Schedule A Group II
Schedule A Group II is a lesser known and somewhat underutilized option for permanent residence based on employer sponsorship. For those who qualify, it offers a speedier path than the standard PERM process involving DOL labor certification. It may be a good option for scientists who satisfy the exceptional ability standards but are unable to qualify for an EB-1A or EB-1B visa or an EB-2 National Interest Waiver.
Schedule A Group II Standards
Employer sponsorship under Schedule A Group II requires documentary evidence demonstrating the widespread acclaim and international recognition accorded to the scientist by recognized experts in the field. In addition, the employer must provide documentation showing that the applicant's work in that field during the past year showed exceptional ability; and his or her future work will require exceptional ability.
The employer's petition on behalf of the foreign beneficiary must contain convincing documentation from at least two of the following seven groups of evidence to prove exceptional ability:
- Receipt of international recognized prizes or awards,
- Membership in international organizations that require outstanding achievement for membership,
- Published material about the applicant in professional publications,
- Participations as a judge of the work of others in the field,
- Original scientific or scholarly contributions of significance,
- Authorship of published scientific or scholarly articles in professional journals, and
- Display of work at exhibitions in two or more countries.
Schedule A Group II allows for quicker processing than a standard PERM labor certification, and it is open to those whose work cannot be construed as "in the national interest". Without the burden of a DOL labor certification, it may also be a less risky option for those who qualify. Schedule A Group II is available to those who qualify in the EB-2 category (those with advanced degrees or the equivalent) or in the EB-3 category (with varying levels of education and experience).
A permanent job offer from a sponsoring employer is required. Since this category is not frequently used, there is less information available on the adjudication process and outcomes may be more difficult to predict.
The EB option for aliens of "exceptional ability" in the arts, sciences, and performing arts provides a viable alternative for certain scientists based on USCIS's restrictive adjudication standards in EB-1A, EB-1B and EB-2 National Interest Waiver cases.