Washington D.C. EB-2 Green Card Attorney
Multilingual Legal Services in Alexandria
The United States issues a limited number of green cards for workers with advanced degrees and exceptional abilities each year. U.S. employers can recruit these foreign workers to assume vacant positions that cannot otherwise be filled by U.S. workers.
High demand from certain countries means that EB-2 green cards can sometimes be challenging to secure despite their presence in the second preference category. Our Washington D.C. EB-2 green card lawyer at Law Group International can work with your sponsoring employer and assist you throughout the application process. We understand the intricacies of the United States immigration system and can leverage our over 20 years of legal experience to benefit your case.
Qualifying for the EB-2 Visa
The EB-2 visa is divided into 3 subcategories. Each subcategory has its own eligibility requirements.
EB-2 visas can be issued to:
- Individuals with advanced degrees. Foreign workers can qualify for the EB-2 visa if they have a degree that is higher than the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree. This can include a Doctorate, Master’s, or a foreign equivalent. Foreign workers can also qualify if they have a bachelor’s degree (or foreign equivalent) plus at least 5 years of relevant work experience in their chosen field.
- Individuals with exceptional abilities. Foreign workers can be eligible for the EB-2 visa if they have a specialized degree and competence in the fields of art, business, or science.
- Individuals with a National Interest Waiver. The United States can choose to grant a National Interest Waiver that allows foreign workers to obtain an EB-2 visa without a permanent offer of employment. This waiver is granted when the country determines it is in its best interest to do so.
Applicants with advanced degrees or exceptional abilities must have a permanent offer of employment in order to be eligible for the EB-2 visa. Applicants with a National Interest Waiver do not need a sponsoring employer and can instead self-petition.
Individuals with exceptional abilities or a National Interest Waiver must also provide at least 3 of the following forms of evidence to prove their eligibility for the EB-2 visa:
- Academic records and a degree in the field of exceptional ability
- Professional certifications or licenses
- A salary commensurate with one’s exceptional abilities
- Memberships in prestigious trade organizations
- Awards or recognition of achievement in the field of exceptional ability
- Documentation proving a minimum of 10 years of work in the field of exceptional ability
How the EB-2 Visa Application Process Works
Once you have a permanent offer of employment and have determined that you meet all eligibility requirements, you will work with your sponsoring employer to initiate the application process. (If you are an applicant with a National Interest Waiver, you can initiate this process alone.)
Your sponsoring employer must seek Permanent Labor Certification. This process is intended to prove that the available position is available to U.S. workers, that a foreign worker is needed to fill the position, and that a prevailing industry wage will be paid. Your sponsoring employer must go through this process thoroughly and carefully. Mistakes can trigger an audit that can significantly delay or imperil your EB-2 visa application.
Once certification is obtained, you will next submit your formal application and any necessary evidence that proves your eligibility. From here, you must wait for their priority date to become current.
The United States only issues a limited number of employment-based green cards each year. EB-1 visas receive top priority, while EB-2 visas receive second priority. There can sometimes be more EB-2 applicants than there are allocated visas, meaning some applicants will have to wait for a visa to become available, especially if you are applying from a country with a high volume of applicants. Applicants from China and India can face multi-year waits.
EB-2 visa applicants that are currently in the United States must adjust their status once a visa becomes available. This changes their immigration status and allows them to begin work. Applicants outside the United States must go through consular processing by making an appointment with their U.S. embassy or consulate. They will meet with a consular officer and participate in an interview that evaluates your prospective occupation and eligibility. If cleared, you will be able to travel to the U.S. and start work.
Our Washington D.C. EB-2 green card attorney can help you manage the complexities of the visa application process. We know what types of documentation USCIS looks for when determining and eligibility. We can also support your sponsoring employer to ensure that they can efficiently secure Permanent Labor Certification.
The EB-2 Visa Timeline
The Permanent Labor Certification process alone can generally take about 8 months to complete. If your sponsoring employer is audited, the process can take as many as 2 years.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) takes around 6 months to process an application once certification has been granted. Expedited processing is available for an additional fee.
Because EB-2 visas are high priorities, many applicants will not have to wait for their priority date to become current. Applicants from certain countries may have to wait multiple years for a visa to become available, however. We can assess the Visa Bulletin and advise what level of delay you should expect.
An adjustment of status will often take another 6 months to process. Consular processing can sometimes be faster depending on the caseload of your home country’s embassy or consulate office.
Altogether, it will generally take a minimum of 1.5 years to receive your EB-2 visa if you do not pay for expedited processing. The timeline could stretch over several years if your sponsoring employer is audited during the Permanent Labor Certification process, if you need to wait for a visa to become available, or if any other complications arise.
Our Washington D.C. EB-2 green card lawyer at Law Group International can help minimize delays. Our team knows how to navigate employment-based immigration challenges and will work to procure your EB-2 visa as efficiently as possible.
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