The EB-2 classification is open to:
- Individuals with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts or business.
- Professionals with advanced degrees.
- Physicians intending to practice medicine in underserved areas.
Individuals with Exceptional Ability in the Sciences, Arts or Business
USCIS has specified “exceptional ability” in the sciences, arts, or business as “a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered” (USCIS)
To apply under this EB-2 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 documentation requirements do not apply to your occupation, you can provide other comparable evidence for eligibility.
Your employer must obtain appropriate “Labor Certification (LC)” from the U.S. Department of Labor.
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.
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.
If you are a worker with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business, you may apply to waive the requirement of a job offer and labor certification requirement, if a waiver would be in the national interest.
Section 203(b)(2)(B)(ii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act states that any physician may petition for a national interest waiver to waive the labor certification requirement. While the statutory language says ‘any physician’, the Service notes that DHHS currently limits physicians in designated shortage areas to the practice of family or general medicine, pediatrics, general internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, and psychiatry. Unless DHHS establishes shortage areas in other fields of medicine, only the fields of medicine mentioned above are covered by this rule.