What is an EB-2 Visa?


By Imagility

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The EB-2 visa is the second preference employment-based immigrant visa. This visa category offers a pathway for foreign nationals to obtain permanent residency (green card) in the United States based on their qualification and professional achievements. Let’s understand who is eligible for an EB-2 visa and how to obtain one such visa.

Who is Eligible for an EB-2 Visa?

If you fall into one of the following two categories, then you are eligible for an EB-2 visa.

Advanced Degree Professionals

To be eligible for this immigrant visa, you must hold an advanced degree (master’s degree or higher) or a bachelor’s degree with a minimum of five years of progressive experience in the same or a related field.

Exceptional Ability Workers

Are you an individual with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business? If yes, you must demonstrate your exceptional skills through extensive documentation. This includes awards, recognition from experts, or critical contributions to your respective field.

How to Obtain an EB-2 Visa?

EB-2 visa requires employer sponsorship – the following are the typical steps involved in the EB-2 process.

  1. Check Eligibility: Individuals seeking the EB-2 visa must ensure they meet the criteria for either advanced degree or exceptional ability categories.
  2. Labor Certification: The sponsoring employee has to initiate and manage the labor certification process. They must obtain the labor certification from the Department of Labor to demonstrate they were unable to find qualified U.S. workers for the position.
  3. File Form I-140: This step involved both the employer and the beneficiary. The sponsoring employer will have to submit Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, to USCIS on behalf of the beneficiary. It is the beneficiary’s responsibility to provide supporting documents to establish their eligibility for the EB-2 category.
  4. Priority Date: This is established upon USCIS approval of Form I-140. It indicates the beneficiary’s place in line for visa processing.
  5. Visa Application: The beneficiary is primarily responsible for filing the visa application. They can file Form DS-260 if they are applying for an immigrant visa from outside the U.S. or file Form I-485 for adjustment of status to get a green card if they are already in the U.S. on a different visa category.
  6. Interview and Approval: This step involves both the beneficiary and the employer. The beneficiary must attend an interview at a U.S. consulate or embassy (if applying for an immigrant visa) or undergo an adjustment of status interview (if applying within the U.S.). The employer may be required to provide supporting documents if requested. If approved, the beneficiary will receive the EB-2 visa or permanent residency.

Benefits of an EB-2 Visa

  • The EB-2 visa provides a pathway for foreign nationals to obtain permanent resident status in the country. This will allow them to live and work in the U.S. permanently.
  • EB-2 visa holders can change jobs or employers more easily compared to other visa categories.
  • Once they get a green card, they can eventually sponsor eligible family members for permanent residency in the USA.
  • As lawful permanent residents, EB-2 visa holders will have access to healthcare benefits and can enroll their children in schools and universities in the U.S.
  • After maintaining lawful permanent resident status for a specified period, EB-2 visa holders may be eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship, if they meet all the requirements.

The Final Word

If you are seeking permanent residency in the U.S. it is crucial to understand the eligibility criteria, application process, and benefits of this visa category to determine if an EB-2 visa might be a suitable option for you. Remember, there is a cap on the number of EB-2 visas issued every year. The processing time for an EB-2 visa ranges from several months to more than a year. This depends on various factors like workload and case complexity.

Likewise, the EB-2 visa process can be intricate. Consulting with an experienced immigration attorney can be beneficial for navigating the requirements and increasing your chances of success. Additionally, immigration software like Imagility can help you with the intricate immigration process. If you would like to learn how Imagility works, contact us today for a free consultation at +1 603 782 4622/+1 617 865 6588.

Related Resources

EB Visas Uncovered: Know All EB Visa Types

Employment-Based Visa: Everything You Need to Know


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