EB2 green cards are reserved for qualified immigrants who are (1) members of the professions holding advanced degrees or their equivalent, (2) those who are of exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business and (3) those who qualify for national interest waivers. It is required that such immigrants will substantially benefit prospectively the national economy, cultural or educational interests of the U.S. and that their services are sought by an employer in the US.
Unlike an EB1 priority worker, a person may immigrate to the US under the EB2 category only after his employer has obtained a PERM labor certification for his job. The employer must demonstrate that the minimum educational requirement for the job is an advanced degree. A person holding a bachelor’s degree and five years of professional experience may be considered to possess the equivalent of an advanced degree.
In determining whether a person is of exceptional ability under the EB2 category, the possession of a degree or license does not, by itself, constitute sufficient evidence of such ability. The person must satisfy 3 of 6 criteria listed in the regulations.
If these criteria do not readily apply to the person’s occupation, their employer may submit comparable evidence to establish that they are a person of exceptional ability.
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Where it is deemed to be in the national interest, the USCIS may waive the requirements of a job offer and a PERM labor certification. USCIS may grant a national interest waiver if the petitioner demonstrates: (1) that the foreign national’s proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance; (2) that he or she is well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor; and (3) that, on balance, it would be beneficial to the United States to waive the job offer and labor certification requirements.
A person who qualifies for a EB2 national interest waiver may either be sponsored by an employer or may self-petition.
What is Your EB2 Priority Date?
Your priority date is your place in line to get a green card.
If your employer sponsored you for a green card using the PERM process, your priority date is the day that the U.S. Department of Labor received the PERM application. If no PERM application was filed on your behalf because it was not required, your priority date is the day that the USCIS received the I-140 visa petition filed by your employer.
Once you know what your EB-2 priority date is, you can see whether it is “current” by checking the State Department’s monthly Visa Bulletin.
28.6% of the 140,000 employment-based green cards, or approximately 40,000 visas PLUS unused special immigrant and investor visas, if any, are reserved for persons in the EB2 category each year.
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Carl Shusterman served as an INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) before opening a firm specializing exclusively in US immigration law. He is a Certified Specialist in Immigration Law who has testified as an expert witness before the US Senate Immigration Subcommittee. Carl was featured in the February 2018 edition of SuperLawyers Magazine.
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