EB-2 Second Preference Group:
Exceptional Ability Persons and Advanced-Degree Professionals
EB-2 category covers professionals with advanced degrees and persons of exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business departments. This preference requires Labor Certification (PERM), as well as a job offer, unless the individual qualifies for the National Interest Waiver. For more information on the National Interest Waiver (NIW), see the National Interest Waiver page.
- Exceptional ability (expertise significantly above the ordinary in the sciences, business, or arts), or Advanced degree (or its equivalent);
- Will substantially benefit the national economy, cultural or education interests, or US welfare;
- US employer and PERM Labor Certification (unless qualify for the National Interest Waiver. In that case a job offer and labor certification will be waived).
Exceptional ability can be proven by any 3 criteria:
- Degree relating to area of exceptional ability
- Evidence of at least 10 years of experience
- License to practice profession
- Salary or remuneration demonstrating exceptional ability
- Membership in professional association
- Recognized achievements; significant contributions to the industry
- Expert opinion letters of your exceptional ability
- Any other evidence that might demonstrate exceptional ability
Advanced degree can be demonstrated by:
- The USCIS defines “profession” to mean an occupation for which a US baccalaureate degree (or its foreign equivalent) is the minimum requirement to enter the field. Therefore, only individuals engaged in a profession who have an advanced degree will qualify for the EB-2 category. Professionals who only hold a Bachelor’s degree may be able to qualify under the EB-3 category.
- Advanced degree is defined as the US academic or professional degree (or foreign equivalent) above a bachelor’s degree level. The law also states that a bachelor’s degree plus at least 5 years of relevant experience in the specialty will be considered the equivalent of the Master’s degree.
- Currently, the advanced degree has to be from an accredited school.
Supporting documentation for the Advanced Degree category:
- An official academic record
- Letters from current or previous employers showing the workers has at least 5 years of progressive post-baccalaureate experience in the specialty. (if using experience to establish the equivalence of a Master’s degree).
- If using a foreign degree, an evaluation must be submitted by a certified independent credentials evaluator or by a school official that has the authority to make such determinations.
You need to have a job offer from a US employer. Generally, the position must require, at a minimum, a professional holding an advanced degree or its equivalent.
PERM Labor Certification
Generally, the Department of Labor is responsible to certify that there are no qualified US workers who are able and willing to take the job offered to the foreign employee. For most job offers, the Department of Labor will analyze the wage offered to the foreign employee to ensure its compliance with the “prevailing wage” for US workers who are similarly employed, and a test of the US labor market to determine the availability of the US workers.
For more information on PERM Labor Certification, see the PERM Labor Certification page.