EB-2 visas are the second most common employment-based immigrant visa given out of the five types in total. It can be challenging to obtain one, since it’s dependent on a U.S employer sponsorship in most cases, meeting a list of perquisites, and a certified labor certification, however, the result is worth it all. An EB-2 visa provides a direct path towards obtaining permanent status.
The Department of Homeland Security last published a yearbook of statistics in 2017 in which they show the number of arrivals based on the class of admission. A total of 39,331 individuals obtained their permanent resident card or green card by way of a second preference (EB-2) visa. The number includes both new arrivals and adjustment of status individuals. 19, 899 of those individuals are spouses or children who came here exclusively under the primary applicant’s petition.
If you are planning to sponsor your employer through an EB-2 visa application, you should contact an immigration attorney for second preference (EB-2) to consult with first. The process for EB-2 visas is very competitive, and you want to have a set of hands from an experienced immigration law firm. At The Gonzalez Law Group, we have an extensive track record in immigration law dealing with employment-based applications.
When you speak to one of our attorneys, you can count on your needs getting heard. We know how overwhelming the immigration process can be and want to do everything possible to make it easier for you and your worker. We never want to leave you in the dark and will explain the process smoothly, so you understand.
Call for a free consultation at (832) 530-4070 with no strings attached. The Gonzalez Law Group works with clients in Harris County, Montgomery County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Chambers County, Waller County, and more.
Overview of Second Preference (EB-2)
What is Second Preference (EB-2)?
Two categories fall under the second preference (EB-2) visa. As designed by the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the second preference (EB-2) visa is for professionals holding advanced degrees or individuals with exceptional ability. The specifications and documentation requirements are found below for each category.
The advanced degree category specifies that you have to possess an advanced degree or a baccalaureate degree plus five years of superior work experience in the same field to fit in this category. The job for which you are applying has to be a job requiring an advanced degree or equivalent. For this category the following documentation can serve as proof:
- Certified academic record showing you have obtained an advanced degree or its equivalent, or a certified academic record showing you have a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent plus five years of advance work experience. The work experience can be demonstrated through sets of letters from previous or current employers.
The exceptional ability category defines an exceptional ability as one that is notably higher than the average level of expertise found in the same field of the sciences, arts, or business. The person who qualifies for this visa can show exceptional ability in the areas of science, art, or business. The following documentation can serve as proof in this category (must provide at least three):
- Certified academic record showing a degree, diploma, certificate, or equivalent award from a college, university, school, or other learning institution involving the same field
- Letters that can attest to 10 years of full-time work experience in the same field
- A license for practicing the profession or certification for the profession or work
- Evidence of salary or pay for the work attesting to the exceptional ability
- Membership in professional associations
- Acknowledgments of achievements and contributions to the field or industry you command; acknowledgments can come from peers, government entities, or professional or business organizations
- Proof of ability of the same equivalent can also be accepted
Verifying that each document will work towards the EB-2 application is a tedious process, which is why it’s best to hire an immigration attorney for second preference EB-2 to verify that every document is necessary.
Second Preference (EB-2) Process
Generally, you have to submit a labor certification certified by the Department of Labor along with this application. However, a national interest waiver can replace the labor certification due to it being in the interest of the United States. There is no specific mandate regulating the jobs that are eligible for a national interest waiver. The national interest waiver is most likely to be given to the applicants of the exceptional ability category. The exemption also has to show that the applicant’s employment would greatly benefit the United States. Additionally, applicants who file the national interest waiver can petition themselves and don’t require an employer for sponsorship. They can submit an I-140 form also on their own.
If you’re not planning to submit a national interest waiver, you need sponsorship from your employer. They have to file an I-140 for you as well as a labor certification. The labor certification is one that states that your employment in the U.S won’t affect others already working inside the country and that your labor is irreplaceable by anyone else inside the United States. Your family can come along with you once you’re in the process of obtaining your green card. Once the process for your green card is in place, your family can receive work authorization. As with any U.S visa, you must check in with the visa bulletin for an estimation of the time-length of your EB-2 visa application. If filing with your employer or by yourself, it’s best to check in with an immigration lawyer for second preference (EB-2) to make sure that all your documents are in order.
EB-2 Application Process by USCIS – This is the page laying out the process for filing the EB-2 application. You can get step by step what follows after the application and what documents should you expect to receive each time you submit a report with USCIS. You should follow up on this process with an immigration attorney for employment-visas by your side.
Department of State on EB-2 – The U.S Department of State is the page where you can check any new involving international travel or immigration resources, including employment visas like EB-2 visa. You can also check the priority dates for EB-2 visas on this website.
Attorney for Second Preference (EB-2) in Houston, TX
If you think you can qualify for a second preference (EB-2) visa after looking down the list of prerequisites, it might be worth talking to your employer about filing on your behalf. Unless you plan to do a self-petition national interest waiver, the sponsorship of an employer will be necessary.
Whether you are on your own or with an employer by your side, you need to seek the right immigration lawyer who can help apply for you. Our team of attorneys at The Gonzalez Law Group is excited to welcome you to our group of immigration clients with similar needs. We understand the immigration process beyond what’s on the paper, so you can count on our support.
The Gonzalez Law Group works with clients in the cities of Houston, Cypress, The Woodlands, Galveston, Spring, Katy, Pasadena, League City, Humble, Jacinto City, Kemah, Bellaire, Sugarland, Baytown, Friendswood, and many more. Call for a free consultation with no strings attached at (832) 530-4070 or fill out a blank form below for a case review.