Immigration & Criminal Defense Attorneys


Explanation of the EB-2 Immigration Visa

The second category of employment preference immigration visas is set aside for workers in either one of two subcategories: professionals holding advanced egrees and persons of exceptional ability. These two types of immigrant workers receive an allotment that constitutes 28.6 percent of the 140,000 total employment-based immigration visas available in any given year under the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Eligibility requirements for the first category, the EB-1 visa, are difficult to meet, so not all of the EB-1 visas available in a given year are issued. When this happens, the remainder is issued to individuals applying for the EB-2 category of visa. The Department of Homeland Security reports that only 25,251 EB-1 visas were issued in 2011, as compared with 66,831 EB-2 visas.

EB-2 Immigrant Visa Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for an EB-2 immigrant visa, the applicant must be able to furnish evidence to demonstrate that he or she meets the requirements for either one f the two subcategories. For the advanced degree requirement, the applicant may show that he or she is a professional who possesses an advanced degree such as a PhD or JD. Alternatively, he or she may have earned a bachelor’s degree, followed by five years of progressive post-baccalaureate work in the field of specialty.

For the “persons of exceptional ability” category of EB-2 visa, the immigrant worker must be able to supply at least three of the following types of vidence to support the claim that he or she possesses such ability:

    • A degree, diploma or certificate in the field of exceptional ability
    • Letters to document at least 10 years of full-time experience in the occupation
    • A license to practice in the field
    • Documentation of salary or other pay commensurate with exceptional ability
    • Membership in professional associations
    • Evidence of having been recognized by peers, governmental agencies, or other organizations for having made considerable achievements and significant contributions to the industry or field
    • Any other comparable evidence

Labor Certification and Sponsorship Petitions for EB-2 Immigrant Visas

Before an immigrant worker may apply for an EB-2 visa, he or she must be the subject of an approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. The rospective employer must have filed this petition on behalf of the worker and must have made a specific offer of employment. Prior to submitting the sponsorship petition, the employer is required to obtain labor certification by demonstrating to the Department of Labor that hiring the applicant will not deprive local workers of jobs nor depress local wages.

Under certain circumstances, it is possible for the applicant to self-petition and avoid the requirement of labor certification by filing a national nterest waiver on the grounds that granting the petition would serve the interests of the United States and would be of great benefit to the applicant. Whether you represent an employer seeking to hire a foreign national or are personally attempting to obtain an EB-2 visa, contact us now at Keen Law Offices, LLC. Our Salt Lake City immigration attorneys assist both sides with the entire process, and we are ready to begin working on your case without delay.