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 bachelors degree and at least five years of work experience in the sector you specialise in.
To prove that you have an advanced degree, you will have to submit documents such as:
- An official academic record confirming that you have an advanced university degree such as a master degree or a PhD
- An official academic record confirming that you have a bachelors university 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 professionals, business organisations, 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 labour 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 labour certification directly with USCIS along with their self-petitioned Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker.
How to apply for the EB2 Visa?
No matter if you are applying for EB-2A or EB-2B visa, the first step of the application is having your employer file Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker for you. Then you need to wait for a spot in the visa bulletin to open up. When that happens, your employer will have to attend an interview at a US Embassy or Consulate.
If you want to apply for the national waiver, you will need to self-petition Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker.
For the employer to be able to sponsor a foreign worker for the EB2 Visa, they have to file with the US Department of Labor for Permanent Labor Certification. To do so, they need to 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.
If an employer meets all the criteria, the Department of Labor will issue a PERM form, allowing them to sponsor a foreign citizen for the EB2 visa.
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.
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.
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.
Here at Total Law, our immigration lawyers specialise 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 will answer any questions you might have and will help you prepare for the visa interview.
Get in touch today on +1 844 290 6312 to find out more about how our lawyers can help with your visa application.
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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 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.