Second Preference EB-2


You may be eligible for an employment-based, second preference visa if you are a member of the professions holding an advanced degree or its equivalent, or a foreign national who has exceptional ability. Below are the occupational categories and requirements:

  • Advanced Degree:  The job you apply for must require an advanced degree and you must possess such a degree or its equivalent (a baccalaureate degree plus 5 years progressive work experience in the field).  Documentation, such as an official academic record showing that you have a U.S. advanced degree or a foreign equivalent degree, or an official academic record showing that you have a U.S. baccalaureate degree or a foreign equivalent degree and letters from current or former employers showing that you have at least 5 years of progressive post-baccalaureate work experience in the specialty.
  • Exceptional Ability:  You must be able to show exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business. Exceptional ability “means a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business.”  You must meet at least three of the criteria below.*
  • National Interest Waiver:  Aliens seeking a national interest waiver are requesting that the Labor Certification be waived because it is in the interest of the United States. Though the jobs that qualify for a national interest waiver are not defined by statute, national interest waivers are usually granted to those who have exceptional ability (see above) and whose employment in the United States would greatly benefit the nation. Those seeking a national interest waiver may self-petition (they do not need an employer to sponsor them) and may file their labor certification directly with USCIS along with their Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker.  You must meet at least three of the criteria below* and demonstrate that it is in the national interest that you work permanently in the United States.

* Criteria

•   Official academic record showing that you have a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution of learning relating to your area of exceptional ability

•   Letters documenting at least 10 years of full-time experience in your occupation

•   A license to practice your profession or certification for your profession or occupation

•   Evidence that you have commanded a salary or other remuneration for services that demonstrates your exceptional ability

•   Membership in a professional association(s)

•   Recognition for your achievements and significant contributions to your industry or field by your peers, government entities, professional or business organizations

•   Other comparable evidence of eligibility is also acceptable.

Note: Employment-based, second-preference petitions must generally be accompanied by an approved individual labor certification from the Department of Labor on Form ETA-750. Please see the Department of Labor’s “Foreign Labor Certification” page for more information.

To qualify for an EB-2 visa in Rhode Island, your employer must file a Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker. For more information about filing, see the “Forms” page.

Family of EB-2 Visa Holders

Your spouse and children under the age of 21 may be admitted to the United States in E-21 and E-22 immigrant status, respectively. During the process where you and your spouse are applying for permanent resident status (status as a green card holder), your spouse is eligible to file for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

Hiring an Immigration Attorney to Assist in Your Adjustment of Status Matter

The EB-2 application can seem overwhelming, given the complexities of the procedures, the exact legal status of a non–permanent United States resident, and the documentation requirements.

Unless a person seeking an adjustment of status is prepared to educate themselves on the detailed nature of becoming a permanent resident, their best option may be to hire a qualified immigration attorney, who can do all the necessary work to make sure that the process runs smoothly and that the legal requirements are met without undue delay or confusion.

If you or someone you know is interested in obtaining an EB-2 visa in Rhode Island, Providence and Boston, immigration attorney George Barsom of the Barsom Law Group can help.  Furthermore, because immigration law is federal law, he can handle Adjustment of Status applications for U.S. residents living in any state, not merely the State of Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Mr. Barsom is fluent in Arabic and the Barsom Law Group has access to attorneys who are fluent in Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese. 

The Barsom Law Firm can give you and your family members peace of mind in undertaking this difficult and potentially frustrating and time-consuming task. Once hired, the Barsom Law Group will take over the application process from beginning to end, keeping clients informed, and taking the stress out of the process. If you need assistance filling out an EB-2 application in Rhode Island or another U.S. state, contact the Barsom Law Group.



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