How it works
With the EB-2 NIW (National Interest Waiver) visa, foreign professionals may be eligible to sponsor themselves for U.S. permanent residence if their professional experience and plans for employment in the United States are deemed of national interest and it can be proven that your proposed work will not displace an American worker.
Once the EB-2 NIW visa is approved, you, your spouse, and your children under 21 years of age may then receive their permanent residence, otherwise known as a Green Card, from within the United States, or you may choose to receive your permanent residence visa abroad via a U.S. consulate or embassy of your choosing.
Contrary to what many people believe, you don't have to be an Oscar winner or an Einstein in your industry. You may, however, qualify if you have a bachelor's degree and at least five years of proven experience from the date of graduation or have a graduate or master's degree in your area of expertise. If you do have a postgraduate or master's degree, the 5 years of experience would then not be required. If you do not have a formal education, but have been working in your field for at least 10 years and have been recognized as someone of great importance within your industry through an award or similar recognition, you may also qualify for this visa and Green Card category.
Virtually every profession is eligible, as long one of the conditions stipulated by law is met. Fluency in English is not a requirement.
Who can apply?
Professionals in any field may qualify for an EB-2 NIW Visa.
Among the professions best suited for the EB-2 NIW Visa, those professions falling within a STEM field, which is an abbreviation for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are best suited for this category of visa. Exceptions, however, do exist for exceptional individuals in the areas of art, athletics, and business.
Just a sample of some the professions eligible for an EB-2 NIW Visa include: systems analyst, researcher, scientist, artist, agronomist, animator, musician, singer, doctor, dentist, entrepreneur, engineer of any kind, designer, lawyer, therapist, economist, teacher, business person, veterinarian, nurse, pharmacist, urban planner, consultant, project manager, and architect.
Although this list is not exhaustive, we must make clear that not just any professional will qualify by virtue of their identifying themselves as being a member of one of the above detailed professions. They also need to demonstrate that their proposed work in the U.S. will serve a national interest.
The premise behind the U.S. government's waiver of a job offer and labor certification stems from the requirement that the professional applying for the EB-2 NIW will either bring a defined experience or perform a specific function that qualifies as being of national interest, either because it was deemed as such by a governmental body, or because the candidate is a uniquely qualified professional, or because there are few professionals in that industry in a particular region of the country, or because the nature of the job proposed by the candidate unique, or because the candidate will be self-employed in the United States.
The EB-2 NIW Visa is generally granted to those professionals that can prove that they have the ability to benefit the United States in some way, that is, in addition to meeting the above detailed requirements, you have a plan to benefit the United States, whether by continuing to work in your area of expertise, joining professional groups in the United States, starting your own company, continuing to carry out research in your area of expertise, continuing to perform in your art, or continuing to compete or train others in your sport.
Immigration seeks to approve residency for those who are considered "above average" professionals. Immigration determines this with 7 requirements stipulated by law. If you can demonstrate that you meet three of the seven requirements, immigration will consider you "above average" when compared to other professionals and therefore an individual of "exceptional ability". If this can be proven, then all that remains to be done is to show the government that you will not be a public charge nor will you displace a similarly qualified worker within the U.S. labor market. The key lays in explaining how you will benefit the U.S. labor market either with your past experience or with your future plans to continue working in your area of expertise.
The 7 ways to prove "Exceptional Ability" as defined by USCIS are as follows:
1 - Official academic record showing that you have a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution of learning relating to your area of exceptional ability.
2 - Letters documenting at least 10 years of full-time experience in your occupation.
3 - A license to practice your profession or certification for your profession or occupation.
4 - Evidence that you have commanded a salary or other remuneration for services that demonstrates your exceptional ability.
5 - Membership in a professional association(s).
6 - Recognition for your achievements and significant contributions to your industry or field by your peers, government entities, professional or business organizations.
7 - Other comparable evidence of eligibility is also acceptable.
The last two criteria are quite broad, and for good reason. By allowing them to remain broad, the U.S. government is allowing professionals from all industries to submit evidence that does not readily or easily fit into one of the other categories of evidence. Immigration understands that each profession has its own definition or understanding of what makes someone "exceptional", so USCIS will allow you to submit and explain that evidence accordingly.
EB-2 NIW with G.E.B. Global
At G.E.B. Global, we are committed to working with our clients in achieving their business and/or immigration goals.
We are thorough in our analysis and highly selective when choosing to represent a particular company or client because our ultimate goal is to win your case or successfully execute your business goals.
Our fees are very competitive, we offer payment plans, and unlike other law firms across the United States, your contact throughout the process will be directly with your attorney.
To receive a free preliminary analysis of the viability of your immigration plan or case, we invite you to send your resume along with any other questions or details that may assist us in our analysis through the form below.