USA EB-2 Immigration Visa

What is an EB-2 Visa?

The EB-2 visa, also known as the Employment-Based Second preference is an immigrant visa for permanent workers.  Individuals are eligible for this visa if they are members of the professions holding an advanced degree or its equivalent, or individuals with exceptional ability.


EB-2 Categories

1-Advanced Degree

Job must require and you must hold at least a master’s degree or its equivalent, or a bachelor’s degree and five years progressive work experience, as well as meeting any other requirements specified on the labor certification.


2-Exceptional Ability

Must be able to show exceptional ability in the sciences, arts or business.  Exceptional ability is “a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts or business.”  Additionally, you must meet any additional requirements on the labor certification.

Additionally, you must meet three of the following criteria:

  • Official academic record showing that you have a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution of learning relating to your area of exceptional ability
  • Letters documenting at least 10 years of full-time experience in your occupation
  • A license to practice your profession or certification for your profession or occupation
  • Evidence that you have commanded a salary or other remuneration for services that demonstrates your exceptional ability
  • Membership in a professional association(s)
  • Recognition for your achievements and significant contributions to your industry or field by your peers, government entities, professional or business organizations
  • Other comparable evidence of eligibility is also acceptable

3-National Interest Waiver

In this category you are asking that the requirement of a labor certification be waived because it is in the interest of the United States.

Though not defined, these waivers are usually granted to those who have exceptional ability and whose employment would benefit the United States.  You may self-petition, filing your labor certification directly with the USCIS petition.

You would need to show the proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance, you are well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor and that it would be beneficial to the United States to waive the requirements of the job offer and thus the labor certification.

Categories 1 and 2 require a job offer and a labor certification.  Category 3 does not.


EB-2 vs EB-1 & EB-3 Visa

Side by side comparison of Employment options in U.S.

EB-1EB-2EB-3
QUALIFICATIONSPriority workers:

• Aliens with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics

• Outstanding professors and researchers

• Certain multinational managers and executives
• Aliens with advanced degree

• Exceptional ability

• National Interest Waiver
• Professionals

• Skilled worker

• Non-skilled worker
ADVANTAGES• Permanent residence within relatively short time

• Spouse and unmarried children under 21 are included in permanent residency.
• Generally faster attainment of permanent residence relative to the EB-3 category;

• National Interest Waiver Beneficiary does not require sponsorship from a U.S. employer, and may apply on his or her own behalf
• Permanent residency in the United States;

• Your derivatives such as your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 years old will be eligible for the permanent residency;

• EB-3 Visa requirements are less strict than any other permanent immigrant visa
ABILITY TO SPONSOR YOURSELFYes, aliens with extraordinary abilityYes, National Interest WaiverNo
LABOR CERTIFICATIONNoYes (Except National Interest Waiver)Yes (Full time or permanent job offer)
BENEFICIARYSpouse and unmarried children 21 yrs old or youngerSpouse and unmarried children 21 yrs old or youngerSpouse and unmarried children 21 yrs old or younger
CAN YOUR DERIVATIVE WORK?Yes, the spouse can work after EAD approvalYes, the spouse can work after EAD approvalYes, the spouse can work after EAD approval
CAN YOUR DERIVATIVE ATTEND SCHOOL/UNIVERSITY?YesYesYes
EMPLOYMENT FOR APPLICANTImmediately upon entryImmediately upon entryImmediately upon entry
SSNYesYesYes
PROCESSING TIME*Avg. 8 monthsUsually 6 monthsfrom 3 to 8 months
VISA ISSUED EACH FISCAL YEAR28.6%28.6%28.6%
PREMIUM PROCESSINGAvailable, even if the petition is outside U.S. (except multinational managers and executives)Available (Except NIW)Available
INCOME TAXYesYesYes
**Average processing time from the receipt dates. Subject to change without further notification.

NOTE:  Content of this website is subject to change. The material here is general in nature and should not be construed as legal advice. If you are considering any type of U.S. Visa, please consult Lawmaks or other competent U.S. Immigration Attorney prior to making any arrangements.