How Do You Get an EB-2 Visa to Work in The United States?

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How Do You Get an EB-2 Visa to Work in The United States?

Everything you need to know about coming to the US to work fulltime

If you work in a specialized field as a doctor, business manager or educator, with at least a master’s degree, you have the right to apply for a special type of visa called EB-2.

An EB-2 visa is quite popular because it allows you to live in the United States permanently.  There are three groups of people who qualify.  

  • EB-2 Advanced Degree: This is for someone who is a professional with an advanced degree and also has a job offer from a US company. 
  • EB-2 Exceptional Ability: This is for someone with exceptional ability in the sciences, business or arts and also has a job offer from a US company.  
  • EB-2 National Interest Waiver: This is for someone with exceptional ability, or an advanced degree, who can prove that their work will benefit the US. 

How Do I Qualify For an EB-2 Visa with an Advanced Degree?

Applicants in this category must have an advanced degree.  That means at least a master’s degree or you must have equivalent qualifications.  Equivalent qualifications could mean less college but a lot of experience in your field of work.  Usually a minimum of five years’ is required and you will need a confirmed US job offer.  Documents you will need include.

  • Proof of an advanced degree, such as a master’s or PhD. 
  • Proof of a bachelor’s degree and proof that you have worked in your field for at least five years.
  • Proof of a US job offer.  The job offer must require an advanced degree or equivalent. 

How Do I Qualify For an EB-2 Visa with Exceptional Ability?

Applicants in this category must prove exceptional ability.  That means you are better than most people in the field of sciences, arts or business.  You must also have at least 10 years’ experience working in your field and a confirmed US job offer.  You will need to meet at least three of the following requirements.

  • Proof of an academic qualification in your field. 
  • Proof that you have worked at least 10 years in your field.
  • A professional license (if needed for your line of work.)
  • Proof that you earn a salary in line with your level of expertise. 
  • Membership to professional groups in your field. 
  • Proof of prizes and awards.  Proving that your contributions have been recognized by peers in the same line of work.  

How Do I Qualify For an EB-2 Visa with a National Interest Waiver?

Applicants in this category must show that it is in the best interest of the US for them to gain legal, permanent residence.  This means, demonstrating that your talents and exceptional ability in your profession will benefit the US. You will need to meet at least of the following requirements. 

  • Proof of an academic qualification in your field of exceptional ability.
  • Proof that you have been working in your field for at least 10 years. 
  • A professional license (if needed for your line of work.)
  • Proof that you earn a salary in line with your level of expertise. 
  • Membership to professional groups in your field.
  • Proof of prizes and awards.  Proving that your contributions have been recognized by peers in the same line of work.  

What are the Three Steps to Getting an EB-2 Visa?

Now that you know what category you fall into, there are three more steps to getting your EB-2 visa. 

  • PERM/Labor Certification. This stands for “Program for Electronic Review Management.” Your employer will need to show proof that you are not taking away a job from a US worker.  This can be accomplished by showing proof that the employer was unable to recruit someone local to fill the position (like a newspaper ad in the classified section.)
  • I-140 Immigration Petition. This is filed by the employer and proves they are able to pay your wage.  It also proves that you meet all the job requirements. 
  • I-485 Application to Adjust Status. After the previous two steps are complete, the last step is to apply to become a permanent resident of the US. You can do this by filling our Form I-485, which can be found here:  https://www.uscis.gov/i-485

On average, it takes six months to process Form I-140.  If the US government requires that you go through PERM Labor Certification, it can take longer.  In some cases, it can take up to two years.  The good news is, you can speed up the process with premium processing.  The fee is US$1,225 but instead of six months to process the I-140 it will take 15 days.  

It’s clear that this process can be very long.  A lot depends on your eligibility and the country you are applying from.

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