“EB” refers to Employment-Based immigration. EB-2 is thus the “second preference” of the EB categories. The EB-2 category is reserved for those individuals who are members of certain professions and who hold advanced degrees or have exceptional ability. Currently the EB-2 category is 28.6% of the worldwide visas, plus any unused visas in the EB-1 category.
Am I eligible for EB-2?
As stated above, EB-2 is for members of professions holding advanced degrees or the equivalent, or who because of their exceptional ability in the sciences, arts or business will substantially benefit the United States economy, cultural or educational interests, or general welfare, and whose services are sought by a U.S. employer. Under the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (“CFR”), the term “exceptional ability” means “a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business.” In addition to excelling in one’s field, the successful applicant must have a job offer and a labor certification. If, however, USCIS determines that it is in the national interest, the labor certification requirement may be waived. Speak to one of our Seattle immigration attorneys to determine whether you may apply for a “National Interest Waiver” to waive the cumbersome labor certification requirement.
What is an “Advanced Degree”?
One way USCIS makes the determination of whether one’s degree qualifies as “advanced” by searching the Electronic Database for Global Education (“EDGE”) created by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (“AACRAO”). Another way to show that one’s degree is advanced is to include evidence of licensure requirements.
Can a Bachelor’s Degree count as “advanced”?
If one has only a Bachelor’s degree (or foreign equivalent), one must also be able to demonstrate at least five years of increasing post-degree experience in one’s field. This combination, according the CFR, is the equivalent of an “advanced degree.” Post-degree experience must demonstrate advancing levels of responsibility and knowledge in the specialty.
What is “Exceptional Ability”?
“Exceptional ability” is a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered. In order to demonstrate exceptional ability, one must show at least three of the following: (1) degree relating to area of exceptional ability; (2) letter from current or former employer showing at least ten years of experience; (3) license to practice in profession; (4) that the person has commanded a salary demonstrating exceptional ability; (5) membership in a professional association; or (6) recognition for achievements and significant contributions to the industry or field by peers, governmental entities, or professional or business organizations.
How can I learn more about the EB-2 category?
For more detailed information on the EB-2 category, please speak to one of our Seattle EB-2 attorneys.