[Date: 22 March 2021]

Can I obtain a green card to stay in the US on a permanent basis through my skilled employment?

Approximately 140,000 immigrant visas to the United States of America are available each year for noncitizens, as well as their spouses and children, who seek immigration based on their job skills. If you have the necessary combination of skills, qualifications and/or work experience, you may be eligible to live permanently in the US through one of the employment-based immigrant visa options. A number of employment-based immigrant visa options are available, however the “EB-2” and “EB-3” visas are the most common. This article discusses the EB-2 visa only.

How can I get an EB-2 visa?

An EB-2 can be obtained in several ways, however the most common ways which an EB-2 may be obtained is by either having completed an ‘advanced degree’ in a specific field or by possessing ‘exceptional ability’ in a specific field.  

Option 1 – Having an ‘Advanced Degree’

To obtain an EB-2 by having completed an advanced degree, you must:

  •  be applying for a position which requires an advanced degree, and
  • you must possess that degree or its foreign equivalent.

You must also have worked in the field of the position which you are applying for at least five years following your completion of the degree. The applicant can show this by simply providing documentation such as an academic record of the degree, and a letter from an employer stating that you have worked in the field for at least five years following your completion of the degree.

Often times we recommend our candidates obtain a credential evaluation to demonstrate the fact that they hold what is considered an ‘advanced degree’, particularly if that degree was obtained outside of the US.

Option 2 – Possessing ‘Exceptional Ability’

To obtain an EB-2 by possessing exceptional ability, you must be able to show exceptional ability in either the sciences, arts or business.

Your knowledge and expertise in any of these areas must be significantly greater than that which is ordinarily encountered in the field. To evidence that you possess an exceptional ability, at least three of the following criteria must be met:

  • Possess an official academic record showing that you have a degree, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution of learning relating to your area of exceptional ability.
  • Be able to display letters which document at least 10 years of full-time experience in your occupation.
  • Possess a license to practice your profession or certification for your profession or occupation.
  • Be able to provide evidence that you have commanded a salary or other remuneration for services that demonstrates your exceptional ability.
  • Hold membership of a professional association.
  • Be able to provide recognition which you have received for your achievements and significant contributions to your industry or field from your peers, government entities, business organisations.
  • Be able to provide other comparable evidence of eligibility.

Other Considerations

If you are seeking an EB-2 visa, your application must usually be accompanied by an approved Application for Permanent Employment Certification from the Department of Labor on ETA Form 9089. If, however, you are seeking an EB-2 visa by possessing exceptional ability and can provide evidence of widespread acclaim and international recognition, your employer may submit the application to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service with an uncertified ETA Form 9089.

If approved, your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may also be eligible to apply for admission to the United States under immigrant status.

If you would like to know more about the process of applying for an EB-2 visa, or if you would like assistance with assessing your eligibility for the EB-2 visa, feel free to contact the Zed Legal team today to arrange a time to discuss these matters – [email protected].

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