Do You Qualify For Employment Based Immigration? Here is What You Need to Know

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Employment-Based Immigration

EB-2 – Green Card

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.

Advanced Degree

The job you apply for 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.

Exceptional Ability

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 below.

  • 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.

In either of the first two cases, the PERM process is required. This is a Labor Certification process where the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) requires a market test be performed in order to prove there exist no qualified legal U.S.-based workers for the position in question.

However, the following third option (National Interest Waiver) provides an exception to the PERM requirement.

National Interest Waiver ( Employment Not Necessary)

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.

  • 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.

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).

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