Official Website of the Department of Homeland Security

Below are some key requirements you must fulfill to apply for an EB-2 Exceptional Ability Visa. For each requirement, we have included forms of evidence that you may submit to meet the requirement and other tips to help you prepare your petition. Providing the required initial evidence does not, in itself, establish that you are an individual of exceptional ability. USCIS will evaluate the evidence you submit in its entirety to make a final merits determination regarding the required high level of expertise for this visa category.

 

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Requirement 1 - You must show that you have exceptional ability in the sciences arts, or business.


To qualify for the EB-2 exceptional ability classification, you must show that you have exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business. The initial evidence must include at least 3 of the 6 types of evidence listed below. If you meet the minimum threshold requirements, USCIS will then evaluate all the evidence you submitted in its totality to determine whether you have a degree of expertise significantly above that normally encountered in the sciences, arts, or business. You must answer yes and submit evidence for at least 3 of the 6 questions below:

  • Have you received a degree, diploma, certificate or similar award from a college, university, school or other institution, relating to the field of exceptional ability?
  • Do you have at least ten years of full-time experience in your field?
  • If required, do you have a license or certification to practice in your profession or occupation?
  • Have you or will you command a high salary or other remuneration for your services, which demonstrates your exceptional ability?
  • Are you a member of professional associations?
  • Have you been recognized for achievements and significant contributions to your industry or field?

 + 1) How do I show that I have a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, or other type of school, relating to the field of exceptional ability?

Some of the evidence you may submit to demonstrate that you have a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, or other type of school, relating to the field of exceptional ability includes:
  • Copies of official transcripts
  • Certified copies of the actual degree, diploma, certificate or similar award
  • Any other official documentation from the school’s Office of the Registrar
  • If you obtained your degree outside the United States, an evaluation from an educational evaluation agency

Note: It is possible to qualify for EB-2 exceptional ability classification without a degree. The examples of acceptable documents listed above are for those who are seeking to qualify by showing they have a degree in their field, as one of the 3 of 6 requirements for showing exceptional ability.

+ 2) How do I show that I have at least 10 years of full-time experience in my field of exceptional ability?

Some of the evidence you may submit to demonstrate that you have at least 10 years of full-time experience in your field of exceptional ability includes:

  •  Letters from current and former employers
    • Such letters should be on letterhead and should be signed by someone who has the authority to confirm your employment
  • If applicable, copies of contracts between you and current or former employers describing the job and the work performed

+ 3) How do I show that the profession or occupation requires a license or certification and that I have the required licensure or certification?

Some of the evidence you may submit to demonstrate that your profession or occupation requires a license or certification and that you have the required license or certification includes:
  • A job description, federal or state labor department(s) job description information, or other documents from professional associations showing that the job requires a license or certification
  • A copy of your current license or certification
    • Note that licensure should generally be unrestricted

+ 4) How do I show that my salary and/or other remuneration are high in comparison to others in my field?


Some of the evidence you may submit to demonstrate that your salary and/or other remuneration are high in comparison to others in your field includes:

  • Contracts between you and companies or individuals using your products or services
  • Copies of employment contracts detailing the salary you were paid or will be paid
  • Copies of payroll documents or tax returns detailing the wage you were paid as compared to others in your field
  • Evidence establishing that you have received other significant forms of compensation for your services, which may include, but is not limited to, equity in-lieu of cash remuneration, deferred compensation, profits from the sale of a business you started, or other forms of remuneration in addition to salary, as compared to others in your field
  • If you have established and sold a series of companies, documents relating to the sale of those companies and any other remuneration you may have received as part of the sale, as compared to others in your field
  • A statistical comparison of the salaries in the field in which you are starting your business from a government or private institution, or similar organization, that shows the salary or other remuneration you commanded, or will command, is significantly higher than that commanded by others in the field 

+ 5) How do I show membership in professional associations?

Some of the evidence you may submit to demonstrate membership in professional associations includes:

 

  • Documents describing the association’s goals, mission, size, and target membership
  • Copies of membership cards or certificates
  • Official statements from the professional associations confirming your membership
  • Documents showing the minimum requirements and criteria used for membership in the professional association
  • Other relevant requirements for membership

+ 6) How do I show that I have received recognition for achievements and significant contributions to the industry or field by peers, governmental entities or professional or business organizations?

Some of the evidence you may submit to demonstrate that you have received recognition for achievements and significant contributions to the industry or field by peers, governmental entities or professional or business organizations includes:
  • Documents showing that your achievements and contributions are significant and that they have provoked widespread public commentary in the field
    • This may be shown by submitting copies of articles, media reports, blog posts, etc.
  • Testimony or support letters from experts discussing your achievements and significant contributions to your field
    • Expert testimony should generally be accompanied by documentation showing the expert’s own credentials, for example, his/her C.V.
  • Documents showing how your work is being implemented by others, for example:
    • Contracts with companies using your services or products
    • Copies of documents showing licensed technology that you invented and how that licensed technology is being used by others
    • Copies of patents awarded to you with documents showing how they are being used and why they are significant to your field

Notes:

1) If you are able to show that you meet at least 3 of the above regulatory criteria, USCIS will then review all of the evidence in the record in its totality to determine if it is more likely than not that you are an individual of exceptional ability as demonstrated by your degree of expertise significantly above that normally encountered in the sciences, arts, or business.

2) Certain qualitative factors have been included in the examples above because they are relevant to the final merits determination. The stronger the evidence is in terms of your achievements in the field compared to others, the more efficiently and accurately USCIS can process your petition.


Requirement 2 - You must show that you will substantially benefit prospectively the U.S. economy, U.S. cultural interests, U.S. educational interests, or U.S. welfare.


 + How do I show this prospective benefit to the United States?

A prospective benefit is generally shown by documenting a past record of achievements and explaining how that indicates your future success.

Some of the evidence you may submit to demonstrate how you will substantially benefit the United States prospectively includes:

  • Documents showing how your past accomplishments benefit the United States as a whole and specifying which element(s) (national economy, cultural or educational interest, or welfare of the United States) your entrepreneurial enterprise will benefit
  • Copies of awards or any special recognition you may have received, with details about the criteria used to grant the award or recognition
  • Published reports about your successes
  • Letters from current or former employers documenting your prior work experience, to include information about your accomplishments and their significance, and how these accomplishments benefit the United States
  • Letters from experts in your field regarding your accomplishments and their significance, including how your work will prospectively benefit the United States
    • Testimonial letters should also include information about the expert’s own credentials, such as a C.V.
  • Evidence of past achievements should be accompanied with documentation or explanations of how these accomplishments indicate future or continued success

 


Click Next to learn more about the National Interest Waiver and tips to keep in mind when submitting your evidence.  




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