EB2 Green Card
If you are looking to hire foreign workers for your business, you should know that every year the United States allots a fixed number of green cards for foreign workers who are needed by US businesses to fill vacancies. Applicants for these employment-based visas are categorized based on their skills, background, and knowledge. An EB-2 green card is available for those foreign workers who fall into the United States’ second preferred category. They are available for individuals who fall into one of three categories.
- Advanced Degree – Foreign workers who have a degree beyond a U.S. bachelor’s degree, such as a Master’s or Doctorate, or its foreign equivalent: A bachelor’s degree and at least 5 years of work experience in the field. Workers in this category must be approved by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Foreign Labor Certification Process.
- Exceptional Ability – Foreign workers who have a specialized degree and hold a significant competence in one of the following areas: art, business, or science. Workers in this category must also be approved by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Foreign Labor Certification Process.
- National Interest Waiver – Foreign workers seeking to have the Foreign Labor Certification Process waived because it is in the national interest of the United States to do so. Unlike the other EB-2 green card categories, these workers do not need an employer sponsor and my self-petition for an EB-2 visa.
Other EB-2 Requirements:
Immigrants seeking an EB-2 green card under the Exceptional Ability or National Interest Waiver categories must additionally meet at least three of the following requirements:
- Official academic record of a degree relating to the field of exceptional ability.
- Documentation of at least 10 years of work experience in the field.
- Professional license or certification
- A salary that indicates the person has exceptional ability in the field.
- Be a member of related professional associations.
- Peer or government recognition of achievements in the field.
- Any other comparable evidence of exceptional ability.
To successfully receive an EB-2 green card, applicants and their employers must follow a three step process. The first step is for the employer who wishes to hire a foreign worker to file with the US Department of Labor for Permanent Labor Certification using Program Electronic Management Review (PERM) System.
This requires the employer to certify that a job opening is available in a specified professional field, that the job is also available to US workers, that a foreign worker is needed, and that the pay for the job is at a prevailing industry rate.
If all of the requirements are meant, the Department of Labor will issue a PERM form, which is necessary to proceed to the next step. Foreign applicants seeking a National Interest Waiver may skip this first step.
After the PERM form is received, the employer wishing to sponsor a foreign worker for an EB-2 green card must complete and file form I-140, which is the petition for the EB-2 visa. After the petition is received, the applicant must wait for his or her EB-2 priority date to be eligible to proceed to the next step. The priority date depends on when the application is received.
It changes over time depending upon how many visa applications are currently in processing. Applicants need to be aware of the idea of retrogression in the priority date. It occurs when there are more applicants for an EB-2 green card than there are allocated green cards available.
For example, if the current processing time is three months and suddenly there is a spike in the number of applications, only applicants who have filed at least six months ago might be allowed to proceed to the next step. This means that as soon as you can proceed to the final step, it is in your interest to do so if you do not want to experience delays in the EB-2 processing time.
When applicants are allowed to proceed to the final step they may follow one of two different procedures. If the applicant is not in the United States, he or she will need to be interviewed at a US Consulate office in their home country.
The Consular office will process the application from there and determine whether the individual qualifies for an EB-2 green card. If the applicant is already in the United States on a different Visa, the applicant needs to file for an Adjustment of Status using Form I-485.
Applicants will then be told to go to a USCIS Application Support Center for security processing, which generally requires fingerprinting and having your picture taken. Some applicants may be required to attend an interview. The final decision will be mailed to the applicant once it is available.
How Our EB-2 Green Card Attorneys Can Help
- EB-2 green card attorneys at SGM Law Group have extensive experience with complex employment immigration cases and are prepared to assist you with all stages of the process.
- Our EB-2 immigration attorneys can help you create the best strategy to meet and document all of the EB-2 requirements efficiently and cut down on the EB-2 processing time.
- We can help your employees obtain EB-2 green cards with minimal delays as we have the experience necessary to help you cut through the bureaucratic red tape.
- We can also make sure that an EB-2 green card is the most appropriate Visa program for you or your employees. If it is not, we have the experience to help you with alternatives.