The United States grants 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas per year according to a permanent employment-based preference system, favoring those with more sophisticated training, expertise, and skills. The EB-2 visa is the second employment-based preference category and is generally available to members of the professions holding advanced degrees, or persons of exceptional abilities in the arts, science, or business. The United States grants 40,040 EB-2 visas each year plus any unused visas from the first preference, EB-1, for the main applicants and their spouses and minor children.
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The EB-2 Second Preference is an immigrant visa that allows a citizen of a foreign country to come to live and work permanently in the United States. The EB-2 commonly known as EB-2 Green Card or EM-2 Employment Based Immigrant Visa is available to foreign nationals who possess an advanced degree or its equivalent (a baccalaureate plus 5 years work experience in the field) and the sponsored job requires such advanced degree or equivalent, or to foreign nationals who can show exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business. The latter category refers to a level of expertise that is significantly above that usually encountered in the sciences, arts, or business and the foreign applicant must meet certain criteria to qualify for the EB-2. In other words, the EB-2 visa allows foreign citizens working in certain specialized professions such as doctors, business managers, and educators who have a master’s degree or higher or those who excel in the sciences, arts or business to gain lawful permanent residence in the United States.
In general, in order to be eligible for the EB-2 visa under the two categories above, the foreign national must have a confirmed US job offer from a sponsoring employer and must first obtain an individual labor certification from the United States Department of Labor (DOL). As explained, generally, a foreign national may not petition for an EB-2 visa on their own. Instead, the sponsoring employer must first test the United States labor market under terms and conditions established by the DOL, and the Secretary of Labor must certify that the applicant’s labor certification application met certain requirements before the sponsoring employer can file a petition with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
However, foreign nationals can seek a National Interest Waiver under the EB-2 Visa and request that the Labor Certification application be waived because it is in the interest of the United States. The jobs that qualify for a national interest waiver are not defined by statute, but national interest waivers are usually granted to those who have exceptional ability and whose employment in the United States would greatly benefit the nation. Those seeking a national interest waiver may self-petition and do not need a U.S. employer to sponsor them. The National Interest Waiver is a good option for those foreign nationals who do not wish to tie themselves to a specific sponsoring employer and wait for their labor certification to be approved by the DOL.
The EB-2 process is complex and requires substantial documentation. Contact us, your experienced business immigration lawyers in Miami, Florida, to schedule an appointment for your immigration case and find out more about the EB-2 visa program and other visa options available to you.
Malescu Law P.A. – Business & Corporate Lawyers
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