EB-2 and NIW: Requirements for Advanced Workers

August 7, 2017 Chelsea Iversen

EB-2: ADVANCED WORKERS

The second type of employment-based green card EB-2 has laxer eligibility requirements than EB-1. However, the permanent labor certification (PERM) process is a prerequisite.

EB-2 requirements include:

  1. Professionals who hold advanced degrees.
  2. Foreign nationals with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts or business.
  3. Professionals whose work benefits the national interest of the United States.

EB-2 REQUIREMENTS: WHO QUALIFIES?

Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees

The professional must have earned an advanced academic degree or equivalent to qualify.

Requirements:

  • The job being filled must normally call for a worker with specific higher education.
  • Foreign nationals must provide official academic records or diplomas.
  • Equivalent work experience requires evidence of an undergraduate degree, as well as letters from current (or former) employers showing at least five years of progressive work experience in a specific specialty or field.

Foreign Nationals with Exceptional Ability in the Sciences, Arts or in Business

Professions include: lawyers, doctors, physicists, economists, analysts, professional athletes, artists and opera singers.

Requirements:

  • Evidence of three qualifying criteria must be shown.

NIW: PROFESSIONALS WHOSE WORK BENEFITS THE NATIONAL INTEREST OF THE UNITED STATES

Professionals with exceptional ability, and whose employment in the United States has a profoundly positive national impact, may be eligible for a National Interest Waiver (NIW).

Applying for a National Interest Waiver does not require the PERM process nor a formal job offer.

NIW Requirements:

Must provide evidence that work will have favorable impact on the United States, and benefit one of the following:

  • The U.S. economy
  • Wages and working conditions of U.S. workers
  • Education and training programs for U.S. children andunder-qualified workers
  • Healthcare
  • Affordable housing for young or older, less affluent U.S. residents
  • The U.S. environment (by efficiently using national resources)
  • International cultural understanding, or the worker must be requested by a U.S. governmental agency

Must meet at least three specific criteria to be eligible, such as documented proof of professional certification or a letter displaying 10 years of work experience in the field.

Example: Favorable impact

A childhood obesity specialist conducting groundbreaking research that will drive the development of cultural changes and positively impact the United States.

Key HR Takeaways

  • While the EB-2 case is more difficult to document and substantiate than the others, successful applicants often move faster through the process than those in other categories, since fewer qualified candidates exist.
  • When describing the job, as part of the labor certification process, employers must clearly articulate the minimum requirements for the position as holding a master’s or bachelor’s degree, plus five years of progressive experience.

EB-2 Questionnaire

  • Does the employee hold an advanced degree?
  • Does the employee have exceptional ability in the sciences, arts or in business?
  • Does the employee’s field of expertise benefit the national interest of the United States?
  • If the employee does not have an advanced degree, does he or she have an undergraduate degree and at least five years of progressive work experience?
  • Does the role meet necessary requirements to begin the labor certification (PERM) process?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, the EB-2 green card may be a permanent residency option for your employee. To confirm eligibility for your foreign national, contact Envoy at (855) 847-2669 or visit envoyglobal.com/about-us/contact.

To learn more about green cards, download our Comprehensive Green Card Guide here.

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