The EB-2 visa is a United States immigrant visa category under the Employment-Based Immigration system, specifically designed for foreign professionals who either have advanced degrees or possess exceptional ability in their field. This visa category is primarily used for:
- Advanced Degree Holders (EB-2A): Professionals with a master’s degree or above, or a bachelor’s degree combined with at least five years of progressive work experience in their field, are eligible for this visa.
- Persons with remarkable talent (EB-2B): This category is for persons who have remarkable talent in the sciences, arts, or business and can demonstrate sustained national or international renown in their field.
The Advantages of an EB-2 Visa for the United States
Permanent Residency: The EB-2 visa offers the recipient a green card, allowing them to live and work freely in the United States.
The EB-2 visa is primarily used to allow highly talented and qualified individuals to reside and work permanently in the United States. It offers a road to permanent residency (green card), allowing visa holders to work in their chosen sector anywhere in the country without the restrictions that are generally connected with non-immigrant work visas. Furthermore, this visa category allows for the National Interest Waiver (NIW), which allows for the waiver of the regular requirements for a job offer and labor certification if the applicant’s activity is regarded to be in the national interest.
Criteria for American EB-2 Visa Eligibility in 2024
- EB-2A Category: Aimed at those with a master’s degree or higher, or a bachelor’s degree plus at least five years of relevant work experience.
- EB-2B Category: Tailored for individuals with exceptional abilities in sciences, arts, or business, demanding evidence of sustained national or international acclaim.
Working on an EB-2 Visa
- Job Flexibility: Holders can pursue any employment opportunity in the US, akin to US citizens.
- No Employer Sponsorship Needed: This visa eliminates the need for employer sponsorship, broadening employment opportunities.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Applying for an EB-2 Visa in the United States in 2024
Applying for an EB-2 visa is a time-consuming, multi-step process. Here is a step-by-step instruction to navigating the application:
Step 1: Determine Your Eligibility
EB-2A: Provide proof of a master’s degree or higher, or a bachelor’s degree plus five years of progressive experience.
EB-2B: Provide extensive documentation to demonstrate your outstanding skill in the sciences, arts, or business.
Step 2: Get a Job Offer (Unless You’re Applying for NIW)
Obtain a job offer from a U.S. employer in your field; this stage is optional for NIW (National Interest Waiver) candidates.
Step 3: PERM Labor Certification (NIW Not Required)
Your US employer must apply to the Department of Labor (DOL) for PERM Labor Certification. The procedure requires you to demonstrate that there are no qualified U.S. workers available for your post.
Step 4: File Form I-140, Alien Worker Immigrant Petition.
Following PERM approval, your employer submits Form I-140 with USCIS, and NIW applicants may self-petition.
Step 5: Keep an eye out for the Priority Date and Visa Bulletin.
Your priority date is the date your PERM application (or I-140 if NIW) was filed. Check the US Department of State’s monthly Visa Bulletin for your priority date to become current.
Step 6: File Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (If residing in the United States).
If you are already in the United States and want to change your status to permanent residence, file Form I-485 once your priority date is current.
Step 7: Consular Processing (If Leaving the United States)
If you are currently outside the United States, you must go through consular procedures before attending an interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country once your priority date becomes current.
Step 8: Attend the Interview
Go through the interview procedure, either through USCIS (in the United States) or at a U.S. consulate (abroad), and give all required documents and answers to interview questions.
Step 9: Get Your Visa or Green Card
If your application is granted, you will be given an EB-2 visa stamp in your passport (for consular processing). If you are in the United States, you will get your green card by mail after Form I-485 is approved.
Step 10: Enter the United States (if Consular Processing is required).
With your EB-2 visa, enter the United States, and your green card will be mailed to your U.S. address.
Estimated Application Fees of EB-2 VISA in 2024
- Form I-140: $700
- Immigrant Fee: $220
- Form I-485: $750 – $1,140
- Biometrics Fee: $85
- Form DS-260 (outside US applicants): $325
- Premium Processing: $1,440
- Legal Fees: Varies
Estimated Total: At least $2,145 (within US) or $2,720 (outside US) whereas actual costs may vary.
The EB-2 visa provides an excellent opportunity for highly qualified professionals looking to work and live in the United States. Applicants can effectively navigate this path with the proper preparation, networking, and awareness of the procedure. Remember that careful study and competent coaching are essential for increasing your chances of success.
What are the predictions for green card in 2024?
The government anticipates 165,000 green cards for individuals in employment categories in Fiscal Year 2024, down from 197,000 in Fiscal Year 2023. However, because to the unused 25,000 family-based green cards from FY 2023, this is still 25,000 more than the constitutionally mandated 140,000.
Is USCIS not accepting EB-2 in 2024?
Starting in 2024 and beyond, the USCIS will no longer accept petitions under the EB-2 and EB-3 categories. This decision is clearly motivated by the present backlog of 1.1 million applications. Under the current constraints, clearing the backlog will take decades.
What are the requirements for EB-2?
You must fall into one of two categories to be eligible for the EB-2 visa: Individuals with a master’s degree or higher or a bachelor’s degree with at least five years of relevant job experience, or (b) individuals with extraordinary aptitude in the sciences, arts, or business.