​Under the employment-based classifications within the Immigration and Nationality Act, the EB-2 category provides for permanent residence for applicants who fall within the following two categories:

1. Alien of Exceptional Ability in the Sciences, Arts or Business
In order to be classified under this eligibility category, a foreign national must be able to demonstrate a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts or business.  In addition, applicants must be able to meet three or more of the following criteria:

Official academic record showing that you have a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution of learning relating to  your area of exceptional ability;
Letters documenting at least 10 years of full-time experience in your occupation ;
A license to practice your profession or certification for your profession or occupation;
Evidence that you have commanded a salary or other remuneration for services that demonstrates your exceptional ability;
Membership in professional associations within your field;
Recognition for your achievements and significant contributions to your industry or field by your peers, government entities, professional or business organizations.

2. Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degrees
For individuals who possess a graduate-level degree, the EB-2 category offers a path to permanent residence pursuant to an offer of employment within a profession that is recognized as imposing such requirements upon its members.  Examples include engineering, medicine, or the legal profession.  This requirement may also be met in some cases by those who can demonstrate possession of an undergraduate degree along with at least 5 years progressive work experience within the relevant field.

Currently, citizens of India and China face a backlog of available visas under this category, resulting in a wait of approximately 5 years before the opportunity to apply for permanent residence will arise.  However, for citizens of all other country, the EB-2 category offers a relatively quick avenue towards permanent residence for recipients of a permanent offer of employment in the United States who possess impressive educational and professional credentials within their field.

National Interest Waiver
As discussed above, the pursuit of permanent residence through any employment-based category will normally require the filing of an I-140 petition on the proposed employee’s behalf by a United States-based employer, as well as the issuance of a Labor Certification for the proposed position by the U.S. Department of Labor.  Within the EB-2 category however, a unique exception to these requirements may be available for individuals who are able to demonstrate that the work to be performed is in the national interest of the United States.  Specifically, it must be shown that an applicant’s work will be performed within an area of “substantial intrinsic merit” and that his or her work will provide benefits that are national in scope, to the extent that imposing the requirements of the labor certification process will be detrimental to the national interest.  The accompanying waiver of the job offer requirement under this exception also ensures that a foreign national can file the I-140 petition on his or her own behalf.  This allows talented individuals to enjoy the freedom and flexibility that such self-petitions provide, without the need to be tied towards a single employer or position.  For a National Interest Waiver it is simply required that the applicant declare an intention to continue working within the relevant field of specialty following the attainment of their permanent resident status.              

In order to receive a free, no-obligation analysis of your prospects under this category, call Attorney Stuart Gilgannon at 414-223-0775, or send an updated copy of your Curriculum Vitae to stuart@gilgannonlaw.com.       

News feed courtesy of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

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