EB-2 | Advanced Degree | Exceptional Ability | National Interest Waiver | Alexandria Immigration Law Firm

Permanent Residency Through Employment

Our firm regularly prepares and submits applications for an EB-2 immigrant visa on behalf of our well-qualified clients.  The USCIS does not automatically grant these petitions so the proper preparation of all the relevant information is crucial. 

An EB-2 immigrant visa is an employment-based, second-preference petition. Generally, the petition is submitted with an approved Application for Permanent Employment Certification from the Department of Labor (Form 9089).

If you are applying through the National Interest Waiver, then you may request a waiver of this requirement.

Should I Pursue an EB-2 Visa?

An EB-2 immigrant visa entitles the holder to permanently work and reside in the United States. This is also known as an employment based immigrant visa.

The government refers to the EB-2 as one of the five employment-based immigrant visa preferences or categories.

There are three sub-categories for the EB-2 immigrant visa: 1) Advanced Degree; 2) Exceptional Ability; and 3) National Interest Waiver. If you meet the criteria for any one of these three subcategories, then you may qualify for the EB-2 immigrant visa.

The sponsoring employer must obtain a labor certification for those with advanced degrees or exceptional ability.  However, those seeking a national interest waiver do not have to submit a labor certification.

The government issues approximately 140,000 total immigrant visas each year.

Advanced Degree

This requires that the job for which you apply must be held by someone with an advanced degree. Thus, you must hold an advanced degree or its foreign equivalent. In addition, the petitioner must meet any other requirements specified on the labor certification.

Exceptional Ability

This requires the petitioner to demonstrate exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business. Exceptional ability is defined as “a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business.” In addition, the petitioner must meet any other requirements specified on the labor certification.

What do I need to prove that I have Exceptional Ability?

You have to meet 2 of the 6 listed requirements below:

  • Official academic record demonstrating an advanced degree
  • Letters which prove a minimum of 10 years full-time experience
  • License to practice your profession or certification for your profession
  • Proof of salary commensurate with exceptional ability
  • Professional association membership
  • Peer recognition of your achievements and significant contributions
  • Other comparable evidence of eligibility

National Interest Waiver

A petition for a national interest waiver of the Labor Certification must demonstrate that it is in the national interest of the United States to do so. 

These petitions are usually granted to those with exceptional ability. In addition, the employment must benefit the United States.

A petitioner does not need a sponsoring employer and thus may file on their own behalf.  They may also file the labor certification directly with USCIS.

What evidence do I need to qualify for a National Interest Waiver?

All three criteria must be met:

  • Substantial merit and national importance for the proposed work
  • The petitioner is well-qualified for the proposed work
  • The United States would benefit from waiving the requirements of a job offer and the labor certification.

Do I need an offer of employment for an EB-2 Visa?

It depends. In order to qualify for an EB-2 visa, your employer must file a Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker, unless you are filing for a National Interest Waiver, in which case the applicant files a Form I-140. As part of the application process, your employer must demonstrate a continuing ability to pay the offered wage as of the priority date.

Will my family also gain admission to the United States?

If you obtain an EB-2 immigrant visa, then your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may qualify for admission to the United States with E-21 and E-22 immigrant status.