The EB2 Green Card: How to Apply and What to Expect

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EB2 Green Card – The EB2 green card, also known as the employment-based second preference visa, gives you permission to live and work in the United States if you have at least one year of continuous full-time work experience in an occupation that falls under the National Interest Waiver (NIW) or Superior Academic Achievement (SAA). If your employer sponsors you for an EB2 visa, it’s just like getting an O-1 visa. In this article, we’ll discuss how to apply and what to expect from the EB2 green card process.

Who Qualifies for an EB2 Visa?


To qualify for an EB2 visa, a foreign worker must have at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent inexperience. The degree or experience must be from an accredited institution or organization located in a foreign country, or from an established international organization. The employment offered by a U.S. employer also must be with a firm that is established. This means it must either have more than five full-time employees at all times within two years of filing your application (including you), or that it has fewer than five full-time employees but had that number at some point within two years of filing your application (including you).

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Case Requirements


If you are applying for an EB-2 green card, your case will be evaluated on a point system. The USCIS looks at three criteria when evaluating whether you qualify for a green card. This includes your education, English ability, and your job skills compared to those of U.S. workers with similar education, language abilities, and work experience in their field. They use a point system where each factor is weighted differently based on its importance in filling jobs in America (this is called adjustment of status). If you get at least 100 points, then you may be able to get permanent residency through an employment visa.

Petition Preparation


The first step in applying for an EB-2 green card is preparing a petition for immigrant workers. To do so, you must file a Form I-140 with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on behalf of your foreign national employee. This form should be filed within one year of your employee’s start date—which may be sooner than he or she is needed (for example, if they are hired specifically for a work project that will only last six months). You can find instructions on filling out Form I-140 here. The USCIS has 21 days to issue or deny your petition once it’s been reviewed—but they have no limit on how long they can review it before making a decision.

Supporting Documentation Checklist


In addition to your actual green card application (Form I-485), you’ll need a number of documents to support your case. For example, if you are a recent college graduate with an advanced degree or three years of work experience in an area of exceptional demand, you must provide evidence that will satisfy USCIS. This documentation can be included with your I-485 filing or submitted separately, as it relates specifically to certain eligibility criteria. You should pay special attention when providing evidence for professional positions; some documents (such as certificates from licensing boards) are only valid for specific time frames. If you aren’t sure whether something is acceptable, check before submitting. Note: As per USCIS rules, applicants who have provided fraudulent information on any form may have their entire immigration application denied.

SEE: EB2 Green Card Process – Employment Based Immigration

First Step in the Process – Request for Evidence (RFE)


The good news is, that you have now made it past your priority date. At least one employer has applied for a labor certification on your behalf. The bad news is, that many more applications were submitted at roughly the same time, so yours may not be approved right away. It can take anywhere from six months to two years or longer for all of these applications to work their way through an overburdened bureaucracy (the US Citizenship and Immigration Services). When your application makes it through, you’ll get a notice that a petition was filed on your behalf with USCIS and that they will conduct an interview with you—but don’t panic! While some applicants do indeed fail at this point, it happens rarely enough that you shouldn’t worry about it.

Second Step in the Process – Adjustment of Status


If you have an approved I-140, you can file for an adjustment of status with USCIS. Here’s how it works. First, make sure your priority date is current or within six months of being current (there are rare cases when a foreign national will be required to wait more than six months). Then, complete Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) and submit evidence of your relationship with a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent along with Form G-325A (Biographic Information). You’ll also need to pay a filing fee.

Approval – We Made It!


If you get approved, great news! The USCIS will send you a letter congratulating you on your new status as a permanent resident. It’s also important that you keep in mind what comes next. You must arrive in the United States within six months of your approval date, or else you could lose your residence permit. In addition, if you apply for the U.S.

How to Apply for an EB2 Green Card in 2022 – Jobs Offer & Degree

The US government currently makes 140,000 green cards available each year to highly skilled workers. The law specifies that 40,000 of these are reserved for applicants from countries with low rates of immigration to the US, known as priority workers (EB2). An additional 5,000 visas are reserved for applicants with advanced degrees or exceptional abilities in science, business, or the arts (EB1). If you fall into this category, and have been offered a job by an employer willing to sponsor your visa application, then applying for an EB2 green card may be one option worth considering.

General Requirements


The EB-2 classification is only open to professionals holding advanced degrees or aliens of exceptional ability. To qualify as a professional, you must hold a U.S. master’s degree or higher (or its foreign equivalent). Exceptional ability requires that you have achieved a level of expertise indicating that you are one of that small percentage who has risen to the top of your field of endeavor. You must demonstrate your qualifications with evidence including: (1) a state license/certification if required; (2) proof that your occupation requires at least two years of training and experience; (3) copies of writings about your work showing attainment and recognition; and (4) awards received for outstanding achievement relating to your field.

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Job Offer


Before you apply, you need a job offer. It doesn’t matter if you’re a recent grad or an experienced worker—if you want to immigrate on an employment-based visa, your job must already be waiting for you. There are only two ways around it: If you’re actively petitioning (working on getting sponsorship from a US employer), or if your employer has gotten special approval from USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) called Advanced Parole. The Department of Labor offers useful resources that can help with your search, but here are some tips

Highest Degree


If you have a bachelor’s degree, your job offer must be at least a professionally qualified job. A professionally qualified job is one that requires at least a U.S. bachelor’s degree or its equivalent and which is performed either by U.S. workers or by foreign workers who already have permanent residence status in their own right (and not simply as dependents of workers with such status). Most jobs with BLS occupational codes beginning with 11 are considered to be professionally qualified, but some are not—be sure to check Table 1 of Form I-140 instructions carefully! You can also see my list of most frequently asked questions about Professionally Qualified.

Advanced Degree


To apply as a Skilled Worker (EB-2), you need to have at least a master’s degree. Your degree needs to be either an advanced degree or a first professional degree, which means it needs to be earned after completing study at least 3 years of undergraduate study and prior to obtaining your graduate degree. An advanced degree is one that is above what would ordinarily be required for entry-level work in your field. For example, if you are applying as a chemical engineer with a bachelor’s, but have done research or completed coursework beyond what’s usually expected from undergraduates, you could meet eligibility requirements by showing proof of that additional training. Or if you worked professionally under close supervision before attending grad school, you may qualify based on that experience alone.

Number of Points


You must be at least 21 years old. The USCIS does not accept applications from people under age 21, unless they are married and have children. Be sure to check your local or state marriage laws before applying. You must also be a U.S. citizen (or have been a permanent resident) when you applied, but most cases adjudicated by USCIS take years before they’re complete, so if you plan on becoming a naturalized citizen through legal means, then it might make sense to wait until you’ve done that before applying.

Age


According to USCIS policy, to claim extraordinary ability, a foreign national must be at least age 21 when filing Form I-140. However, given that many people with exceptional abilities are still younger than 22 when they apply for their EB-2 green card, it is possible that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will accept your application if you qualify.

SEE: Jobs in UK for Foreigners With Visa Sponsorship 2022

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