EB-2 Professionals with Advanced Degrees or Exceptional Ability
The EB-2 visa is an immigrant visa, which means the beneficiary worker obtains a green card and permanent residence upon approval. There are two subcategories for the EB-2 classification: workers who are members of professions holding advanced degrees or their equivalent, and workers, who because of their exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business, will substantially benefit prospectively the US economy, cultural or educational interests, or welfare of the United States. The EB-2 classification also includes athletics.
Regarding workers with advanced degrees, any US employer can file a petition if the job requires an advanced degree (degree beyond a baccalaureate) and the alien possesses the requisite degree. As an alternative to the advanced degree, a worker may qualify if s/he has a baccalaureate and five years of progressive experience in the field.
For workers with exceptional ability, the worker must show that s/he has a degree of expertise significantly above the ordinary. The worker must provide at least three of the following forms of evidence:
- An official academic record, showing a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution of learning relating to the area of exceptional ability;
- At least ten years of full time experience in the occupation with letters from current and past employers;
- A license to practice the profession or certification to practice;
- Evidence that the alien's salary or remuneration that evidences exceptional ability;
- Membership in professional associations;
- Recognition for achievements and significant contributions to the industry or field by peers, governmental entities, or professional organizations;
- Or other comparable evidence.
In general, EB-2 petitions require labor certification. However, there are two main exceptions to the labor certification requirement. If the alien will serve the national interest, labor certification may be waived. The petitioner must demonstrate that the national interest would be adversely affected if labor certification were required for the alien. The alien must present a national benefit so great as to outweigh the national interest inherent in the labor certification process. The second exception is for workers falling under the Department of Labor's Schedule A found at 20 CFR 656.5 and 656.15.
The EB-2 process begins with labor certification if required. Then, the petitioning employer files the I-140 form, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, with the Nebraska or Texas Service Center depending on the location of the worker's permanent employment. The I-140 should include the approved labor certification.
If you or your company is considering pursuing the EB-2 process, contact The Nuñez Firm today to discuss your case. Managing attorney Jay Nuñez will discuss your case with you and help you determine whether the EB-2 or another process is the right tool to achieve your goals.
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