Employment-Based Permanent Residency (Green Card)

EB2 Information

Employment-Based Immigration – Second Preference (EB2)

We receive many calls and emails from clients asking about EB2 eligibility. The desire for this advanced category is great due to the general faster permanent residency processing under EB2 category as opposed to EB3 (see Visa Bulletin.) In order to potentially qualify for EB2, the following requirements must be addressed.

The EB2 classification includes aliens who are "members of the professions holding advanced degrees or their equivalent" and aliens "who because of their exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business will substantially benefit the national economy, cultural, or educational interests or welfare of the United States."

A petition for a foreign professional holding an advanced degree may be filed when the job requires an advanced degree (beyond the baccalaureate) and the alien possesses such a degree or the equivalent.

An EB2 position is based on the minimum requirement of a master’s degree in the form of either:

  1. 3-year bachelor’s degree with a 3-year master’s degree, plus experience, or
  2. 4-year bachelor’s degree with a 2-year master’s degree plus experience, or
  3. Alternative requirements of a 4-year Bachelor’s degree plus 5 years of progressive experience in lieu of the required education and experience. A combination of degrees equivalent to a 4-year Bachelor’s degree is not acceptable. **Please see our FAQ section for further information.

EB2 is not automatically pursued just because the person for whom the petition is being filed possesses a master’s degree. The decision to be an EB2/EB3 is based on several items, including:

  1. The minimum requirements for the position as designated by the employer warrant an EB2 position
  2. The willingness of the employer to support the higher-level salary that an EB2 position usually entails / ability to pay
  3. The employer’s authorization to process the position under EB2 category
  4. The beneficiary’s documentable credentials

In order to be classified as having exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business, the individual must provide documentation of three of the following:

  1. An official academic record showing the alien has a degree, diploma, certificate or similar award from a college, university, school or other institution of learning relating to the area of exceptional ability;
  2. Letters documenting at least ten years of full-time experience in the occupation being sought;
  3. A license to practice the profession or certification for a particular profession or occupation;
  4. Evidence that the alien has commanded a salary or other remuneration for services which demonstrates exceptional ability;
  5. Membership in professional associations;
  6. Recognition for achievements and significant contributions to the industry or field by peers, government entities, professional or business organizations.

If the above standards do not apply to the petitioner's occupation, other comparable evidence of eligibility may also be acceptable.

Qualified alien physicians who will be practicing medicine in an area of the United States certified by the Department of Health and Human Services as underserved may also qualify for this classification.

Application Procedures

USCIS Form I-140 Petition for Alien Worker is required. Your employer must file a USCIS Form I-140 (Petition for Alien Worker) at the USCIS Regional Service Center that serves the area where you will work. (See www.uscis.gov for more information on I-140 processing.)

EB2 petitions must generally be accompanied by the original approved labor certification from the Department of Labor on Form ETA 9089 (I-140 is Stage 2 of the Green Card process) signed and dated by the employer, the beneficiary, and the attorney.