The EB-2 visa is designed for U.S. professionals with advanced degrees or exceptional abilities, presenting three subcategories: EB-2(A) for individuals with exceptional skills, EB-2(B) for those holding advanced degrees, and EB-2(C) for a waiver of job offer and labor certification when work is deemed to be in the national interest.Apply Now
The EB-2 is an immigrant visa preference category for the United States employment-based permanent residency, created by the Immigration Act of 1990. EB-2 workers are highly qualified, and the EB-2 Visa allows them to live and work in the United States.
This category includes 'members of the professions holding advanced degrees or their equivalent' and 'individuals who, due to 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'. Their services in the sciences, arts, professions, or business are sought by an employer in the United States.
The EB-2(A) visa, a specialized category within the Employment-Based Second Preference (EB-2) immigration classification, is tailored for Advanced Degree Professionals seeking to work and live in the United States.
To qualify for this visa, individuals must possess advanced degrees, typically at the master's or higher level, or showcase a bachelor's degree accompanied by substantial professional experience.
Crucially, applicants are required to demonstrate exceptional ability in their field, substantiated by a record of significant achievements, recognitions, or contributions that distinguish them as experts or leaders in their respective domains.
EB-2(B) visa category, part of the Employment-Based Second Preference (EB-2) classification, is designed for individuals with exceptional ability in their respective fields, emphasizing expertise and accomplishments that set them apart as leaders or experts.
Unlike the EB-2(A) category that focuses on advanced degrees, the EB-2(B) visa allows for a more flexible approach, acknowledging outstanding achievements and recognition as qualifying criteria. Applicants in this category may possess a bachelor's degree or equivalent experience, showcasing a high level of proficiency and impact in their field of expertise.
Occupations that may qualify for the EB-2(B) visa include scientists with groundbreaking research, technology, and IT professionals with significant achievements.
The EB-2(C) visa category, also known as the National Interest Waiver (NIW), offers a unique pathway for individuals whose work is deemed to be in the national interest of the United States.
This category is distinct from the standard EB-2 requirements, as it allows qualified applicants to bypass the labor certification process and the need for a specific job offer. To be eligible for the EB-2(C) visa, individuals must demonstrate that their work holds substantial merit and national importance.
The National Interest Waiver is often sought by professionals in fields such as science, technology, research, academia, and other areas where the applicant's work significantly impacts the nation's well-being.
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As of Fiscal Year 2023, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has provided insights into the National Interest Waiver (NIW) petitions in the first three quarters. In the first quarter, a total of 8,806 NIW petitions were submitted, with an impressive 84.9% approval rate, resulting in 7,622 approved petitions.
Moving into the second quarter, 7,889 applications were received, and the landscape shifted with 9,119 approvals, 1,710 denials, and 15,825 pending applications, yielding an approval rate of 84.5%.
However, the third quarter witnessed an improvement, boasting an elevated approval rate of 89.6%. These statistics offer a dynamic overview of the evolving trends in EB2 NIW adjudications throughout the fiscal year, reflecting the nuanced processes and outcomes within the immigration landscape.
*Information extracted from travel.state.gov
For Form I-140, the processing time can take anywhere from 10.5 to 26.5 months, depending on where the applicant is filing from. After the applicant receives a notice of approval, they will then need to check the U.S. Department of State’s Visa Bulletin to see whether a green card is available.
Once a visa becomes available, the applicant may initiate the green card application process. If applying from within the United States, they will need to submit Form I-485. However, it's important to note that significant processing backlogs exist, and these can significantly impact the timeline for obtaining permanent residency.
While the primary focus of the EB-2 NIW is the individual beneficiary, the spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age can be included in the immigration process as derivative beneficiaries. This means that they can accompany the principal applicant to the United States and obtain green cards based on the primary applicant's NIW.
Once in the United States, the spouse of the EB-2 NIW beneficiary may be eligible to apply for work authorization through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This allows them to legally work in the United States during the processing of their green card application.
Children accompanying the primary beneficiary can access education in the United States, and they may qualify for certain benefits available to the dependents of employment-based immigrants.
Premium processing is a service offered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that expedites the adjudication of certain immigration petitions, providing a faster processing timeline for applicants.
As of the latest available information, for those applying for the EB-2 NIW (National Interest Waiver) visa using Form I-140, individuals have the option to request premium processing for a fee of $2,500. By opting for premium processing, applicants can expect a decision on their Form I-140 within 15 calendar days, significantly accelerating the overall processing time.