Requirements

Requirements

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Your company successfully obtained labor certification for a valued employee and must now proceed to the next steps of the permanent residence process or the foreign individual may be able to proceed without an employer sponsor. Is the person eligible for an EB-2 (immigrant) visa?

What are the Requirements to Obtain an EB-2 (Immigrant) Visa?

Labor Certification Application

The U.S. employer must obtain a certified, individual Application for Permanent Employment Certification (labor certification) from the Department of Labor.

* The USCIS may waive the requirement for a certified labor certification if it is in the national interest of the United States.

National Interest Waiver

The following threshold requirements must be met in order to qualify for a national interest waiver.

  • The proposed employment must be in an area of substantial intrinsic merit.
  • The proposed benefit to the economy must be national in scope.
  • The national interest would be adversely affected if labor certification were required.

Further, the USCIS will examine the following factors in determining whether admitting a foreign individual is in the national interest.

  • Whether the U.S. economy will benefit from the foreign individual’s admission.
  • Whether the foreign individual’s admission will improve the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers.
  • Whether the foreign individual’s admission will improve the education and programs for U.S. children and underqualified workers.
  • Whether the foreign individual’s admission will improve health care.
  • Whether the foreign individual’s admission will help create more affordable housing solutions for the poor, elderly and children.
  • Whether the foreign individual’s admission will improve the environment and lead to better usage of natural resources.
  • Whether a U.S. government agency has specifically requested that the foreign individual be admitted.

U.S. Employer

The employer filing the Immigrant Petition must be engaging the foreign individual to work in the United States and must have an Internal Revenue Service Tax Identification Number.

* The USCIS may waive the requirement for a certified labor certification if it is in the national interest of the United States. The foreign individual seeking a national interest waiver may self-petition (a U.S. employer is not required).

Employer/Employee Relationship

The U.S. employer must have an employer/employee relationship with the foreign individual in that it may hire, pay, fire and supervise or otherwise control his/her work.

* The USCIS may waive the requirement for a certified labor certification if it is in the national interest of the United States. The foreign individual seeking a national interest waiver may self-petition (an employer/employee relationship is not required).

Position

The position must be permanent and full-time.

* The USCIS may waive the requirement for a certified labor certification if it is in the national interest of the United States. The foreign individual seeking a national interest waiver may self-petition (a job offer is not required).

Employment Based Second Preference Category (EB-2)

The foreign individual may qualify for the EB-2 category if s/he is a member of the professions holding an advanced degree or has exceptional ability.

  • Advanced Degree. The position must require at least a U.S. master’s degree or higher (or a foreign equivalent degree) and the foreign individual must possess a U.S. master’s degree or higher (or a foreign equivalent degree) or a U.S. bachelor’s degree (or a foreign equivalent degree) plus 5 years of progressive post bachelor degree experience.
  • Exceptional Ability. The foreign individual’s ‘exceptional ability’ must be in the sciences, arts or business and will substantially benefit prospectively the national economy, cultural or educational interests or welfare of the U.S. ‘Exceptional ability’ means a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts or business.

To be considered a person of exceptional ability the foreign individual must meet 3 of the following criteria:

  • Degree diploma, certificate or similar award from a college, university, school or other institution of learning relating to the area of exceptional ability.
  • Letter(s) from current or former employers documenting at least 10 years of full-time experience.
  • License to practice the profession or certification for a particular profession or occupation.
  • Evidence that s/he has commanded a salary or other remuneration demonstrating exceptional ability.
  • Membership in a professional association(s).
  • Recognition of achievements and significant contributions to the industry or field by peers, governmental entities or professional or business organizations.

Foreign Individual’s Credentials

The foreign individual must possess the education, training or work experience required by the employment based category.

Prevailing Wage

The U.S. employer must attest that it will pay the foreign individual at least the prevailing wage and demonstrate an ability to pay the offered wage.

* The USCIS may waive the requirement for a certified labor certification if it is in the national interest of the United States. The foreign individual seeking a national interest waiver may self-petition (a U.S. employer is not required and thus no prevailing wage).

Additional Questions?

More information about the specific requirements of obtaining an employment (immigrant) visa is available on the employment (immigrant) visa FAQs.

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