EB-2 Advanced Degree or Exceptional Ability

The United States offers a variety of ways for foreign nationals to become lawful permanent residents through employment. Employment-based (EB) immigration works on a preference system. Workers who have advanced degrees or exceptional abilities must seek EB-2 status.

The United States immigration process is hardly a simple procedure. Many people have to bend over and backwards to obtain the important documentation they need. Some have issues filling out the forms because of the complicated vernacular. If you wish to gain EB-2 status, you may want to hire an experienced immigration attorney.

Lawyer for EB-2 Status in The Woodlands, Texas

Do you wishing to immigrate to the U.S. for economic opportunity? Do you have an advanced degree or an exceptional ability in science, arts or business? If so, you may want to talk to a skilled immigration attorney. An attorney can assess your case and chart out a plan for your immigration. 

Luis F. Hess is a practiced attorney with a passion for immigration law. He’s from a family of immigrants and loves to help his clients achieve temporary or permanent residence in the U.S. Call today at (281) 205-8540 to schedule a free consultation. Luis F. Hess, PLLC practices law throughout The Woodlands and surrounding communities including Shenandoah, Oak Ridge North and Conroe. 

Overview of EB-2 Visas   


Qualifications for an EB-2 Visa in the U.S.

Every year, the U.S. allows 140,000 employment-based visas to be issued. These visas are divided into preference categories; EB-2 is the second preference category. The EB-2 classification is reserved for people with advanced degrees or exceptional abilities.

If you have an advanced degree, you must show:

  • The job you applied for requires an advanced degree which you have; OR
  • You have the equivalent of that degree.

You may not be required to have an advanced degree to gain EB-2 status. If you have the equivalent to that degree, you may be granted a visa. For example, if you have a baccalaureate degree with five years of experience in the field, then you may be considered for EB-2 status.

If you have an exceptional ability, your ability must be in the:

  • Arts;
  • Sciences; or
  • Business

People with exceptional abilities must provide documentation to prove their capability. You must show your ability has a degree of expertise significantly above others in the business.


How Do I Apply for an EB-2 Visa?

Employment-based visas cannot be filed without a labor certification approved by the U.S. Department of Labor. You must also have a valid job offer to file for an EB-2 visa. If you have both of these, then you can file for an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Form I-140.   

The I-140 form comes with detailed instructions to help you. It’s incredibly important you follow the form’s instructions, so you can obtain your visa. A mistake or error could force you to restart the whole application over again. 

If you don’t have a job offer and wish to work in the U.S., you may be able to apply for an exemption known as a National Interest Waiver. With the National Interest Waiver, you can waive the labor certification process and job offer. 

To obtain a National Interest Waiver you must prove that your skills or knowledge is valuable to the “national interest.” Once you have the labor certification process and job offer waived, you can file an I-140 on your own. 

The USCIS will then review your petition at the National Visa Center (NVC). You will be assigned a case number and be required to pay all associated fees. If the NVC determines the file is complete, they will schedule an interview. The interview will be scheduled for the closest U.S. embassy or consulate near you. You can find a list of U.S. embassies and consulates here. 

You must bring important documentation with you to your interview. A consular officer will question you on your credentials, occupation and other relevant information. If the interview is successful, you will be granted an EB-2 visa.


Required Documentation for Visa Interview 

The interview requires several important documents to prove you qualify for an EB-2 visa. You may be asked to bring additional documents to prove you have an advanced degree or exceptional ability. In general, the following documents are required in a visa interview:

  • Passport;
  • Two 2x2 photographs;
  • Civil documents such as birth and marriage certificates;
  • Proof that you are financially stable and won’t become dependent on the United States government; and
  • Completed medical forms.

Required Documentation for EB-2 Visa

The I-140 form also requires important documents. The documents you need to submit depend on if you have an advanced degree of exceptional ability. If you have an advanced degree, you must file your I-140 with: 

  • Documentation that you have an U.S. advanced degree; OR
  • Documentation of a baccalaureate degree or foreign equivalent. You can also have letters from former employers that show 5 years of progressive post-baccalaureate work in the specified field.

If you have an exceptional ability, you must have at least three of the following criteria:

  • Documentation that you have a degree, certificate or diploma from an educational institution related to your area of expertise;
  • Letters that showing at least 10 years of full-time experience in the field;
  • The license or certification to practice your profession;
  • Evidence that you were paid a salary or other remuneration for your exceptional ability in the occupation;
  • Proof that you are a member of a professional association;
  • Recognition for your exceptional ability by your industry, peers, government entities, professional or business organizations; or
  • Other comparable evidence that showing you have exceptional abilities.

Additional Resources

I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers – Visit the official website for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to find more information about I-140 forms. Access the instructions, learn where to file, the filing fee and other special instructions.

Foreign Labor Certification – Visit the official website for the United States Department of Labor to find more information about foreign labor certifications. Access the site to learn more about permanent labor certification, H-1B specialty work certification, H-2A temporary work certification and others.


Lawyer for EB-2 Status in The Woodlands, Texas

If you or a loved one is wishing to get an EB-2 visa, it’s imperative that you contact an experienced attorney. Your attorney can evaluate your forms, look for any potential issues and assist you through your interview.

Call Luis F. Hess today for an experienced immigration attorney. He has years of knowledge with immigration law and will use his resources to help you live in the United States. Contact us now at (281) 205-8540 to schedule a free consultation. 

Luis F. Hess, PLLC accepts clients throughout The Woodlands and surrounding communities including Shenandoah, Magnolia, Houston and Conroe. 


This article was last updated on December 21, 2018.

 

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