Cleveland Immigration Attorney
About the EB-2 Employment Immigration Visa
Of all the 140,000 employment-based immigration visas made available every year, 28.6% are allocated to individuals who qualify for the EB-2 visa. This type of visa is intended to make it possible for persons of exceptional ability and professionals who hold advanced degrees to live and work permanently in the United States. Individuals who can meet the eligibility requirements are in high demand in this country as their skills and expertise can be of considerable benefit to the economy. Under most circumstances, your prospective employer must file a Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker on your behalf, and this form must be approved before you can receive your visa.
Professionals with Advanced Degrees
In order to qualify for the EB-2 category, you must be applying for an employment position that requires you to hold an advanced degree and you must hold such a degree. Alternatively, you may be eligible if you hold a baccalaureate degree and have at least five years of progressive experience working in the field. Valid forms of evidence for this category include official academic records and letters from current or former employers who can affirm that you have the required professional experience.
Persons of Exceptional Ability
In addition to advanced degree holders, individuals who possess exceptional ability in the sciences, business, or arts are eligible to petition for the EB-2 visa. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) defines "exceptional ability" as being "a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered." It is necessary to demonstrate that you meet at least three of the following criteria to prove that you possess exceptional abilities:
- You have an academic record that includes a degree from a university or other educational ability, and the degree is related to your area of ability
- You can supply letters documenting that you have a minimum of ten years of experience performing full-time work in your occupation
- You have a license to practice in your profession
- You have received a salary or other type of pay that reflects your above-average abilities
- You are a member of a professional association
- Your peers, a government entity, or a professional or business organization has formally recognized you for your achievements or contributions to the field
If you have any other type of documentary evidence to support your claim of exceptional ability, this should be included with your petition to improve your chances of success.
Labor Certification for the EB-2 Visa
In many cases, the first step in obtaining an EB-2 visa is for the employer to secure labor certification from the Department of Labor. Labor certification requires the company to demonstrate that it has made a concerted effort to fill the employment position from the local labor pool so that U.S. workers are not deprived of a job. In some cases involving EB-2 visas, it is possible to avoid this requirement by requesting a national interest waiver. Such waivers are granted based on evidence that it would serve the interests of the United States to permit the alien worker to live and work permanently in this country and that it would be of great benefit for the individual to be granted a visa.
When this can be proven, the immigration authorities will often grant a waiver so that the worker can come to this country and contribute his or her skills and abilities to our economy. An Ohio immigration lawyer from Robert Brown LLC will review all your options and help you take the necessary actions to start on your case as soon as you are ready.