The EB-2 classification applies to foreigners who are “members of the professions holding advanced degrees or their equivalent” and foreigners “who because of their exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business will substantially benefit the national economy, cultural, or educational interests or welfare of the United States.”
Do I Qualify?
The requirements depend on the profession. Some professions such medicine require special licensing (see separate section on H-1B for health professionals). Generally, you must possess an advance degree beyond the undergraduate level in order to qualify. You should also be able to find an employer who is willing to offer you a job.
What Are the Key Documents Required?
The petition must include documentation such as:
- An official academic record showing that the foreigner has a U.S. advanced degree or a foreign equivalent degree, OR
- An official academic record showing that the foreigner has a U.S. Bachelor’s degree or a foreign equivalent degree, and
- Letters from current or former employers showing that the foreigner has at least 5 years of progressive post-baccalaureate experience in the specialty.
Qualified foreign physicians who will be practicing medicine in an area of the United States certified by the Department of Health and Human Services as underserved may also qualify for this classification (see section on H-1B for health professionals).
In order to be classified as having exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business, the individual must provide documentation of three of the following:
- An official academic record showing the foreigner holds a degree, diploma, certificate or similar awards from a college, university, school or other institution of learning. These forms of certification must relate to the area of the foreigner’s exceptional ability
- Letters documenting at least ten years of full-time experience in the occupation for which the foreigner applied
- A license to practice the profession or certification for a particular profession or occupation
- Evidence that the foreigner has been earning a salary or other remuneration for services which demonstrates exceptional ability
- Membership in professional associations
- Recognition for achievements and significant contributions to the industry or field by peers, government entities, professional or business organizations.
If the above standards do not apply to the foreigner’s occupation, other comparable proofs of eligibility are also acceptable.
How to Apply?
Once you have reached an understanding in favor of your employment, your employer files a petition on your behalf. Your employer must file a USCIS Form I-140 (Petition for Alien Worker) at the USCIS Regional Service Center that serves the area where you will work.
A petition for a foreign professional holding an advanced degree may be filed when the job requires an advanced degree (beyond the Bachelor’s) and the foreigner possesses such a degree or the equivalent.
EB-2 petitions must be accompanied by an approved, individual labor certification from the Department of Labor on Form ETA-9089. If you are a professional with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business, you may apply to waive the requirement that you have a job offer. This waiver, however, should be in the national interest.