Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers | Employment-Based Visas – Part Two: EB-2 Visa

Employment-based visas provide many foreign nationals with a way to legally remain in the United States.  In this second of a four-part series, we highlight the requirements of the Second Preference EB-2.  Almost 30% of the employment-based visas fall within this category and there are almost 43,000 EB-2 visas issued each year.

To qualify for an EB-2 or “Second Preference” employment visa you must either: 1) be a member of a profession and hold an advanced degree (or the equivalent of an advanced degree); 2) be able to demonstrate an exceptional ability in your profession or 3) qualify for a “national interest” waiver.

  • Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees

In order to qualify for an EB-2 visa on this basis, you must be applying for a position which requires an advanced degree.  Professionals holding advanced degrees (or the equivalent such as a baccalaureate degree plus five years of progressive work experience in that field) must produce sufficient documentation including official academic records or letters from employers demonstrating the equivalent specialty work experience.

  • Individuals with Exceptional Ability

If you can demonstrate that you possess “a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business,” you may qualify for an EB-2 visa.  Some of the criteria that must be met to obtain this visa include: documentation of at least ten years full time experience in your specialty field; possession of an occupational license; membership in professional associations; recognition of your professional achievements or contributions in your chosen field and official academic records demonstrating your exceptional abilities.

  • National Interest Waiver

Some employment visas are issued to individuals who can demonstrate that it is in the “national interest” of the United States to allow them to work in this country. There are no statutorily defined jobs that automatically qualify for this category.  If an individual’s employment would greatly benefit the United States, they can apply for a national interest waiver to bypass the need for a Labor Certification.  Under this category of EB-2 visas, the individual does not need an employer to sponsor them in order to obtain the visa.

Families of individuals who qualify for EB-2 visas may be admitted to the United States with E-21 and E-22 immigrant status.  Spouses of individuals holding EB-2 visas who are applying for permanent resident status are also eligible to file for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) which allows them to work legally in the United States.

The Philadelphia Immigration Law Attorneys Surin & Griffin, P.C. Assist Individuals with Applying for Employment-Based Visas

Determining whether you qualify for an employment based visa is an important step in the immigration process.  The experienced Pennsylvania immigration lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. work with individuals seeking to remain legally in the United States in all types of situations.  Contact our Philadelphia immigration law firm today at (215) 925-4435 or fill out an online contact form to schedule a confidential consultation.