The EB-2 Visa, also known as the Employment Based Extraordinary Ability Green Card (Second Preference) is available to those with an advanced degree in the employer’s profession, or a foreign national with exceptional ability. Labor Certification is required for the EB-2 Visa, but can be waived if the foreign applicant can obtain a national interest waiver.
Within the EB-2 category are 3 sub-groups:
- Advanced Degree: The foreign applicant must possess an advanced degree, or the foreign equivalent, generally a baccalaureate degree plus 5 years of progressive work experience in the field.
- Expert Ability: The foreign applicant must be able to demonstrate exceptional ability significantly further than that ordinarily found in the sciences, arts, or business.
- National Interest Waiver: The foreign applicant does not need an employer sponsorship, and petition that their employment in the United States would greatly benefit the nation. A labor certification is not required.
EB-2 Visa holders have legal permanent status, and are therefore able to apply to become United States citizens. The full EB-2 Visa requirements can be found here.
Foreign applicants applying for the EB-2 Green Card under the Exceptional Ability or National Interest Waiver sub-groups must meet a minimum of 3 of the following requirements.
- Official academic record of a degree, diploma, certificate or comparable award from an academic institution pertaining to the foreign applicant’s area of exceptional ability.
- Documentation indicating at least 10 years of full time experience in the foreign applicant’s occupation.
- A license or certificate to practice in the foreign applicant’s occupation.
- Evidence that the foreign applicant has received a salary commensurate with their level of exceptional ability.
- Membership in a professional association.
- Recognition of achievements in the foreign applicants industry by peers, government entities, professional or business organizations.
- Any other comparable evidence of eligibility.
EB-2 Visa Cost
The total for an EB-2 Visa costs vary and are determined by the USCIS and the U.S. Embassy in the country of origin.
Foreign applicants can expect to pay for the following:
- USCIS Form I-140 petition filing fee
- USCIS Form I-485 petition filing fee
- Form DS-260 processing fee
- Medical examination fee
- Fees to obtain supporting documents
- Biometrics Fee
- Attorney Fee
The process to obtaining an EB-2 Green Card is relatively simple compared to many other green card applications.
- The foreign applicant must obtain an employer to petition on their behalf if they are not applying for the National Interest Waiver.
- The petitioner files an I-140 form on behalf of the foreign applicant.
- Once the I-140 is approved, the foreign applicant must submit an I-485 application to register permanent residence.
- Once approved, the foreign applicant’s green card will be issued.