There is an A part and a B part to the EB – 2 visa. Our focus in this article is the EB – 2 (A) subcategory of the visa. This subcategory is designed for professionals who have advanced degrees from an academic institution. Additionally, applicants for this visa must have an offer of employment from a company based in the United States, or must fill the qualifications for a “National Interest Waiver.”
Beginning the EB–2 Process
A labor certificate must be attained by US employers offering jobs to foreign nationals looking to obtain an EB-2(A) and a green card. Labor certificates are provided by the US Department of Labor (DOL). These give proof that the US-based employer went through a sufficient recruitment process and clearly determined that there were no US workers who were qualified, willing, or available to accept the employment and for this reason it was necessary for the employer to look to a foreign source for labor.
Advantages of the EB-2 Visa
The visa requirements for the EB-2(A) require a foreign national to hold an advanced degree from an academic institute, such as a Master’s degree, a Ph.D Juris Doctor law degree, or if they are in the field of medicine to have a M.D. A complete list of qualifications and requirements for the EB-2(A)can be found by reviewing:
The USCIS, Or US Citizenship and Immigration Services, does not require a foreign national to have an advanced degree beyond a baccalaureate if they have a B. A. or a B.S. as well as five year’s of progressive work related experience. This is considered to be equal to a Master’s degree. The term “progressive” signifies that the responsibilities and the level of complexity of the assignments a worker has done will have increased in a progressive way during their five years of employment. Remember, determining whether experience should count towards the minimum requirement may be largely subjective on the part of USCIS personnel therefore, it is not in your best interest to pursue an EB-2 visa without professional legal assistance.
Unique Challenges Faced by Employers Seeking Labor Certification
U.S. companies that are looking to sponsor immigrants in the EB-2 category must be careful to clearly list the requirements for the job posting they are hiring for. It must be clearly stated that a minimum of a Master’s degree or a bachelor’s degree with five additional years of progressive working experience, after the applicant has attained their bachelor’s degree, is required. If an employer states that the posting requires a minimum of a Master’s degree or a bachelor’s degree with two years’ work experience, this will not be sufficient for the request to be approved.
It is not enough for an employer to simply state that the position they are hiring for requires the above mentioned education and work experience. The employer must clearly show that the position does actually require advanced degrees and progressive experience.
Timing of Gaining the Needed Work Experience
For nationals who are applying for the EB-2(A), relying on having a bachelor’s degree and 5 years or more of progressive experience should be aware of the following stipulations. First, the applicant must meet the minimum education and experience qualifications before the employer files for a labor certification. Second, the visa applicant must have met these basic requirements before beginning to work for the sponsoring company. In most cases, the Department of Labor will not allow an applicant to count the time they worked for a sponsoring employer as time where they gained progressive experience.
It is critical that any foreign national saying they have a bachelor’s degree along with the required five years progressive experience be able to prove that the five years of progressive experience was gained after, and not before, they obtained their bachelor’s degree.
EB-2 Visa National Interest Waivers (NIW)
Workers who can show that their presence in the United States will benefit the United States at some future time may be able to apply for this visa without having been offered employment by a company in the United States. To demonstrate their “benefit” to the United States, the foreign national will have to clearly demonstrate that their presence in the country will favorably impact the economy, the educational system, the housing system, the environment, employment, the culture, or some other important aspect of US life. This impact must be on a national scope. For example, an individual who could work as a public health researcher working for the federal government or one who could work at a university may qualify, whereas an individual who would work at a local clinic may not meet the needed qualifications. More information about the National Interest Waiver for EB-2 visas can be found by reading:
When applying for this waiver, an applicant must show that their work has “substantial intrinsic merit.” This means that they must prove that the work they do is worthy in and of itself. It must also be shown how their work will prospectively benefit the United States and her national interests in a way greater than a nationally born, equally qualified US worker would be able to do. Unfortunately, this requirement is often interpreted by the USCIS to mean that going through the labor certificate process in and of itself will have a negative impact on U.S. national interests. However, a localized labor shortage is not considered as an adverse impact.
Contact Us and Let Us Help You Get Started
If you feel that you meet the EB-2 requirements or may qualify for a National Interest Waiver, contact Pride Immigration Law Firm by phone or send us a message online to discuss your case. To help you understand your options, we provide consultations at our office or over the phone. Set up a consultation today to examine your case and see how we can help you reach your goals moving forward.
Beeraj Patel, Esq.
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