The EB-2 category offers a path to permament residency in the U.S. for foreign nationals who are members of the professions holding an advanced degree (or its equivalent) or a foreign national who has exceptional ability in the arts, business, or sciences. Importantly, individuals in this category can seek a waiver of the often time-consuming process of a PERM labor certification process by applying for and obtaining a national interest waiver from US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS).
Professionals with advanced degrees must hold an advanced degree or the equivalent in order to qualify under this category. An "advanced degree" is commonly known as the “bachelor’s and five” requirement, which means a bachelor's degree (B.A./B.S.) or foreign equivalent plus 5 years of progressive, post-degree experience in the specialty.
Unlike an H-1B temporary visa, the bachelor's degree for purposes of the EB-2 category cannot be demonstrated by a combination of experience and education.
An EB-2 applicant must have a job offer and aproved labor certification, unless USCIS has waived this requirement if it is in the national interest to do so (see below).
In addition, to an advanced degree, a foreign national can qualify under this category if he or she possesses exceptional ability in the arts, business, or sciences.
In order to show that the foreign national is has exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business, the petition must be accompanied by at least three of the following:
1) An official academic record showing the individual has a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, or school relating to area of exceptional ability;
2) Evidence in the form of letter(s) from current or former employer(s) showing the alien has at least ten years of full-time experience in the occupation for which he is sought;
3) A license to practice the profession or certification for a profession or occupation;
4) Evidence that the alien has commanded a salary or other remuneration which demonstrates exceptional ability;
5) Evidence of membership in professional associations; or
6) Evidence of recognition for achievements and significant contributions to the industry or field by peers, governmental entities, or professional or business organizations.
If the above standards do not readily apply to the foreign national's occupation, comparable evidence may be submitted to establish his or her eligibility.
Persons possessing exceptional abilities may pursue a National Interest Waiver (NIW) to request a waiver of the job offer and labor certification requirements. Please see our section on National Interest Waivers to learn more about this process and how Wilson Law Group can assess this option for you.