- What Is the EB2 Visa?
- What Are the Requirements for the EB-2A Visa?
- What Are the Requirements for the EB-2B Visa?
- What Are the Requirements for the EB-2C Visa?
- How to Apply for the EB2 Visa?
- What Are the Required Documents?
- How Much Does it Cost to Get the EB2 Visa?
- What is the Processing Time of the EB2 Visa?
- What If My Application Has Been Refused?
- How Can Total Law Help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is the EB2 Visa?
The EB2 Visa is the second preference employment-based green card that allows foreign nationals with advanced university degrees or exceptional abilities receive permanent residency in the US.
To be eligible for the EB2 Visa, one of the following statements has to apply to you:
- You hold an advanced university degree or its equivalent
- You have an exceptional ability in the field of science, arts, or business.
The exceptional ability means that you have expert knowledge and significant experience in your field.
If you meet the eligibility criteria for the EB2 Visa, you can apply for one of the following tiers:
- EB-2A Visa – Advanced Degree Professionals
- EB-2B Visa – Exceptional Ability
- EB-2C Visa – National Interest Waiver
Each year, 40,000 visas are granted in each of the subcategories of the EB2 Visa.
What Are the Requirements for the EB-2A Visa?
To be able to apply for the EB-2A Visa (Advanced Degree), you need to hold at least a masters degree in your field or its equivalent. Alternatively, you can apply for the EB-2A Visa if you have a bachelor’s degree and at least five years of work experience in the sector you specialize in.
To prove that you have an advanced degree, you will have to submit documents such as:
- An official academic record showing that you have an advanced university degree such as a master’s degree or a PhD
- An official academic record confirming that you have a bachelors or baccalaureate degree
- Letters from employers confirming that you have five or more years of relevant work experience
- Proof confirming that you received a job offer in the US
Not all advanced degrees make you eligible for the EB-2A Visa. That is why, before applying you should verify whether your qualifications meet USCIS regulations. If you hire one of our immigration lawyers, they will assess your eligibility for the EB-2A Visa.
What Are the Requirements for the EB-2B Visa?
If you want to apply for the EB-2B Visa, you will have to show that you have an exceptional ability in science, arts, or business. That means that the expertise you have in a certain field is unusual.
To prove your exceptional ability, you have to meet at least three of the following requirements:
- You have a degree, or an alternative award from an educational institution, in the area of your exceptional ability
- You have at least ten years of full-time working experience in your profession
- You have an official license or permit to work in your profession
- You receive a salary that is adequate to your exceptional ability
- You are a member of professional associations
- You have received awards or recognition for your exceptional ability from professional or business organizations, or the government.
If you do not meet these criteria but can provide alternative evidence of your exceptional ability, you might still be eligible for the EB-2B Visa. Before you apply, contact our immigration lawyers to find out whether you can use the alternative evidence you would like to submit.
What Are the Requirements for the EB-2C Visa?
If you believe that your employment in the US would bring benefits to the country, you can request a labor certification waiver. To apply for it, you need to be able to demonstrate that it is in the interest of the US that the job offer requirement is waived. You can do it by submitting evidence of having an advanced degree or an exceptional ability.
Applications for the waiver might be considered for:
- Physicians who want to undertake employment in areas where there is a shortage of healthcare professionals
- Entrepreneurs that can prove that their employment in the US would be of national importance.
Those who want to apply for the waiver have to file their labor certification directly with USCIS along with their self-petitioned Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker.
Obtaining a PERM
Before applying for an EB2 visa, your prospective US employer must first submit a permanent labor certification program (PERM) with the US Department of Labor, using Form 9089 (Application for Permanent Employment Certification). The PERM confirms that the job in question would not negatively impact any US citizens in regards to working conditions or wages.
To apply for a PERM, the employer must use the Program Electronic Management Review (PERM) System and meet the following requirements:
- Show that there is an opening in the professional field of an individual seeking the EB2 visa
- Show that the available position is also available to US workers but no qualified US citizens have applied for it
- Demonstrate that hiring a foreign worker for the job is essential
- Certify that the foreign individual will receive remuneration equal to a prevailing industry rate
Note that it may take around a year for an employer to secure a PERM. PERMs are also not necessary if you’re applying for a National Interest Waiver.
Filing Form I-140
After obtaining a PERM, the employer must then file Form I-140 (Petition for Alien Worker) with USCIS for you. This must be done within 180 days of receiving the PERM certification.
The employer must also provide a range of evidence with the form, which may include (but not be limited to) the following:
- Proof that the applicant is qualified for the job being applied for
- Proof that the employer has obtained a labor certification and will be able to pay the appropriate wage as advertised
- Proof that the applicant has entered the US lawfully, if they’ve already done so
- Proof of applicant’s exceptional ability or appropriate advanced degree and other suitability according to the EB2 visa eligibility requirements
- A USCIS account number
- A North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code
- A Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) System code
Once Form I-140 is completed and the necessary documents have been gathered, the employer must then post it to USCIS.
Application for Green Card
After Form I-140 has been submitted, you may be asked to attend an interview or an appointment to provide your biometrics with USCIS. After this occurs, you should then hear what the decision on your application is.
If your application is approved, you will then have to apply for a US Green Card. If you’re already in the US, you will need to fill in Form I-485 (Application for Adjustment of Status). Meanwhile, if you’re outside the US, you will need to fill in Form DS-260 (Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration), also known as consular processing.
Each form will require you to provide certain evidence with your application, such as proof of sufficient funds, police records, your birth certificate, and evidence of medical exams.
Applying for a US Green Card can be a daunting process, but the presence of a legal professional can help make the process easier. For help and assistance with your Green Card application today, reach out to one of our trusted attorneys on +1 844 290 6312 or contact us online.
What Are the Required Documents?
As part of the EB2 application process, you will have to provide a range of documents to prove that you meet the eligibility criteria. These may include (but not be limited to) the following:
- Evidence of your eligibility for your chosen EB2 visa type, such as any of the following:
- Proof of advanced university degree or other academic qualification, such as through an academic record
- Letters from current or former employers
- Details of your job or profession, such as length of time worked, salary, or associated licenses or permits
- Proof of receipt of awards or special recognition as a result of your work
- Any other supporting evidence of exceptional ability or relevant achievements or qualifications
- Valid passport with at least 6 months’ validity from your date of arrival to the US
- Valid passport-size photographs
- Confirmation pages for all forms, including a Form I-140 confirmation page if self-petitioning
- Proof of medical exam
- Labor certification (if applying for EB-2A or EB-2B)
- Marriage and birth certificates (if filled in Form DS-260 for family members)
How Much Does it Cost to Get the EB2 Visa?
The total cost of the EB2 Visa varies depending on the personal circumstances of each applicant. Nevertheless, if you are thinking of applying for the EB2 Visa, you have to be ready to pay the following fees:
- $700 for self-petitioning of Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker
- $325 for filing of Form DS-260, Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application
- $120 for Affidavit of Support
- $220 for paying USCIS immigrant fee
In addition to that, you might have to pay fees for medical examinations and vaccinations, or fees associated with the translation of required documents. If you are already in the US on a different visa, for example, but you wish to switch to the EB2 Visa, you will have to pay the fee for filing Form I-485, Adjustment of Status, which is $1140.
What is the Processing Time of the EB2 Visa?
The waiting time for the EB2 Visa varies depending on which country the foreign worker is applying from and the workload of USCIS. On average, the processing time of Form I-140 is between 6 – 9 months. If your EB2 Visa application is urgent, you can pay $2,500 for Premium Processing Service. Then, your application will be processed within just 15 days. However, it is worth noting that the Premium Processing Service is not available to individuals applying for a National Waiver.
In most cases, the processing of EB2 Visa applications takes around 18 months in total. Nevertheless, if you require a PERM Labor Certification, you can expect to wait longer, even up to 2 years.
Reasons for Refusal
There are many reasons as to why an EB2 visa might be refused, and there are several steps in the application process where refusal may halt any further progress.
Common reasons as to why an EB2 visa may be refused may include the following:
- Incorrectly filled in forms by the employer, or failure to provide certain information such as the applicant’s work experience or qualifications
- Insufficient communication from the employer, such as with the mandatory email questionnaire
- If the job is not eligible for the EB2 visa category itself
- If the applicant is not sufficiently qualified for the job posting, or cannot prove that they are qualified
- If applying for a National Interest Waiver, failure to provide suitable reference letters, or failure to prove that:
- The applicant possesses exceptional ability
- The applicant has the necessary qualifications needed
- The applicant’s work will have a significant positive impact on the US
Next Steps to Take After a Refusal
If your EB2 visa has been refused, there are a couple of options you may wish to pursue.
One of these is to file a motion requesting that USCIS take another look at your visa application. It’s important to consider that a motion to reconsider must only be made if you have significant new information in the form of documentary evidence to support your case. These will also only usually apply if the initial refusal was made in error or without considering the entire case presented.
Alternatively, you may wish to appeal the refusal if you believe that the decision was made in error. If the review is not upheld by the USCIS office that initially reviewed your application, it may be forwarded to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) for appellate review.
Motions to reconsider and appeals are made easier with the assistance of an immigration professional helping you through the process. For further advice and support with your visa refusal case, reach out to Total Law on +1 844 290 6312 or contact us online.
How Can Total Law Help?
If your application for the EB2 Visa is successful, you will be able to come to the US and stay there permanently. Each year there are many applicants for the EB2 Visa, but USCIS does not approve all of them. If you want to increase your chances of your application being accepted, seek expert assistance from our immigration lawyers and range of citizenship and immigration services.
Here at Total Law, our immigration lawyers specialize in helping people apply for a variety of US visas and Green Cards, including for the EB2 Visa. They can assess your eligibility for it and verify whether you meet the exceptional ability requirements. If they determine that you are the right candidate for the EB2 Visa, they will guide you through the application process.
Our lawyers can also answer any questions you might have and will help you prepare for the visa interview, as well as assisting you to file a motion or lodge an appeal if your EB2 visa has been refused.
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The EB3 visa allows foreign nationals with advanced degrees or exceptional abilities to get permanent resident status in the US. That means that an EB2 Visa is indeed a Green Card. If your application is successful, you will not have to worry about your visa expiring. You will be able to move to the US permanently to work in your field of expertise and after living in the US for five years you will be able to apply for US citizenship.
The goal of the interview is to verify whether the information you included in your visa application is true. Moreover, to determine if are a right fit for the visa, an immigration official will ask you questions about your background, your qualifications, your job offer and the US employer. If you do well during the interview, your EB2 Visa will be approved.
If your application for the EB2 Visa is successful, your immediate family might be able to come to the US with you. To do so, your spouse has to apply for the E-21 Visa and your unmarried children under the age of 21 have to apply for the E-22 Visa.
If your relatives would like to work after joining you in the US, they will have to apply for the Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
If you want to qualify for the EB-2B Visa, you will have to prove that you have abilities that are above the skills of most workers in the US. To prove that you have an exceptional ability in sciences, arts, or business, you will need to provide academic records, proof of national or international recognition in your field, evidence of receiving a high salary adequate to your extraordinary skills, a confirmation of your extensive experience in the field.