EB-2 Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degrees or Their Equivalent
The EB-2 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.”
(Links to headings below)
General Requirements and Qualifications
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. The petition must include documentation, such as an official academic record showing that the alien has a U.S. advanced degree or a foreign equivalent degree, or an official academic record showing that the alien has a U.S. baccalaureate degree or a foreign equivalent degree and letters from current or former employers showing that the alien has at least 5 years of progressive post-baccalaureate experience in the specialty.
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. Read more about this program.
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:
- 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;
- Letters documenting at least ten years of full-time experience in the occupation being sought;
- A license to practice the profession or certification for a particular profession or occupation;
- Evidence that the alien has commanded a salary or other remuneration for services which demonstrates exceptional ability;
- Membership in professional associations;
- 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 is also acceptable.
National Interest Waiver
An applicant generally must have a job offer and labor certification. However, the USCIS may waive that requirement. If a person has exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business, they may apply to waive the requirement of a job offer if such a waiver would be in the national interest.
The annual cap on EB-2 visas is 37,520, plus any visas left over from the first employment based preference categories.