Second Preference (EB-2)

Employment Second Preference (EB-2): Advance Degrees

Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees, or Persons of Exceptional Ability in the Arts, Sciences, or Business receive 28.6 percent of the yearly worldwide limit, plus any unused Employment First Preference visas. Individuals applying under this category must normally have a job offer from a U.S. employer, and the employer must complete the labor certification process prior to filing a petition with USCIS. However, if an individual can show that it would be in the national interest to waive the labor certification process, he may be able to apply without a job offer, and avoid the labor certification process. We will evaluate your case to determine whether a waiver in the labor certification process is a viable option and work with you on documenting the national interest issues. If labor certification is required, we will draft all necessary forms and advise on documentation. We will also draft necessary reports on recruitment efforts, and advise employers throughout the recruitment process

There are the following subgroups within this category:

  • Professionals holding an advanced degree (beyond a baccalaureate degree (B.A.), or a B.A. degree and at least five years progressive experience in the profession
  • Persons with exceptional ability in the arts, sciences, or business. Exceptional ability means having a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered within the field
  • Qualified Physicians intending to practice medicine in underserved areas.

Professionals with Advanced Degrees

USCIS defines an advanced degree as “a professional or academic degree, given by a U.S. institution, beyond that of a baccalaureate” (USCIS). A foreign degree from an overseas institution is acceptable only if USCIS determines that the degree is equivalent to a U.S. degree.

To apply under this EB-2 category, USCIS regulations recommend that you provide documentation to prove that:

  • You have an advanced degree given by a U.S. institution or an equivalent foreign degree; or
  • You have a U.S bachelor’s degree or it’s foreign equivalent along with letters from your current or former employers showing that you have five years of employment experience, involving incremental responsibility in the profession. This is provided the position offered requires the advanced degree.
  • A petition for an applicant holding an advanced degree can be made when a position requiring an advanced degree becomes available in the U.S. The labor certification must indicate that the available employment position offered requires the advanced degree that you have to perform the job.

Exceptional Ability

To apply under the EB-2 Exceptional Ability category, USCIS regulations recommend that you prove such exceptional ability by submitting at least three of the documents mentioned below as evidence along with your application to USCIS:

  • Proof of your academic achievements in the area of your exceptional ability, including diplomas, degrees or certificates from colleges, universities or other institutions.
  • Proof that you have at least ten years of full-time experience in your field.
  • A license to practice your profession or certification in a particular profession or occupation.
  • Proof that you have received a worthy salary or remuneration for your exceptional abilities.
  • Proof that you are a member of professional associations.
  • Proof that you have received recognition from peers, government officials, or organizations for achievements and significant contributions in your field.

If the above standards do not apply to the petitioner’s occupation, other comparable evidence of eligibility is also acceptable.

Qualified physicians

If you are a qualified physician who will be practicing medicine in an area in the U.S. which has been certified as “underserved” by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), you can apply under the EB-2 category.

To apply under the EB-2 category, you must have the following documents:

  • A job offer in the profession for which you are academically prepared (e.g.: if the profession as a rule requires a doctoral degree, your job offer and the credentials must indicate/reflect it).
  • This category does not require a labor certification.