The second preference of the employment based visa is called the EB-2 immigrant worker visa. If you fall under the following categories, you may be eligible to apply for a green card as a second preference immigrant worker.
- You have an advanced degree or its equivalent (a bachelor’s degree plus 5 years work experience in the specific area);
- You have exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business;
- You can show that your permanent employment in the United States is in the national interest. This is called the National Interest Waiver.
To apply with advanced degree, exceptional ability or for the National Interest Waiver, you must meet certain criteria and provide credible evidentiary evidence documentation that you meet the criteria. If you meet all filing and eligibility criteria, your employer must file Form I-140 Petition for Alien Worker. The process depends on where you are. The EB-2 process has different steps, which are laid out briefly below.
Generally, the employer must file the petition with an approved individual labor certification from the Department of Labor on Form ETA-750. Labor certification is required unless waived under the National Interest Waiver. This is the first step in the process, which takes some time for the Department of Labor to process. Therefore, it is important to start this process as soon as the employer and you are sure that the employer will file the petition. The rest of the process depends on where you are. You can either do an Adjustment of Status (AOS) or consular processing.
Adjustment of Status Process
If you are located in the United States, you may be able to submit an adjustment of status application. Generally, this involves submitting the petition and the adjustment of status application, attending a biometrics appointment and then the final interview some months or years later. During the process you should be on the look out for any requests for more evidence, called RFEs. Failure to respond to these may cause a delay or denial of your application.
Before applying for the green card through the adjustment of status process you should make sure that this is the right process for you. For instance, you should make sure there are no bars to an adjustment of status and no admissibility issues. You should make sure that a visa is immediately available to you and that you have legal status. Consider applying for employment authorization (if necessary) and advanced parole. Advanced parole will allow you to travel outside of the United States during the application process. Each of the pieces of this process can get complicated. If you miss something or make mistakes, it could mean a delayed process or even a denial. It is important to tread carefully and be meticulous through this process.
If you are outside of the United States, and the USCIS approves the petition, you will go through consular processing and a final interview at the embassy in your home country. Generally, the employer will submit the petition at the USCIS. If approved, the USCIS sends the approved petition to the National Visa Center. The National Visa Center then corresponds with you to provide documentation, fee payments and to complete the DS-260 immigrant visa application. Then the embassy in your home country schedules the final interview and provides you instructions to do the medical examination and obtain a police certificate in your country. The officer will review all documentation and your application at the final interview and inform you of the decision at the interview.
When considering whether to go through with this type of green card application, it is important to take other circumstances and factors into consideration. Failing to do this may cause complications during the application process. For instance, any facts that involve previous denials, past immigration and criminal violations, previous marriages that involved filings, entry with other types of visas, tax issues, visa overstays, and previous employment in the United States can be just as important as the basic eligibility criteria. A single criminal violation, whether a misdemeanor or more serious, can lead you to be inadmissible to the United States, which may require additional steps to get a green card, such as a waiver.
It is important to consult an experienced immigration attorney to assist you with your case. An attorney will assist with with applying for the labor certification, preparing the petition, assist with gathering evidence, and advocate vigorously for you during the process. Here at ST Law Office, I have dedicated my practice solely to immigration matters. I vigorously advocate no matter how simple or complicated the matter. Don’t hesitate to call us at 561-405-4889 or to schedule your initial phone, online or in-person consultation now.