Is It Difficult to Obtain An EB-2 Visa: If you have an advanced degree or exceptional ability, you can apply for employment-based permanent residence in the U.S. with an EB-2 visa. Before you can petition, you will need to confirm that your employer has permanent employment (PERM) certification.
To get an EB-2 visa, you’ll also need to meet certain criteria. The first step is to be sponsored by an employer with PERM certification.
However, you may be able to use a National Interest Waiver (NIW) instead.
What Does a Non-U.S. Citizen Need to Apply for the EB-2 Visa?
There are three different categories that may apply when you petition for an EB-2 visa. You will need to have an advanced degree, an exceptional ability, or an NIW.
Each one has a set of requirements, which will help you determine how to apply.
If you are applying for an EB-2 visa with an advanced degree, you must be able to prove you have it or the foreign equivalent.
You can also apply under the advanced degree criteria if you have a bachelor’s degree plus five years of progressive work experience.
There may be additional requirements listed on the PERM certification for your employer, and if so, you will have to meet those too.
When applying for an EB-2 based on exceptional ability, you will need to prove that you have expertise that is drastically above what is encountered in either science, arts, or business.
You will also have to meet the requirements of the labor certification for your employer.
National Interest Waiver (NIW)
You will only need an NIW if you are applying on your own without an employer sponsoring you and without a labor certification.
For the NIW, you will need to show that you have either an advanced degree or exceptional ability.
You will also need to demonstrate that waiving the labor certification would benefit the United States.
There are other requirements, including showing that your proposal is of great merit and national importance and that you are in an excellent position to execute the proposal that you have submitted.
While the National Interest Waiver does allow you to skip having a sponsor, you will need to submit evidence that convinces the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of your merits.
Your proposed occupation should be of great worth to this country, and you should be well-equipped to carry out your proposal.
NIW petitions are unique in that they allow eligible foreign nationals to forgo the need for a third party to apply on their behalf.
Without a labor certification requirement, it becomes less expensive and time-consuming.
Generally, EB-2 NIW petitions have a higher approval rate than regular EB-2 petitions, so it is something to consider.
As long as you work with an experienced EB-2 visa attorney to ensure full compliance with USCIS requirements, obtaining your EB-2 visa won’t be such an overwhelming process.