American EB2 Visa Guide for Second Priority Workers
The EB2 Visa, also known as EB2 Green Card, is a second preference employment-based visa that allows for permanent resident status. It is available for foreign nationals who hold an advanced degree or equivalent. You must also prove your “exceptional ability,” meaning significant expertise in your field.
The U.S. EB2 Visa, unlike the EB1 visa, which is reserved for first-priority professionals, mainly allows foreign workers who have found a U.S. employer willing to hire them to come to the United States of America permanently and work without an Employment Authorization Document. Therefore, if you are an advanced degree holder from a foreign country and have proof of expertise in your field of work, this EB2 Visa is for you as soon as you agree with your employer.
For this purpose, our article will help you with an easy guide to applying for this visa. In addition, other information like the EB2 Visa requirement, list of supporting documents, and eligibility criteria are contained in this article for a better understanding.
Meaning of EB2 Visa
The EB2 visa allows foreign nationals to live, work and take up lawful permanent residence in the United States. You can also call this visa EB2 Green Card, which is for a second preference employment-based visa that allows for permanent resident status.
However, this visa is available for foreign nationals with an advanced degree or equivalent. Before you get this visa, you must prove your exceptional ability or significant expertise in your field.
Moreover, this second priority workers visa is typically for graduates with an advanced degree or a foreign national with exceptional ability in their area of specialization.
The targeted group of Employees for the EB2 Visa
The EB-2 visa, or the Second Priority Workers visa, targets three groups of people which are:
- Advanced Degree Holders – are those who have advanced educational degrees such as a Bachelor’s or a Master’s Degree and five years of experience in their field.
- People with exceptional abilities – are those who have demonstrated exceptional abilities and achievements in business, arts, or sciences.
- Those who can obtain a National Interest Waiver – are those who can demonstrate that working in the U.S. would benefit the country and is in the U.S. national interest.
Nevertheless, if you belong to any of these groups, you can get an EB2 visa. Getting an EB2 visa means that you will move permanently to the U.S. You will work there in your field of expertise and enjoy the rights of permanent Green Card holders.
Furthermore, you are required to pay all applicable taxes and follow U.S. laws. You can travel in and out of the U.S., change jobs after a few years, move from one state to the other, and so on. Moreover, when you qualify, you can also apply for U.S. citizenship and become naturalized.
Advantages of EB2 Visa
You can enjoy certain benefits if you are a holder of an EB2 Visa. Such benefits are:
- Any person who succeeds in coming to the U.S. with EB2 Visa will obtain a Green Card which is unconditional permanent residence status in the USA. This will also cover employees’ dependents like:
- Children under 21.
- Right to live, work, and study in the USA.
- No language requirement.
- Fast processing time.
- Pathway to U.S. citizenship after five years of residence in the USA.
Requirements for the EB2 Visa
The basic eligibility requirement for an EB2 visa from foreign employees and U.S. employers are:
To qualify as an Advanced Degree Holder, you must fulfill these requirements:
- Prove through academic records that you have an advanced educational degree such as a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree or a U.S. equivalent.
- Have previous employer’s letters proving that you have five years of experience in your field of expertise after you completed your Bachelor’s Degree
To qualify as a person with exceptional abilities or a national interest waiver, you must meet three of the criteria below:
- Show diplomas, certificates, or awards that prove you have achieved excellence in business, arts, sciences, or other fields of expertise.
- Have letters from employers providing at least ten years of full-time job experience in your field of study.
- Prove that you have had a high salary in your previous jobs, showing exceptional abilities.
- Have a license or a certification that shows you can practice your profession.
- Show that you have membership in one or more professional associations.
- Prove that you have won recognition for your achievements and contribution in your field of expertise by your peers, professional organizations, or the government.
- For the national interest waiver, you must also submit proof that your work is in the interest of the U.S. government.
If you are a U.S. employer who wants to hire a person and sponsor a foreign worker for an EB2 Visa, you must meet these requirements:
- Prove that you could not find an available, willing, or qualified U.S. worker, so you need to hire a foreign worker.
- And prove that you will not discriminate against the foreign worker and will pay them the same wage you would pay a U.S. worker in the same job position.
- Prove that your company is financially stable and can afford to pay the foreign worker.
Application Process for the EB2 visa
Applications for the EB2 visas have multiple steps which involve both the employer and the foreign employee. Therefore, the application process is divided into two parts:
- The U.S. employer obtains labor certification and files the necessary petitions.
- If approved, the foreign employee then applies for the EB-2 visa at a U.S. Embassy in their home country.
Application procedures from U.S. employer
An employer from the U.S. who is willing to employ a foreign national under EB2 Visa will apply this process:
#1. Getting the labor certification
The first requirement for a U.S. employer to hire a foreign employee is to get a labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor. This is done by filing Form ETA 750 to the DOL. By submitting this form, the U.S. employer states that they have tried to find a U.S. employee for that job position but could not and that the foreign worker will be paid a prevailing wage.
#2. Get decision notifications from DOL
The DOL processes the form, and the employer and employee are notified of the decision. If approved, the U.S. employer can go on to the next step, but if the certification is denied, the foreign worker is not allowed to get an EB2 visa.
#3. Filing the petition
In addition to the labor certification, the employer must file a petition to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This is done by filing Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. The employer must also attach financial statements, audits, and tax returns to prove that the company is financially stable.
USCIS will process the petition and will notify the employer. Then, the case will go to the National Visa Center (NVC) if approved. If denied, the U.S. employer cannot hire a foreign worker.
#4. Receive case number and invoice I.D. from NVC
When the case goes to the NVC, they assign a case number and invoice I.D. number. These documents will be part of the package with instructions on how to apply that will be sent to the foreign employee in their home country. However, since there is a cap on the EB-2 visas, the NVC will only send this package when the applicant’s priority date becomes current.
Application procedures for foreign worker
#5. File Form DS-261, Choice of Address and Agent
The applicant or foreign worker must complete this form which serves as an application for the EB-2 visa. The U.S. Embassy or Consulate will process the form they are applying for.
#6. Complete medical examination and vaccination
In the NVC package, there will also be requirements about medical examinations and vaccination that the applicant must conduct. Again, the applicant must go to a licensed doctor to complete the documents and have them signed.
Compile the supporting documents file
#7. Provide your supporting documents
After the NVC approves your Form DS-261, you must send the supporting documents for your case. This includes the following:
- Your passport must be valid for more than six months after your intended departure to the U.S.
- The approved petition.
- Your employment offer from the U.S. employer.
- Visa Photo Requirements.
- Your DS-261 confirmation page.
- The approved labor certification
- Your signed medical and vaccine documents.
- Two photographs that meet the U.S.
- Visa Photo Requirements.
- Academic achievements (diplomas and certificates).
- Your CV or resume.
- Letters from previous employers.
- If applying for a National Interest.
- Waiver, submit proof of why your work is in the national interest of the U.S.
- Court and criminal records.
- Might require other supporting documents, so you must follow their instructions carefully depending on the case.
#8. Attend the visa interview
The NVC will review your application and supporting documents. If there are no more requirements, they will schedule an interview at the U.S. Embassy you are applying from. Attend the interview and be as specific as possible in answering the questions regarding your background and other details. The interviewer will make the final decision on whether you should be given an EB-2 visa or not.
#9. Receive the NVC package and travel to the U.S.
If your EB-2 visa is approved, you will receive a package from the NVC. You must not open this package under any circumstances. Instead, take it with you when you travel to the U.S. and give it to an immigration officer at a U.S. port of entry. Only they are allowed to open it and decide whether you should be allowed to enter the country.
Other Types of Employment-Based Visas
The employment visas are denoted with the letter E and are of 5 types:
- EB1 Visa or First Priority Workers Visa is for outstanding professors, researchers, people with extraordinary abilities in arts, science, business, athletics, or education, as well as executive managers who have worked at a foreign branch of a U.S. company for the past three years.
- EB2 Visa or Second Priority Workers Visa is for professionals with advanced degrees and people with extraordinary abilities in arts, sciences, or business.
- EB3 Visa or Third Priority Workers Visa is for skilled workers with more than two years of experience, professionals with a higher education degree, or unskilled workers with less than two years of experience (EW-3 Visa).
- EB4 Visa or Fourth Priority Workers Visa is for various religious, government, or international organizations workers.
- EB5 Visa or Fifth Priority Workers Visa is for investors in the U.S. who will invest between $500K to $1 million in the U.S. economy.
Moreover, apart from employment-based visas, you may consider other U.S. visas, such as F2 Visa, F3 Visa, F4 Visa, K3 Visa, and many others.
What are the EB-2 visa fees?
There are many fees that both the U.S. employer and the foreign worker must pay for the EB-2 visa. The amounts vary and are decided by the DOL, USCIS, and the U.S. Embassy in the country you are applying. In general, your employer and you will have to pay the following fees:
- DOL Labor Certification fee (employer).
- USCIS Form I-140 petition filing fee (employer).
- Form DS-261 processing fee (employee).
- Medical examination fees (employee).
- Fees for obtaining supporting documents (employee).
- Any translation fees from a foreign language to English (employee).
How long does it take to get an EB-2 visa?
The time for an EB-2 visa to be processed can range from one year to three or four years. Since there is a cap on the limit of annual visas given for EB-2, the processing time for it can be quite long. The visas are processed in order of application, so if you have applied earlier, you might get processed faster.
Do I Get Access to American Healthcare With an EB2 Visa?
You will have access to healthcare in the United States as an EB2 visa holder. However, the costs of getting medical treatment in the U.S. are one of the highest in the world.
So, treating a broken leg or arm will cost you $2,500, while staying at a U.S. hospital may cost over $10,000, on average. You should pick a health insurance plan for immigrants that fits you best, which overall is also affordable and covers your needs.
Can I bring my family to the U.S. with an EB-2 visa?
If you have an approved and valid EB2 visa, you can have your spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old join you. Your spouse must apply for the E-21 visa, and your children for the E-22 visa.
After they get their visas, your spouse is eligible to work in the U.S. by getting an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
Which is better: EB2 or EB3?
Both are employment-based visas. However, the EB2 visa is the second-preference employment visa, and the EB3 visa is the third-preference employment visa. This means that EB2 visas are slightly preferred over EB3 visas. EB2 visas make up 28.7% of approved employment-based visas.
What is the EB2 category for green cards?
The EB2 visa is the second preference employment-based green card category. It grants U.S. permanent residency to foreign nationals with advanced degrees or exceptional abilities.
How long does it take for an EB2 green card?
If the U.S. consular officer or immigration officer approves your application, you will receive EB2 visa status and be eligible to come to the United States with a green card. Moreover, the average processing time is about nine months, whether you apply for your immigrant visa or make an adjustment of status.
Can we change from EB2 to EB-1?
She simply needs to self-petition and files a new I-140 for the EB-1A along with supporting evidence and fees. Therefore, porting from an EB-2 to an EB-1 green card is more like filing for a brand new green card from scratch and keeping your original priority date.
With this article, you have seen various U.S. employment-based visas like EB2, so you can follow our guide to easily apply. Do consult workstudyvisa.com for more information. Also, Check out the steps to apply for a Jordan Visa Extension!