DC EB-2 Visa Attorney

When someone is applying for permanent residency because they are a professional with advanced degrees or an individual with extraordinary ability, they will need to consult an experienced DC EB-2 visa attorney. A National Interest Waiver can also grant someone permanent residency.

A DC EB-2 lawyer can help you to determine if you are eligible for this fairly specialized visa and assist you in preparing the materials necessary to apply. A DC EB-2 visa attorneys understand how complex this process can be and are eager to help clients take the steps necessary to successfully apply for the visa. They also have information on other types of employment visas. If you have questions about whether or not you are eligible, you should consult an immigration lawyer.

EB-2 Visas

The EB-2 Visa provides a path to permanent residency to foreign nationals who are professionals holding advanced degrees or who possess exceptional abilities, and who will “substantially benefit prospectively the national economy, cultural interests, or welfare of the U.S.”  EB-2 applicants must have a job offer from a U.S. employer secured and a Labor Certification approved prior to the application. However, in some cases, the government may waive the Labor Certification requirement, if it is in the national interest to do so. To ensure that you meet these qualifications, speak with a DC EB-2 visa attorney today.

EB-2 employees can usually also qualify for the third preference, EB-3 classification for Professionals & Other Skilled Workers. However, there’s a significant advantage for most people to use the second preference if they qualify because the wait time is much shorter. There is currently no backlog for EB-2 for applicants from anywhere but China and India, and the wait time for Indian applicants is shorter than that of the EB-3 category. Only Chinese applicants may face a longer wait time in the EB-2 as opposed to the EB-3 category, but they should check with the U.S. Department of State’s visa bulletin to confirm the current status of the backlog before applying.

Eligibility for EB-2 Visas

Aside from those who may be eligible for a National Interest Waiver, there are two distinct categories of individuals who may apply for EB-2 status – professionals with advanced degrees and individuals of exceptional ability.

Professionals With Advanced Degrees

Individuals wishing to apply for an EB-2 visa under this category must possess an advanced degree and secured a position with a U.S. company that requires that degree.  Generally, an advanced degree means above a B.A./B.S. or its equivalent in a foreign system.  In determining whether a foreign degree qualifies as “advanced,” USCIS looks to the Electronic Database for Global Education (EDGE), which is published yearly by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, located in Washington, DC.

Alternatively, some applicants who do not have advanced degrees may qualify for EB-2 visas if they possess a bachelor’s degree plus 5 years of progressive post-degree experience in the specialty. USCIS must determine that the applicant’s experience is equivalent to a Master’s Degree.

Not every individual with an advanced degree (or BA/BS plus 5 years of experience) will qualify for the EB-2 visa.  An applicant must also demonstrate that their occupation qualifies under the USCIS definition of “profession.” USCIS defines “profession” as any occupation for which a BA/BS degree or its foreign equivalent is the minimum requirement for entry into the field.  Occupations common to the EB-2 category are architects, engineers, doctors, lawyers, and teachers.

Persons of Exceptional Ability

An individual wishing to obtain permanent residence through their  exceptional ability must demonstrate at least three of the following:

  • Possession of a degree relating to their area of exceptional ability;
  • A letter from a current or former employer proving that they have at least 10 years of experience in that field;
  • Possession of a valid license to practice their profession;
  • Proof that the person has commanded a salary or remuneration demonstrating they are compensated as a person of exceptional ability;
  • Proof of membership in a professional organization;
  • Evidence of recognition of achievements and significant contributions to their industry or field by peers, governmental entities, or professional or business organizations.

In some cases, other evidence of exceptional ability (including expert opinion letters) may be submitted if the above categories are inapplicable.

National Interest Waivers

Some applicants, including those whose exceptional abilities can be extensively documented in the fields of sciences, arts, or business, as well as qualified physicians, may be eligible to apply for a National Interest Waiver (NIW) to obtain permanent resident status without having a permanent job offer or labor certification.  Applicants for NIWs must possess a minimum of a master’s degree or its foreign equivalent.

The NIW is beneficial to those who qualify because it reduces the processing time of the application by eliminating the labor certification process.

To qualify for an NIV, the applicant must prove the following:

  • That they are more qualified than the average person in the same field of national interest;
  • That they must have a career that furthers the national interest and will improve the economy of the U.S., the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers, health care, the quality of education for U.S. children, or the U.S. environment.

Finally, an NIV applicant must prove to the government that the waiver is necessary because the U.S. national interest would be impacted negatively if a labor certification were required.

Because it provides a direct route to legal permanent residency, the EB-2 is a highly sought-after visa and requires extensive documentation and a well-organized application in order to be approved.  Contact a DC EB-2 visa lawyer to help you evaluate whether it is right for you.

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