Are you a professional with an advanced degree or exceptional ability seeking to pursue opportunities in the United States (and Texas)? The EB-2 visa serves as a pathway for such individuals to work and live in the U.S. This overview will guide you through the EB-2 Visa process, from understanding the visa categories and eligibility criteria, to application procedures and tips for a successful application and help you work with the best Houston EB-2 visa lawyer with the Abbasi Immigration Law Firm.
EB-2 Visa applicants must meet specific conditions and provide necessary documentation to qualify.
The application process involves submitting Form I-140, along with supporting documents such as diplomas, transcripts and credential evaluations.
Professional assistance from an experienced EB-2 visa attorney with the Abbasi Immigration Law Firm can help ensure a successful EB-2 (EB 2) visa application in Texas.
The EB-2 Visa is an employment-based visa for individuals with advanced degrees or exceptional abilities in their respective fields, managed by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It encompasses two categories: advanced degree professionals and exceptional ability professionals.
While both categories share some common requirements, they differ in terms of specific qualifications and evidence needed.
Advanced Degree Professionals
The Advanced Degree Professionals category requires:
A foreign equivalent of a U.S. advanced degree
A bachelor’s degree with five years of progressive experience demonstrated in the professional field, which is considered of national importance
A U.S. advanced degree surpassing a baccalaureate degree or its foreign equivalent, which is a baccalaureate degree plus five years of progressive work experience in the field of expertise
Certain conditions need to be fulfilled for a foreign medical degree to be considered the equivalent of a U.S. M.D. degree for the purpose of an EB-2 petition. A thorough understanding of these requirements and compilation of necessary documentation is key to proving eligibility under this category.
Exceptional Ability Professionals
The Exceptional Ability Professionals category requires evidence of exceptional ability that is notably above the ordinary in the sciences, arts, or business. To demonstrate exceptional ability, at least three of the following documents are necessary:
Exceptional ability membership in professional or business organizations
Participation as a judge of the work of others
Original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance
Authorship of scholarly articles
Employment in a critical or essential capacity for organizations with a distinguished reputation
High salary or other remuneration for services.
Individuals in this specific category are not allowed to enter the U.S. without getting a Department of Labor labor certification. Furthermore, they’ll need an employer sponsor as well. However, if the applicant can demonstrate that their work is in the national interest of the United States, they may qualify for the National Interest Waiver (NIW), which allows self-petition and waives the job offer and labor certification requirements.
If you have questions about your qualifications, call the experienced EB-2 visa lawyers at the Abbasi Immigration Law Firm to see if this visa is the best strategy for your immigration situation.
Labor Certification and National Interest Waiver
EB-2 visa applicants require either labor certification (PERM) or a National Interest Waiver (NIW) to circumvent the labor certification process. While labor certification ensures that there are no qualified American workers available for the job, obtaining a National Interest Waiver allows the applicant to demonstrate that their work is in the national interest of the United States, thus bypassing the need for labor certification.
The National Interest Waiver is a great option for those who can demonstrate that their work has substantial merit, is beneficial to government entities, and aligns with the national interest. Understanding the national interest waiver requirements is essential for a successful application.
PERM Labor Certification
The Permanent Labor Certification (PERM) process requires the employer to demonstrate the lack of qualified U.S. workers for the position. The process typically takes approximately one year to complete, with six months allotted for pre-filing steps and an estimated 158 days for processing. The permanent labor certification is issued by the Department of Labor and permits an employer to hire a foreign worker for a permanent position in the United States.
In order to successfully obtain labor certification, the employer must:
Provide a bona fide offer of full-time, permanent employment for the foreign worker
Pay at least 100% of the prevailing wage
Submit Form 9089 (Application for Permanent Employment Certification)
Additionally, the employer must demonstrate that there are not sufficient U.S. workers able, willing, qualified, and available to accept the job opportunity in the current or former employers’ industries.
National Interest Waiver (NIW)
The National Interest Waiver (NIW) is an exemption from the labor certification process for certain individuals who can demonstrate that their work is in the national interest of the United States. To be eligible for the National Interest Waiver, the applicant must demonstrate that their admission to permanent residence would be in the “national interest” of the United States.
In order to demonstrate compliance with the criteria for a National Interest Waiver, it is necessary to present a variety of evidence. This may include:
Documents, letters, and statistical data
Any other type of proofs that can bolster the applicant’s case
A comprehensive description of the proposed endeavor and why it is of considerable worth
Documentary evidence that corroborates the petitioner’s statements and establishes the endeavor’s worth
Recommendation letters, which are of paramount importance for a successful EB-2 NIW case.
Application Process for EB-2 Visa without a EB-2 Visa Attorney
The procedure for applying for an EB-2 Visa involves submitting Form I-140, followed by Form I-485 for adjustment of status or consular processing for applicants outside the U.S..
Form I-140 is a petition filed by either the employer or the applicant (in the case of NIW) to classify the foreign national as eligible for an EB-2 Visa. Once the I-140 is approved, the applicant can commence the green card application process by filing Form I-485 (Adjustment of Status) or undergoing consular processing if residing outside the U.S.
Form I-140 Petition
Form I-140 is filed by the employer or the applicant (in case of NIW) to classify the foreign national as eligible for an EB-2 Visa. The petitioning employer must collect the requisite documentary evidence to accompany the I-140. This evidence must demonstrate that the applicant fulfills the eligibility criteria stated above, such as possessing an advanced degree or exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business.
Inadequate or incomplete submission of Form I-140 is likely to lead to a denial. Hence, all sections of the form should be accurately and completely filled out, with all required supporting documents provided.
Form I-485 Adjustment of Status
Form I-485 is submitted by the applicant to adjust their status to a permanent resident once the I-140 is approved and a visa number is available. The applicant must meet the job requirements and provide evidence of their advanced degree or its foreign equivalent (a baccalaureate degree) to file the form.
There are additional requirements for filing Form I-485, such as attending a medical examination and, in some cases, an in-person interview. The applicant also needs to cover the cost for the medical examination, which may vary between $200 and $400.
The processing time for Form I-485 is estimated to be between 9 and 23 months.
Supporting Documents and Evidence
Thorough preparation of supporting documents and evidence is crucial for a successful EB-2 Visa application. This includes providing:
Proof of advanced degree or exceptional ability
Letters of recommendation
An accurate, complete, and well-organized documentation significantly improves the chances of a successful application.
Advanced Degree Evidence
To prove the applicant’s advanced degree, it is essential to provide diplomas, transcripts, and credential evaluations. Credential evaluations are particularly important as they assist in verifying the equivalence of an applicant’s foreign academic degree to a U.S. degree, helping immigration officers determine if the degree meets the requirements for the EB-2 Visa category.
For the EB-2 Visa advanced degree requirement, an official academic record demonstrating possession of a bachelor’s degree or foreign equivalent degree is necessary. Collecting these documents and verifying they contain all necessary information to prove the applicant’s advanced degree qualifications is essential. An experienced immigration attorney with the Abbasi Immigration Law Firm can help with collecting this evidence.
Exceptional Ability Evidence
Evidence of exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business can be demonstrated through an official academic record showing significant contributions, such as publications, awards, and letters of recommendation. Strong publications include newspaper or magazine articles, journal articles, books, textbooks, and scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications.
Awards related to the field of exceptional ability should indicate a degree of expertise significantly above the norm for the respective field or practice. Letters of recommendation should be authored by independent experts and attest to the qualifications of the individuals writing them, as well as provide statements that demonstrate the applicant’s exceptional ability.
Processing Times and Fees
Processing times and fees associated with EB-2 Visa applications vary, with Form I-140 typically taking 4-6 months and Form I-485 taking 9-23 months. Fees include filing fees for I-140 and I-485, in addition to costs for medical exams and biometrics.
The filing fee for Form I-140 is currently $700, and the fee for submitting an I-485 application for permanent residence varies depending on the age of the individual, ranging from $750 to $1,225.
When planning your EB-2 Visa application, these costs should be factored in and all fees should be paid promptly to avoid processing delays.
Note: Check with uscis.gov for the latest fee information.
Tips for a Successful EB-2 Visa Application
For a successful EB-2 visa application, thorough preparation of supporting documents that accurately reflect your qualifications and experience is key. Strong recommendation letters from independent experts who can attest to your exceptional ability will significantly improve your application.
Additionally, addressing all eligibility criteria and providing comprehensive documentation to support your application is crucial. Seeking professional assistance from an experienced EB-2 visa lawyer with the Abbasi Immigration Law Firm can further enhance your chances of success by helping you navigate the intricate application process and guaranteeing that all requirements are met.
Common Challenges and Mistakes
Common challenges and mistakes in EB-2 visa applications include insufficient evidence, weak recommendation letters, and not meeting the eligibility criteria. Avoiding these pitfalls necessitates the collection of strong supporting documents, like publications, awards, and letters of recommendation, which should accurately reflect your qualifications and exceptional ability.
Misinterpretations of eligibility criteria can also lead to unsuccessful applications. It is essential to understand that applicants from various fields can qualify for the National Interest Waiver (NIW) if they can demonstrate their exceptional ability or the national interest they serve. Meeting all eligibility criteria and ensuring your application is complete and accurate greatly enhances your success chances.
Contact the Abbasi Immigration Law Firm for your EB-2 Visa
Navigating the EB-2 visa application process can be challenging, but the Abbasi Immigration Law Firm is here to help. Our team of EB-2 visa attorneys have a wealth of experience in handling EB-2 visa applications and a high success rate, our legal team can provide the guidance and support you need to maximize your chances of success.
Contact us today to discuss your EB-2 visa application and let us help you achieve your goals of permanent residency in the United States.
In conclusion, the EB-2 visa offers a promising pathway for professionals with advanced degrees or exceptional abilities to pursue opportunities in the United States. By understanding the different categories, eligibility criteria, and application processes, you can effectively navigate the journey toward obtaining your green card. With thorough preparation, strong supporting documents, and the assistance of an experienced immigration attorney, your EB-2 visa application can be a successful endeavor, bringing you one step closer to achieving your American dream.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an EB-2 visa who qualifies for it?
The EB-2 Visa, or EB-2 Green Card, is an employment-based immigration visa that enables foreign nationals with advanced degrees or exceptional abilities to live and work permanently in the United States. It requires proof of “exceptional ability” which signifies a significant expertise in the individual’s respective field.
How hard is it to get an EB-2 visa?
Obtaining an EB-2 visa is not too difficult as long as you work with an experienced immigration attorney like those with the Abbasi Immigration Law Firm and comply with USCIS requirements. The I-140 can be processed in 15 days via premium processing and wait times will depend on the country of origin. Additionally, applicants must have either an advanced degree or exceptional ability to apply for this visa.
Is EB-2 a visa or Green Card?
The EB-2 Visa, also known as the EB-2 Green Card, is a second preference employment-based visa that allows for permanent resident status. It is available to those with an advanced degree or equivalent who demonstrate exceptional ability in their field.
Can EB-2 get Green Card?
The EB-2 Visa, or EB-2 Green Card, is available to qualified individuals with either exceptional ability or an advanced degree who wish to obtain permanent resident status. It requires a job offer and labor certification in most cases.
How much does the EB-2 visa cost?
The cost of the EB-2 visa will depend on your individual circumstances. Generally, you can expect to pay $700 for Form I-140 (if you are self-petitioning), $325 for Form DS-260 and possibly an additional $120 for an Affidavit of Support. Check with uscis.gov for the latest fee information.