EB-2 Visa: Advanced Degree and Exceptional Ability

EB-2 Aliens who are members of the professions holding advanced degrees or aliens of exceptional ability:

An employer may file an immigrant petition on behalf of an employee in the EB-2 (second preference) category if the employee is a member of the professions holding an advanced degree OR if the employee possesses exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business.

Advanced degree (definition):

An advanced degree is defined as any United States academic or professional degree or a foreign equivalent degree above that of a baccalaureate.  Advanced degree can also mean a United States baccalaureate degree or a foreign equivalent degree followed by at least five years of progressive experience in a specialty.

Exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business (definition):

Exceptional ability is defined as a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business.

Requirements for showing exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business:

An application for exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business must be accompanied by at least three of the following:

1.  Official academic record showing the employee has a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution of learning relating to the area of exceptional ability.

2.  Letters from former or current employer(s) showing the employee has at least ten years of full-time experience in the occupation for which he or she is being sought.

3.  A license to practice the profession or certification for a particular profession or occupation.

4.  Evidence the employee has commanded a salary or other remuneration for services which demonstrates exceptional ability.

5.  Evidence of membership in professional associations.

6.  Evidence of recognition for achievements and significant contributions to the industry or field by peers, governmental entities, or professional or business organizations.

If the above standards do not readily apply to the employee’s occupation comparable evidence may be submitted to establish eligibility.

Labor Certification:

Petitions in this category must be accompanied by a labor certification from the Department of Labor, an application for schedule A designation, or documentation to show the employee qualifies for one of the shortage occupations listed in the Department of Labor’s Labor Market Information Pilot Program.

Exemption from job offer and Labor Certification:

An individual may be exempted from the job offer and labor certification requirement if they can establish that the exemption would be in the national interest.  This exemption is commonly referred to as a National Interest Waiver.

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