EB-2 Visa

Advanced Degree or Exceptional Ability

What is an EB-2 visa?

This is an employment-based visa available to people who are non-US residents and have an advanced degree or exceptional ability. It is the 2nd “preference” category of foreign nationals eligible for Green Cards based on their work. After getting this visa, a person becomes a lawful permanent US resident. 

Before petitioning for an EB-2 visa, the employer or a sponsor has to apply for a PERM (permanent employment) certification via the Department of Labor, using Form 9089. This visa is not actually a green card but it will bring you on the right track to get a green card. 

About 28.6% of total EB (employment-based) visas will be assigned for EB-2 visas. The number of applicants will be more than the visas available each year. Around 40,000 EB-2 visas will be provided yearly. Just 7% of EB-2 visas can be given to applicants from a specific nation. So, you will have to wait longer if you are a citizen of a nation with several applicants. 

Types of EB-2 Visa

This category of visa is for members of professions who have gained an advanced academic degree. An applicant should either qualify for a national interest waiver or got a job offer from any U.S. employer.
This type of EB-2 visa is for foreign residents who have exceptional ability in the arts, science, or business that could potentially contribute to the national economy of the United States, educational or cultural interests, or welfare.
This category of visa is for people for whom their permanent stay is in the national interest of the US.

EB-2 Visa Requirements

To successfully get an EB-2 visa, an applicant has to meet some mandatory requirements. These requirements can vary based on the category.

EB-2 Visa Benefits

Obtaining an EB-2 visa can provide you with legal permanent residency in the U.S. that allows you to freely move, live, or get an education, and get more stability in your immigration status. The process is comparatively faster for many people. Your life partner will get eligibility for E-21 status and your children under 21 (unmarried) will also get eligibility to work in the US after completing the Employment Authorization Documents.

EB-2 Visa Processing Time & Fee

The processing time for an EB-2 visa application can differ based on several factors like when you’re applying, what is your particular case, and from which country you belong. You will get a PERM labor certification response about 6 months after filing. This duration may extend to a year when you’re subject to an audit. 

After that, it requires processing and getting your petition (Form I-140) approved which takes around 6 months. Possibly, you have to pay for premium processing. Next, you’ve to wait for your priority date to interview a USCIS officer or a consular. This can be possible in several years or once your petition is returned. 

The EB-2 visa application process fee includes a $700 I-140 filing fee; $750-$1140 I-485 filing fee, based on age; $85 biometrics fee; $230 DS-260 filing fee; $1440 premium processing fee; and other costs like a lawyer charges, translation, and photocopy. This cost is not fixed and is subject to change. 

EB-2 Visa Benefits

An EB-2 visa is not the same as a Green Card however you can obtain it through EB-2 Visa Program to enjoy permanent residency status in the US. This employment-based visa provides an unconditional Green Card to entrepreneurs with some unique ideas. An applicant, who possesses an exceptional ability or advanced degree, can apply for a Green Card after successfully obtaining the EB-2 Visa. They may be eligible for US citizenship via the naturalization process after maintaining lawful permanent resident status for 5 years.