The EB-2 visa is a United States immigrant visa category under the Employment-Based Immigration system, specifically designed for foreign professionals who either have advanced degrees or possess exceptional ability in their field. This visa category is primarily used for:
- Advanced Degree Holders (EB-2A): Targeted at professionals with a master’s degree or higher, or a bachelor’s degree accompanied by at least five years of progressive work experience in their field.
- Individuals with Exceptional Ability (EB-2B): This is for individuals who demonstrate exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business, and can provide evidence of sustained national or international acclaim in their area of expertise.
Benefits of EB-2 VISA for USA
Permanent Residency: The EB-2 visa grants the holder a green card, enabling them to live and work in the US without restrictions.
The primary use of the EB-2 visa is to allow these highly skilled and qualified individuals to live and work permanently in the United States. It provides a pathway to permanent residency (green card), thereby offering the visa holders the freedom to work in their chosen field, anywhere in the country, without the restrictions typically associated with non-immigrant work visas. Additionally, this visa category allows for the National Interest Waiver (NIW), where the usual requirement for a job offer and labor certification can be waived if the applicant’s work is deemed to be in the national interest of the United States.
Eligibility Criteria for American EB-2 VISA in 2024
- EB-2A Category: Aimed at those with a master’s degree or higher, or a bachelor’s degree plus at least five years of relevant work experience.
- EB-2B Category: Tailored for individuals with exceptional abilities in sciences, arts, or business, demanding evidence of sustained national or international acclaim.
Employment with an EB-2 Visa
- Job Flexibility: Holders can pursue any employment opportunity in the US, akin to US citizens.
- No Employer Sponsorship Needed: This visa eliminates the need for employer sponsorship, broadening employment opportunities.
Step-by-Step Guide to Apply for an EB-2 Visa of USA in 2024
Applying for an EB-2 visa involves a detailed, multi-step process. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the application:
Step 1: Determine Your Eligibility
EB-2A: Confirm you have a master’s degree or higher, or a bachelor’s degree with five years of progressive experience.
EB-2B: Establish your exceptional ability in sciences, arts, or business with substantial documentation.
Step 2: Secure a Job Offer (Unless Applying for NIW)
Obtain a job offer from a U.S. employer in your field or for NIW (National Interest Waiver) applicants, this step is not necessary.
Step 3: PERM Labor Certification (Not Required for NIW)
Your U.S. employer must file for PERM Labor Certification with the Department of Labor (DOL). The process involves proving that there are no qualified U.S. workers available for your position.
Step 4: File Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker
After PERM approval, your employer files Form I-140 with USCIS and for NIW applicants, you may file self-petition.
Step 5: Wait for the Priority Date and Visa Bulletin
Your priority date is the filing date of your PERM application (or I-140 if NIW). Check the monthly Visa Bulletin from the U.S. Department of State for your priority date to become current.
Step 6: File Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (If in the U.S.)
Once your priority date is current, file Form I-485 if you are already in the USA and this step is for adjusting your status to a permanent resident.
Step 7: Consular Processing (If Outside the U.S.)
If you’re outside the U.S., go through consular processing then attend an interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country after your priority date becomes current.
Step 8: Attend the Interview
Go through the interview process either through USCIS (in the U.S.) or at the U.S. consulate (abroad) and provide all necessary documents and answer interview questions.
Step 9: Receive Your Visa/Green Card
If approved, you will receive an EB-2 visa stamp in your passport (for consular processing). If in the U.S., you will receive your green card by mail after approval of Form I-485.
Step 10: Enter the United States (If Consular Processing)
Enter the U.S. with your EB-2 visa and your green card will be mailed to your U.S. address
Estimated Application Fees of EB-2 VISA in 2024
- Form I-140: $700
- Immigrant Fee: $220
- Form I-485: $750 – $1,140
- Biometrics Fee: $85
- Form DS-260 (outside US applicants): $325
- Premium Processing: $1,440
- Legal Fees: Varies
Estimated Total: At least $2,145 (within US) or $2,720 (outside US) whereas actual costs may vary.
The EB-2 visa offers a valuable opportunity for highly qualified professionals seeking to work and live in the US. With the right preparation, networking, and understanding of the process, applicants can navigate this path successfully. Remember, thorough research and professional guidance are key to maximizing your chances of success