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The EB-2 or Employment-Based, Second Preference Visa

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The EB-2 visa is an employment-based, second preference visa issued to professionals holding an advanced degree or aliens of exceptional ability. There are three categories under the EB-2 visa; these categories and the criteria for eligibility set by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for each are as follows:

1. EB-2(A) for foreign nationals with an advanced degree, such as a master’s degree. Criteria for eligibility includes:

  • A job offer from a potential US employer and the Labor Certification process which is to be complete by the same potential employer
  • An advanced degree or a baccalaureate degree followed by no less than 5 years progressive work experience in the specialty (the USCIS considers a baccalaureate degree plus at least 5 years progressive work experience another way of defining “advanced degree”)
  • Document, such an official academic record for a US advanced degree or a foreign equivalent degree, or an official academic record for a US baccalaureate degree or a foreign equivalent degree
  • Form ETA-750 and labor certification approved by the Department of Labor
  • Certification from current or previous employers showing that the foreign national has, at least, five years progressive post-baccalaureate work experience in his/her chosen field

2. EB-2(B) for foreign nationals with exceptional ability in the field of science, arts, or business. Criteria for eligibility includes:

  • A job offer from a potential US employer and the Labor Certification process which is to be complete by the same potential employer
  • The foreign national must be able to show his/her exceptional ability in science, arts, or business (exceptional ability refers to a level of expertise that is above what is ordinarily encountered in the specified fields)
  • Form ETA-750 and labor certification approved by the Department of Labor
  • Proof of satisfaction of at least three of the following criteria:
    • official academic record , such as a diploma, a certificate, or any other similar award (in recognition of the exceptional ability) from a university, a college or other type of learning
      institution
    • Letters that will verify no less than 10 years of full-time experience of work
    • A license or certification showing permit to practice profession or occupation
    • Receipts proving remuneration for practice of exceptional ability
    • Membership in professional associations
    • Recognition from professional or business organizations, government entities, or peers, of
      achievements and significant contributions to chosen field
    • Any other comparable types of evidence of eligibility

3. The National Interest Waiver. This EB-2(C) visa is granted to foreign nationals who have either an exceptional ability or an advanced degree and who are requesting that labor certification be waived since their rendering of service in the US will substantially benefit the US’ national interest. Those applying for the National Interest Waiver (NIW) do not need a sponsoring employer or a job order. Thus, they may self-petition with the USCIS directly using Form I-140, or Petition for Alien Worker.

Besides the need to prove that working permanently in the US will benefit the nation, they will also need to satisfy at least three of the criteria mentioned above (under 2.c).

Having acquired an advanced degree or its equivalent may be quite easy to prove; however, immigration lawyers agree that having an exceptional ability or an advanced degree and proving that being equipped with any of these would be beneficial to the US entails greater challenge. The website of the AmLaw Group says that the EB-2 visa can be a perfect opportunity for highly skilled aliens and aliens with an advanced degree to have permanent residency in the US; but still better than this is the opportunity for these second preference visa applicants’ wives and children (who are unmarried and below 21 years old) to apply for a green card as well. Recent events in Puerto Rico investments may require you to hire a Puerto Rico bond fraud lawyer.

The benefits of an EB-2 visa are just too good to allow these to slip through one’s fingers, if only due to mistakes, lack of the proper documents to be presented or wrong type of visa to apply for. Sure, one can make an appeal if ever his/her application were denied, but wouldn’t a denial and its consequences, which include longer additional waiting time and another set of fees to be paid, have been avoided had a highly-qualified immigration lawyer been consulted at the very start of the application process?

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