EB-2 Green Cards for Advanced Degree Professionals

EB-2 Green Cards for Advanced Degree Professionals

The U.S. government offers a variety of options for people looking to immigrate to the U.S. Those who seek to settle in the U.S. can get green cards based on family sponsorship or based on employment.

The EB-2 employment-based, second preference visa is meant for foreign nationals who hold advanced degrees and for those who have exceptional ability. People who hold advanced degrees can apply for jobs in the U.S. that require advanced degrees or a baccalaureate degrees with five years of work experience in the field.  These foreign nationals must be sponsored by U.S. employers who are hiring them and those employers must file Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker, for the foreign workers.

U.S. employers who are hiring these foreign nationals must obtain labor certification. The foreign workers can apply for EB-2 visas after the employers obtain labor certification and after the approval of the immigrant petitions filed by the sponsoring employers. However, they need to wait until their priority dates become current.

U.S. employers hiring foreign workers also need to prove that they are unable to find qualified Americans who are willing to take those jobs for which they are hiring foreign nationals. Spouses and children of the EB-5 visa holders can apply for E-21 and E-22 immigrant status. Foreign workers need to provide official academic records showing that they have advanced U.S. degrees or foreign equivalent degrees. They may also be required to provide letters from former employers that show that they have worked in their particular fields for at least five years.

Individuals with exceptional ability must show exceptional ability in businesses, science or in arts. They need to prove that they have exceptional ability by showing that they have degrees, diplomas or similar awards from colleges, universities or schools related to their areas of exceptional ability. They must have licenses to practice their professions as some states in the U.S. require licenses to practice certain professions. They can also prove that they are individuals of exceptional ability by showing their membership in professional associations.

However, an advanced degree alone is not sufficient to apply for an EB-2 visa. Foreign nationals can apply for these visas only if the jobs for which they apply require the advanced degrees they hold and the skills they possess.