What is an EB-2 visa?
The EB-2 visa is a U.S. employment-based immigrant visa category designed for individuals with advanced degrees or exceptional abilities in their respective fields. This visa category is part of the Employment-Based Immigration: Second Preference (EB-2) and is intended for professionals, individuals with advanced degrees, and individuals with exceptional abilities who wish to work and live permanently in the United States.
Here are key features of the EB-2 visa category:
- Advanced Degrees: Individuals with a master’s degree or higher in their field of expertise may qualify for an EB-2 visa.
- Exceptional Abilities: Individuals who can demonstrate exceptional ability in their field, which can be in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, may also be eligible.
- National Interest Waiver (NIW): A subset of the EB-2 category allows individuals to seek a national interest waiver, which means they can bypass the labor certification process if their work is deemed to be in the national interest of the United States.
- Labor Certification (PERM): In most EB-2 cases, the U.S. employer must first obtain a labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor. This process involves demonstrating that there are no qualified U.S. workers available for the position and that hiring a foreign worker will not adversely affect U.S. workers.
- Form I-140: Once the labor certification is approved, the U.S. employer files Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This petition establishes the basis for the individual’s eligibility for the EB-2 visa.
- Priority Date: The priority date is established when the Form I-140 is filed and can impact the waiting time for visa processing.
- Visa Availability: Availability of EB-2 visas can vary depending on the individual’s country of origin and the demand for these visas.
- Permanent Residency: If the EB-2 visa is approved, the individual becomes a lawful permanent resident (green card holder) of the United States.
- Ability to Work and Live in the U.S.: Green card holders have the ability to work and live in the United States permanently.
- Path to Citizenship: After holding a green card for a certain period, EB-2 visa holders may be eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship.
The EB-2 visa is highly sought after by professionals and individuals with exceptional skills who wish to contribute their expertise to the U.S. workforce. Due to the complexity of the application process and the various subcategories within the EB-2 category, seeking the assistance of an experienced immigration attorney can be beneficial to navigate the process successfully.
Is EB-2 visa a green card?
Yes, the EB-2 visa is a type of U.S. employment-based immigrant visa that can lead to lawful permanent residency, commonly known as a “green card.” The EB-2 visa category is part of the Employment-Based Immigration: Second Preference (EB-2) and is designed for individuals with advanced degrees or exceptional abilities in their respective fields.
When an individual is approved for an EB-2 visa and subsequently enters the United States on that visa, they are granted lawful permanent residency. This means they are authorized to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis. They will also receive a green card as evidence of their permanent resident status.
It’s important to note that the process for obtaining an EB-2 visa involves several steps, including obtaining a labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor and having an employer file a petition (Form I-140) on the individual’s behalf. Once the I-140 petition is approved and a visa number becomes available based on the individual’s priority date, they can apply for an immigrant visa or adjust their status to permanent residency within the United States.
Overall, the EB-2 visa category provides a pathway to obtaining a green card for individuals who possess advanced degrees or exceptional abilities and wish to contribute their skills and expertise to the U.S. workforce on a permanent basis.
Is a US job offer required for EB-2 visa sponsorship?
Yes, in most cases, a U.S. job offer is required for EB-2 visa sponsorship. The EB-2 visa is an employment-based immigrant visa category that is designed for individuals with advanced degrees or exceptional abilities in their respective fields. To be eligible for an EB-2 visa, the individual typically needs a U.S. employer who is willing to sponsor them for a specific job position.
Here’s how the job offer requirement works for the EB-2 visa:
- Labor Certification (PERM): In most cases, the U.S. employer must first obtain a labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor. The labor certification process involves demonstrating that there are no qualified U.S. workers available for the position and that hiring a foreign worker will not adversely affect U.S. workers. The job offer is an integral part of this process.
- Form I-140 Petition: Once the labor certification is approved, the U.S. employer files Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This petition includes information about the job position being offered to the foreign worker.
- Employer Sponsorship: The U.S. employer serves as the sponsor for the EB-2 visa applicant. The employer’s willingness to hire the foreign worker for the specified job position is a key component of the application process.
- National Interest Waiver (NIW): In some cases, individuals applying for an EB-2 visa may seek a national interest waiver, which allows them to bypass the labor certification requirement and the need for a specific job offer. This waiver is granted if the individual’s work is deemed to be in the national interest of the United States.
It’s important to note that the job offer requirement for the EB-2 visa is generally a fundamental aspect of the application process. The U.S. employer’s involvement, along with the labor certification process, helps ensure that the visa program benefits the U.S. economy and workforce.
As immigration laws and regulations can change, it’s advisable to consult official U.S. government sources or seek guidance from an experienced immigration attorney to understand the most up-to-date requirements for EB-2 visa sponsorship.