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EB-2: green card based on career or advanced degree

Learn about the EB-2: Green card based on career or Advanced Degree – including U.S. National Interest Waiver (NIW)

Those who prove exceptional skill (above average career) or have an advanced degree (at least a bachelor’s degree) in the fields of science, arts or business qualify for the EB-2 immigration category.

To show evidence of exceptional skill, EB-2 candidates must have a significantly higher degree of experience than is typically found in the job market. They must meet at least three of the seven requirements established by the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services).


  1. Diploma and academic history in his professional area.
  2. Proof of at least ten continuous years of experience in the professional area.
  3. Authorization or license that allows you to pursue your profession in your country of origin or residence.
  4. Above-average market financial compensation for professionals in your exact area of work.
  5. Affiliations or registrations in professional associations in your area.
  6. Proof of recognition for their achievements and professional contributions.
  7. Other evidence demonstrating exceptional professional skill in your field.


Depending on qualification and professional area, USCIS may consider that the presence of the EB-2 candidate in the United States meets the country’s National Interest Waiver (NIW), which means that a job offer and a work certification are not required. The EB-2 NIW aims to attract high-skilled foreign professionals who will contribute in areas with a shortage of specialized workers in the USA, such as Health, Technology, Education, Engineering, Aviation, Science, etc.

To qualify for EB-2 based on an advanced degree, applicants must submit official academic records showing that they have at least one U.S. bachelor’s degree (or a foreign equivalent degree) and/or at least five years of progressive bachelor’s experience in their specialties, which must be attested with letters from current or former employers and other types of documentation.

EB-2 Frequently Asked Questions

1)         Who qualifies for the EB-2 Immigration category?

You may be eligible for an employment-based, second preference visa if you are a member of the professions holding an advanced degree or its equivalent or someone with exceptional ability.

2)         Do I need a job offer or sponsor for the EB-2 process?

Generally, an EB-2 visa and other employment-based immigration require a formal employment offer for an applicant to be eligible to apply. Additionally, it requires a Labor Certification from the Department of Labor. However, EB-2 NIW (National Interest Waiver) does not necessarily need a sponsor, with the own applicant self-petitioning for his process (form I-140)

3)         Can I work in the U.S. while waiting for the EB-2 approval?

It is legal to work in the United States while you’re waiting for a green card. However, you will need to obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), also known as a work permit.

4)         Can the spouse of an EB-2 applicant work in the U.S.?

The legal spouse of an EB-2 green cardholder may apply to remain in the U.S. via an E-21 application; minor children (unmarried, under 21) use an E-22 application. The spouse may apply for an EAD (Employment Authorization Document) to work in the U.S. during the process.

5)         How long does it take for an EB-2 application to be approved?

It usually takes 10 to 14 months for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to process Form I-140, depending on which service center is reviewing the petition and on the backlog of immigration benefits currently being processed at the USCIS during the time of the application.

Have you identified with the profile and criteria for the EB-2 category and want to work and live legally in the US? Schedule an initial consultation with our licensed lawyers through our website: www.gondimlaw.com


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