are under 21 and unmarried may also accompany their parents by applying for an E-22.
Why Do I Need an Attorney?
It can be appealing to applicants to know that they are in the hands of a professional and trusted attorney with years of experience dealing with visas. This allows me the unique perspective of seeing the specifics and complexities that the visa process can bring. I will work with you to ensure the EV-2 visa is your best option and create a plan to obtain it. You can gather several items, do some due diligence, and take other steps to make the process less time-consuming for you. I can walk you through that process and give you an idea of the following steps so we can work together to help you achieve your dreams. I understand the sense of urgency behind wanting your EB-2 visa. Let me help you to avoid costly mistakes along the way.
I have worked with several clients from all over the world for multiple years. I am confident that I can help you too. Contact my office at 407-499-5680 to get your specific questions answered and create a plan for your future.