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EB-2 NIW Visa for the Tech Sector

EB-2 NIW Visa for the Tech Sector

Scores of people worldwide apply for visas to enter the United States, but few rarely get them. What is it about this country that attracts so many people? We believe it is opportunity.

Common reasons for immigrating to the U.S. include better job opportunities, better living standards, better education, better protection of human rights, and so on.

The United States presents a wide range of opportunities, not only for its citizens but also for those professionals looking for a chance to make a better life for themselves and for others.

EB-2 NIW Visa: Introduction

The EB-2 NIW Visa is not like a tourist visa, once approved, the petitioner, their spouse, and their children under 21 years of age automatically become eligible for U.S. permanent residence, which is also known as the Green Card. This makes the EB-2 NIW one of the most attractive options for foreign professionals looking to immigrate to the United States.

“EB-2” stands for “second preference employment-based”, but it does not necessarily require an offer of employment and does not necessarily get processed any faster or slower than other employment-based visa categories. The EB-2 NIW does however have one less step than a traditional employment-based visa, also known as a PERM or the Labor Certification process. Based upon your previous employment, current occupation, proposed endeavor in the U.S., and professional skills in general, the U.S. government may waive the need for this Labor Certificate if they find it in the national interest to do so. Waiving that process thereby makes the EB-2 NIW "faster" to obtain from a procedural perspective.

Applicants eligible for the EB-2 visa can be divided into the following 2 subcategories that can and should be argued simultaneously whenever possible:

1) Advanced Degree; and/or,

2) Exceptional Ability.

An Advanced Degree is defined, generally speaking, as a bachelor’s degree plus five years of progressive experience in the field measured from the date of graduation. While the EB-2 visa is specifically aimed at professionals with an Advanced Degree, it is a perfect opportunity for those individuals that may be considered “exceptional” as well. Exceptional Ability can be understood under the law as being “above average” in comparison to others in your industry or the minimally-qualified candidate as determined by the Department of Labor. U.S. immigration law also offers 7 criteria to prove “exceptional ability” and you only need to evidence 3 of the 7 criteria to qualify for this aspect of the EB-2 visa.

Often times, when you can prove Advanced Degree, you can also prove Exceptional Ability. For example, if you are a professional working in the technology sector and you hold a particular license or certification in your field, and are a member of a professional organization, and also have a bachelor’s degree plus 5 years of experience in your field of experience, you can then automatically argue that you have both an Advanced Degree, plus 3 of the 7 criteria for Exceptional Ability, which is having a diploma in one’s field of expertise, as well as membership and a certification that is relevant to your industry. You are not limited to proving 3 of the 7 criteria, as such, if you can prove more, we encourage you to do so. The 7 criteria are:

  • 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.

  • Letters from current or former employers documenting at least 10 years of full-time experience in your occupation.

  • A license to practice your profession or certification for your profession or occupation.

  • Evidence that you have commanded a salary or other remuneration for services that demonstrates your exceptional ability.

  • Membership in a professional association(s).

  • Recognition for your achievements and significant contributions to your industry or field by your peers, government entities, professional or business organizations.

  • Other comparable evidence of eligibility is also acceptable.

What makes the “EB-2” an “EB-2 NIW” is the National Interest Waiver (NIW). If your degree, employment experience, and proposed endeavor (what you intend to do in the U.S.) are considered areas of national interest to the United States, which technology certainly has been, then you can argue the National Interest Waiver (NIW) as well. The NIW has been confused as being its own separate subcategory, apart from Advanced Degree and Exceptional Ability, and it is not. It is an overarching element that is part of the EB-2 visa category, and can only be argued if you have first proven to qualify as either having an Advanced Degree or an Exceptional Ability.

While those professions directly related to STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) are best suited for the EB-2 NIW, eligibility for this visa category may also extend to other professionals with proven experience or achievement in their disciplines, including business, arts, and athletics.

EB-2 NIW Visa: Opportunities in the U.S. Tech Industry

The EB-2 NIW could be your path to a brighter future in the Land of Opportunity, given the number of opportunities America has to offer within the tech industry.

The U.S. technology sector is one of the fastest evolving sectors in the world and every year more opportunities are created. The United States of America, a pioneer of the latest technological innovations over the last 100 years has created opportunities for professionals that have benefited the entire world. Netflix, Facebook, Google, Amazon, SpaceX, and other Silicon Valley companies demonstrate this fact.

With an ever-increasing pace in innovation and a rapidly expanding technology industry, America needs more skilled professionals to drive its vibrant tech space. The United States does not produce enough technology graduates to meet the needs of the American tech industry. This shortage is so critical that the U.S. Department of Defense has assessed the shortage of graduates in STEM disciplines as a matter of national defense, declaring a need to attract and retain foreign professionals across all STEM fields, stating: “The United States risks losing its competitive advantage if it continues with its business-as-usual approach and fails to equip its workforce with the education and skills to develop and field complex, cutting-edge emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, autonomous systems, machine learning, and hypersonics.” Therefore, through the EB-2 visa, the country plans to fill this gap, benefiting from the skills and potential of tech professionals looking to immigrate.

As the U.S. government has prioritized the advancement of the country's tech industry, current policy initiatives are expected to create even more opportunities with regard to investment in, and expansion of, the internet and related tech fields. The demand for qualified professionals within the internet, cyber security, and tech fields has dramatically increased in recent years. Consequently, many immigrants will be able to take advantage of these nationwide opportunities through the EB-2 NIW visa.

In the 21st century, all countries need tech specialists or STEM professionals to develop their internet, cloud, cyber, and computing infrastructure to compete in a highly challenging global environment. In the United States, the technology sector has become central to the well-being and development of other industries, such as the health, food, travel, and so on. Without tech experts, the U.S. economy ceases to function. The U.S. government has recognized this and has embraced the need for more STEM professionals via the EB-2 NIW, making it just a bit easier for STEM professionals to immigrate to the U.S. as long as what they proposed to do in the U.S. will be of interest to the country, either in generating some sort of economic, cultural, health, or scientific benefit, or supporting an initiative that

has been deemed of national importance.

Regarding national importance, it is critical to know that USCIS will not limit its analysis to the geographic impact of your endeavor, as it understands that endeavors that are limited to a specific locality or region may ultimately have positive ripple effects on the larger national economy or state of affairs within an industry or sector.

EB-2 NIW Visa for the Tech Sector

EB-2 NIW Visa: A Win-Win Situation for Tech Entrepreneurs?

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on January 21, 2022 that it was updating and issuing new U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) policy manual guidance to clarify how certain STEM graduates and entrepreneurs can use the national interest waiver for employment-based immigrant visa classification as an advanced degree professional or individual of exceptional ability. The updated guidance makes it easier for noncitizens with needed skills, such as STEM graduates and entrepreneurs, to embark on a pathway to obtain lawful permanent resident status in the United States via the EB-2 NIW.

These statements show that with the technology sector growing so rapidly, foreign professionals have immense opportunities to join the workforce and benefit from this need for STEM workers. Therefore, the EB-2 NIW visa offers a win-win situation for both the United States and potential immigrants. The influx of talented and qualified individuals from all over the world via the EB-2 NIW visa provides the U.S. with the STEM workforce needed to support its tech industry and provides immigrants with an easier path to permanent residence.

Please note, what we present to USCIS as far as your proposed endeavor will be analyzed on its face, meaning they will approve or deny the EB-2 NIW based upon what we explain to them are your intentions for the U.S., and not based upon what you have already achieved.

We have to explain a prospective benefit, not a realized benefit. Once approved, the government will not ask you in the future to prove that you have achieved all that you said you intended to achieve. If we present a case stating that you intend to start a company, but then, for example, after becoming a resident you manage to obtain a job offer and end up closing that company, that change in plans would be entirely acceptable and would not prejudice your residency nor your citizenship as long as you made a good faith attempt to put your initial plans into motion.

There is case law that states that the government understands that even the best laid plans may fail, so as long as you make a good faith attempt to put your endeavor into action, you may accept that job offer without risking a revocation of your residency and it would not preclude you from applying for citizenship.

What we always advise though, in the event you cannot achieve what you set out to achieve, is that you remain working in something that is logically related to your academic or professional formation and/or area of expertise. Remember, we have told the government that you merit a Green Card based upon your expertise and that your expertise is going to generate a benefit to the country. While a specific plan you had in mind may not have been able to come to fruition, you should not give up on working in your area of expertise until you at least become a U.S. Citizen. We would be happy to discuss this with you during a formal consultation.

EB-2 NIW Visa: Most In-Demand Tech Jobs

According to, “Recruiting in the tech industry is on the rise — with companies reporting they are hiring “at or beyond pre-pandemic levels,” according to the report. Of those surveyed, 52% said they planned to add new positions in the coming year and 80% said turnover has increased in their company over the past year.”

While there are thousands of job openings in the U.S. tech industry waiting for the right person with the right skill set, here is a list of the most popular in-demand job categories:

  • Cyber Security Professional (Information, Systems, Network, Data, Cloud)

  • Cloud Architect

  • Database Administrator

  • Analyst Programmer

  • Systems Analyst

  • Mobile App Developer

  • Network Administrator

  • Software Developer

  • Software Engineer

  • DevOps Engineer

  • Technical Support Professionals

  • Information Technology Professionals

Free preliminary analysis of your eligibility for an employment-based Green Card.

EB-2 NIW Visa and Green Card with G.E.B. GLOBAL

G.E.B. GLOBAL is committed to helping professionals obtain permanent residence in the United States via the EB-2 NIW. We only take on those cases we believe can be handled effectively and efficiently. Attorney Gregory E. Boan is a dedicated and experienced expert on EB-2s who will work tirelessly to help you succeed and make your American dream come true. You can rest assured that you are hiring an attorney that is duly licensed to practice U.S. immigration law, and one that will provide you with clear and practical legal advice, connecting you with the necessary resources and implementing the most up-to-date legal mechanisms to effectively plan, prepare, and execute all phases of your immigration process.

Are you ready to begin your immigration journey?

G.E.B. GLOBAL is ready to help!

If you believe you may qualify for the EB-2 National Interest Waiver, we invite you to send your resume via our eligibility intake form or by sending your resume to and you will receive a free preliminary analysis of eligibility for this visa category.

1395 Brickell Avenue, Ste. 800

Miami, Florida 33131

Office: +1 (305) 967-6314

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