EB-2: Employment-Based Immigration– Advanced Degree or Exceptional Ability
You may be eligible for an employment-based, second preference (EB-2) permanent worker visa if you are a member of a profession and you have an advanced degree or its equivalent, or if you have an exceptional ability.
You will need a labor certification and must meet basic criteria depending on your category.
You must have have an advanced degree or its equivalent, which is a bachelor’s degree plus five years of progressive work experience in the field.
Acceptable documentation includes:
- An official academic record showing you have a U.S. advanced degree (or a foreign equivalent degree); or
- An official academic record showing you have a U.S. bachelor’s degree (or a foreign equivalent degree) and letters from current or former employers showing you have at least five years of progressive work experience in your field after you earned your bachelor’s degree.
You must be able to show exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business, which will greatly benefit the U.S. economy, cultural or educational interests, or welfare in the future. Exceptional ability means, “a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business.”
We will review all the evidence you submit at one time, and will determine whether you qualify for this classification.
National Interest Waiver
If you are requesting that we waive the labor certification (also known as a job offer) because it is in the best interest of the United States, you are eligible to file a petition in your own behalf. You may do this whether you seek to classify yourself as a member of a profession who has an advanced degree or if you have an exceptional ability.
We will review all the evidence you submit to determine whether you have satisfied the three criteria and whether it is in the best interest of the United States to grant this discretionary waiver.
Please visit the Employment-Based Immigration: Second Preference EB-2 page for more information.
How to File
Your employer must:
- Review the instructions for Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers;
- Complete and sign Form I-140;
- Pay the filing fee, if applicable; and
- Provide all required evidence and supporting documentation.
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After You File
Once we receive your Form I-140, we will process your petition, and you will receive a:
- Receipt notice confirming we received your petition;
- Biometric services notice, if applicable;
- Notice to appear for an interview, if required; and
- Notice of our decision.
Adjustment of Status
After we approve your petition, you can apply to become a lawful permanent resident if there is a visa available according to the State Department Visa Bulletin. You can do this by either filing Form I-485 if you are in the United States, or by applying through the
U.S. Consulate if you are outside of United States (this method is called consular processing).