EB-2, Second Preference

Advanced Degree Professionals, Individuals with Exceptional Ability, and National Interest Waivers

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 a foreign national who has exceptional ability. Below are the occupational categories and requirements:

  • Professionals with advanced degrees (PERM Labor Certification is generally required. Please read more regarding the PERM application)
  • Individuals with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts or business.
  • National Interest Waivers

Professionals with Advanced Degrees
An immigrant petition for a foreign national holding an advanced degree can be made when a U.S. position requires an advanced degree. A complex process called the PERM Labor Certification typically precedes the immigrant petition. Meyer Law Group specializes in complex PERM procedures. Please learn more regarding the PERM Labor Certification here.

The U.S. position must require an advanced degree and the foreign national must possess such a degree or its equivalent (a baccalaureate degree plus 5 years progressive work experience in the field). Documentation, such as an official academic record showing a U.S. advanced degree or a foreign equivalent degree, or an official academic record showing a U.S. baccalaureate degree or a foreign equivalent degree and letters from current or former employers showing at least 5 years of progressive post-baccalaureate work experience in the specialty may be required.

Individuals with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts or business

Individuals with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts or business may apply to waive the labor certification requirement if a waiver would be in the national interest. Exceptional ability means a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered. The individual must also have a job offer from a U.S. employer to provide services in the sciences, arts, professions, or business.

Proof of exceptional ability may be demonstrated in any (3) following way:

  • 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 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.

National Interest Waivers

Aliens seeking a national interest waiver are requesting that the PERM Labor Certification be waived because it is in the interest of the United States.  Though the jobs that qualify for a national interest waiver are not defined by statute, national interest waivers are usually granted to those who have exceptional ability (see above) and whose employment in the United States would greatly benefit the nation.  Those seeking a national interest waiver may self-petition (they do not need an employer to sponsor them) and may file their labor certification directly with USCIS along with their Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker.

National Interest Waiver petitioners must meet at least three of the criteria below* and demonstrate that it is in the national interest that he or she work permanently in the United States.

  • 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 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.