The EB-2 green card allows either professionals with an advanced degree or individuals with exceptional ability to live and work in the United States.
An employer or prospective employer must apply for an EB-2 on behalf of the professional and go through the PERM labor certification process with the U.S. Department of Labor on ETA Form 9089. The PERM Labor Certification is a time-intensive process aimed at protecting opportunities, wages, and working conditions of U.S. workers. If PERM is approved, then an EB-2 green card application can be submitted to USCIS.
In some cases, the PERM process can be avoided if an individual qualifies for an EB-2 with a National Interest Waiver.
What are the requirements?
To qualify for the EB-2 for advance degree professionals, the candidate must have:
- A job offer requiring an advanced degree from a company that has operations or subsidiaries in the U.S.
- A U.S. master’s degree, doctorate or equivalent degree in a field that’s related to the job or a U.S. baccalaureate or equivalent degree and at least five years of work experience in the field.
To qualify as an EB-2 individuals with exceptional ability, the candidate must meet at least three of the following seven:
- Academic record showing that you have a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution relating to your area of exceptional ability
- Letters documenting at least 10 years of full-time experience in your field
- License to practice your profession or certification for your profession
- You have commanded a high salary or other compensation that demonstrates your exceptional ability
- Membership in a professional association(s) that require an invitation or special achievements
- Recognition for your achievements and significant contributions to your field by your peers, government entities, professional or business organizations
- Other comparable evidence
What is the process?
Once PERM is approved, and if the priority date for the EB-2 category and country of birth is current, Form I-140, the green card petition, and Form I-485, the adjustment of status, can be filed at the same time to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Otherwise, the I-140 must be filed first. As of the time of this writing, the I-140 for an EB-2 green card cannot be filed via premium processing. The processing time can vary. Check out the USCIS Case Processing Times page for the most current estimates. Once the I-140 is approved and if your priority date is current, you can file for adjustment of status. Family members can also file for adjustment of process as beneficiaries.
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