About our services: EB-2 Visas
For Individuals of Exceptional Ability or with Advanced DegreesEach year, about 40,000 visas are available to individuals of exceptional ability in the arts, sciences and business, along with those who possess advanced degrees in professional fields. The visas cover everyone from athletes to professionals. Is securing one of these visas, known as the EB-2, a simple matter? As with much involving immigration to the US, it is not.
The EB-2 visa belongs to a broader category of employment-based immigrant visas, all carrying the EB moniker. Each year, 140,000 EB visas are granted. Visas in this category include the EB-4 for special immigrants, such as religious workers, and the EB-1 for outstanding professors and researchers and people of extraordinary, as opposed to exceptional, ability. The EB-2 visa, like several of the other EB visas, requires that an individual be offered a full-time, permanent position in the US, with some exceptions.
In allocating the 40,000 visas, no distinction is made between the two subcategories: those with exceptional abilities and those with advanced degrees. As a general rule, the visa requires a labor certification, indicating that there are no US workers available for the job. Generally, the 40,000 visas allotted for this category is sufficient. Even so, backlogs do exist in the category for Indians and Chinese nationals.
Aliens of Exceptional AbilityDo you qualify as someone of exceptional ability? Be forewarned: This applies only to aliens in the fields of arts, science and business. For the purposes of this category, athletics are considered an art -- that will be of no surprise to diehard sports fans, but others may wonder.
The key to demonstrating exceptional ability is to show that the applicant possesses a level of expertise above what would normally be encountered in the field. How do you do this? The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) requires at least three of the following six types of evidence for the EB-2 visa:
- Official record of a degree from a college, university or other learning institution related to the field in which the alien claims exceptional ability
- Evidence of 10 years of full-time experience in the field in which employment is sought (typically in the form of letters from past employers)
- A license to practice or certification
- Evidence of a high salary or other form of payment that indicates exceptional ability
- Evidence of membership in professional associations
- Evidence of recognition by peers or professional associations for achievements and contributions to the field Other comparable evidence may be submitted, too.
Advanced Degree ProfessionalsProfessionals with advanced degrees are also covered by the EB-2 visa. A profession, as the INS defines it, is an occupation in which a bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement for entry work. An advanced degree is any academic or professional degree above the level of a bachelor's degree. The Immigration and Nationality Act allows for five years of progressive experience in the field to substitute for the advanced degree. This rule has recently been the subject of some litigation, and the INS has tried to respond by following the law more closely as it is written.
Other DetailsThe application requires proof that the US Department of Labor has certified that there are no available US workers for the position; this is the labor certification. Along with the labor certification, the application should include official proof of the alien's educational credentials. For workers of exceptional ability in the sciences, arts or business, the job-offer requirement may be waived if doing so would be in the national interest.
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