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The EB-2 Category

A foreign national may be eligible for the EB-2 immigrant visa preference category as a member of the professions holding an advanced degree or its equivalent, or as an individual with exceptional ability.

For applicants with an advanced degree or its equivalent, the job to be occupied by the foreign national must require a master's degree or a Ph.D. and the applicant must possess the required degree. In some cases, a bachelor's degree plus five years of progressive work experience in the field may substitute for an advanced degree.

Those with exceptional ability must demonstrate a level of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts or business by documenting three of the following criteria:

  • Official academic record showing that you have a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution of learning relating to your area of exceptional ability
  • Letters documenting at least 10 years of full-time experience in your occupation
  • A license to practice your profession or certification for your profession or occupation
  • Evidence that you have commanded a salary or other remuneration for services that demonstrates your exceptional ability
  • Membership in a professional association(s)
  • Recognition for your achievements and significant contributions to your industry or field by your peers, government entities, professional or business organizations

In general, those seeking permanent residence in this category must have a full-time, permanent job offer and a sponsoring employer. The position offered must be one for which qualified workers are not available in the United States. This is normally established via the PERM labor certification process.

However, individuals whose work is in the national interest may self-petition in this category, requesting that the Labor Certification be waived because it is in the interest of the United States. This program is referred to as the National Interest Waiver (NIW).