EB2 VISA ADVANCED DEGREE OR EXCEPTIONAL ABILITY

​The EB-2 classification allows a company in the United States to employ a professional holding an advanced degree, or an individual with exceptional ability to become a lawful permanent resident.

EB-2A: Professionals with Advanced Degrees

Professionals with advanced degrees (Advanced Degree Professionals), classified as EB-2A in US immigration law, generally refer to masters, doctors, or equivalent advanced degrees (bachelor’s degree plus five years of work experience).

An advanced degree is defined as having a US master’s degree or higher or a foreign equivalent. An advanced degree is not limited to a single degree awarded by a single educational institution, but can be interpreted as the equivalent qualification of multiple courses taken at multiple institutions.

A bachelor’s degree plus five years of work experience in the corresponding professional field can be considered equivalent to a master’s degree. Five years of work experience can be counted cumulatively inside or outside the United States, but to be counted under this rule, it must be post-baccalaureate work experience. However, if a U.S. employer requires a master’s degree for a position, a bachelor’s degree plus five years of work experience cannot be substituted.

EB-2B: Professionals with Exceptional Ability

Exceptional Ability Aliens (Exceptional Ability Aliens), classified as EB-2B in the U.S. immigration law, that is, having special abilities in science, art, education, business or sports, and working in the United States can benefit the economic, cultural or educational excellence of the United States professional.

Special ability refers to the ability to have the academic qualifications and professional experience that are obviously beyond the general colleagues in this field. Compared with the internationally renowned and world-renowned outstanding talents in special fields (EB-1A) in the first priority category of employment-based immigration, this category of people has a smaller scope of fields, lower achievements, and at most has a national reputation. Foreigners must provide at least three of the following six proofs:

  • Official academic records certifying that the foreign national has received a degree, diploma or similar award from a university, college or other institution of further study in the field of study;
  • Certificate from current or previous employers, proving that the foreigner has more than 10 years of full-time work experience in the field of employment for which he or she is applying;
  • Occupational licenses or certificates proving that foreigners are qualified to work;
  • Compared with their colleagues in the same field, expats enjoy high salaries;
  • Proof that the foreigner is a member of the professional association to which he belongs;
  • Certificates issued by peers, government units or professional and business associations, recognizing the achievements and major contributions of the beneficiary in the industry or field.

EB-2 professionals of either type must be offered permanent full-time jobs by U.S. employers to apply for immigration. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) requires employers to promise to pay foreign workers wages not lower than the prevailing wage standard (Prevailing Wage Determination, PWD), so Employers must first obtain approval from the State Labor Department for general salary applications, and through a series of job advertisements, prove that there are no qualified American workers in the local labor market, and then submit an application for a permanent labor certification (PERM) to the Department of Labor, requesting the Department of Labor to approve the shortage of jobs for American workers at the applied position. Only after approval can the I-140 employment-based immigrant application be submitted to the USCIS for foreign talent.

For decades, our Tsang & Associates law firm has provided employment-immigrant visa services to many talented foreign persons, helping them to develop their ambitions in the United States.

A perfect example of an EB2 visa application would be a university in New York employing a professor from London, with a doctorate in physical chemistry, to serve as a professor; or, a biomedical startup in California hiring a health expert from Tokyo, who discovered a new vaccine, to serve as a director.

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LEGAL FEE

Our fee structure is unique to us as we strive to tailor our services for each client individually. We adapt price standards that are capable of fluctuating for each client depending on their unique needs. Clients may retain us for one or all of the above steps/services.

Our base fee for a standard EB-2 case is $10,000, not including government fees and third party expenses. We are happy to customize a proposal for you during a consultation and walk you through what a standard EB-2 visa case looks like.

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CASE PROCESSING OVERVIEW

Step 1: Strategy Session for EB2 Visa

This is the most crucial step for your entire EB-2. We will review all of the supporting documents to create a strategy, a customized checklist, and a timeline to serve as the guiding foundation for the entire case preparation.

Step 2: Determining Job Title and Duty Descriptions

The first thing USCIS looks at in your EB2 visa is your job title and job duty descriptions. In this step, we will brainstorm and finalize your detailed set of job duties corresponding to your petitioner and your background.

Step 3: Filing your Prevailing Wage Determination (PWD)

In this step, we will file your PWD to the Department of Labor and wait for their response.

Step 4: Permanent Labor Certification Program (PERM) Recruitment

Once your prevailing wages is confirmed, we will coordinate with the Human Resources Manager to help the petitioning company recruit for similar talents within the U.S. talent pools.

Step 5: Filing Permanent Labor Certification Program (PERM)

The Department of Labor (DOL) needs to make sure that a foreign talent must be recruited due to the lack of similar talents in the United States. If DOL suspects that such talents exist prevalently in the U.S., they may respond with an Audit. Don’t worry when you receive an Audit. We will guide you through the process and respond to DOL.

Step 6: USCIS EB2 Visa Filing

In this step, we will help you collect and organize all the evidence require for USCIS EB-2 (I-140) adjudication. An extensive Attorney Support Letter is essential for the explanation and argumentation of your case.

We will also be responding to any potential Request for Evidence (RFE).

Step 7: Adjustment of Status, Work Permit, & Advance Parole

Once USCIS has approved your EB2 visa application, and your Priority Date becomes current (depending on your country of birth) while you are in the United States, we will help guide you through your Adjustment of Status (I-485) application. Again, this is done with a well-crafted Attorney Support Letter and well-organized evidence presentation. When this is approved, you’ll be able to work in the United States.

Step 8: Prepare for Interview at the Consulate

It all comes down to this. We help guide you in your preparation for the interview with a U.S. Consulate by simulating the interview and ensuring the client is well-versed in the application material. Our services include a comprehensive strategy for answering inquiries posed, practice questions, thorough feedback, and other tools to help clients succeed during the interviews.

Step 9: Arrival is Only The Beginning

Our services do not end when you receive your EB2 visa status, and that this step only just beginning. To help accommodate this reality, we provide guidance over:

  • CBP – Airport Arrival
  • Dependent Visas/Work Permits
  • Reentry Permits
  • and more!
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ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Checklist of Required Evidence

  • Labor certification approved by the Department of Labor
  • Valid passport
  • Resume
  • Proof of work experience
  • Tax returns for the past three years
  • Training certificate
  • Sign a good job contract with a U.S. employer

Advanced Degree

  • Proof of an advanced degree, such as a master’s or PhD or foreign equivalent degree;
  • Proof of a baccalaureate degree and at least 5 years of experience in your field;
  • Proof of a US job offer which requires an advanced degree or equivalent (baccalaureate degree and at least 5 years of experience in your field);

Or

Exceptional Ability

  • Proof of exceptional ability in sciences, arts, or business.
  • Work Plan

  • Evidence of accreditation from the member institution and a description of how to obtain membership

  • All awards

  • A self-written description describing how your work stands out

  • List of journals that publish your work and how they select articles for publication

  • Proof of a US job offer which requires an exceptional ability or equivalent

Disclaimer: The above is a list of general application materials. For details, please prepare the application materials according to the customized list of documents provided by Tsang & Associates.

Documents provided by the U.S. employer (applicant):

  • Photos of business premises
  • Purchase or lease agreement for the location of the office
  • Geographical map showing the location of the company
  • Business scope and sales product list
  • Product Brochure
  • Customer list
  • Management charter
  • Organization Chart
  • Receipt samples for trade transactions
  • Proof of company assets presented by the bank
  • Tax certificate
  • Federal government corporate tax number
  • Financial Statements
  • Annual reports, federal tax returns, audited financial statements
  • Bank account records
  • Personnel file
  • Proof of operation
  • License to sell from the Board of Examiners of the Tax Code
  • Employee form
  • Proof of current income of the employee
  • Employee payroll register and payroll records
  • Board Minutes Establishing Emerging Sector
  • Demonstration of financial and operational capabilities to establish emerging sectors

Documents provided by the U.S. employer (applicant):

  • Photos of business premises
  • Purchase or lease agreement for the location of the office
  • Geographical map showing the location of the company
  • Business scope and sales product list
  • Product Brochure
  • Customer list
  • Management charter
  • Organization Chart
  • Receipt samples for trade transactions
  • Proof of company assets presented by the bank
  • Tax certificate
  • Federal government corporate tax number
  • Financial Statements
  • Annual reports, federal tax returns, audited financial statements
  • Bank account records
  • Personnel file
  • Proof of operation
  • License to sell from the Board of Examiners of the Tax Code
  • Employee form
  • Proof of current income of the employee
  • Employee payroll register and payroll records
  • Board Minutes Establishing Emerging Sector
  • Demonstration of financial and operational capabilities to establish emerging sectors

Filing Fee

The updated filing fee for EB2 visa can be found here.

Eligibility for EB2 Visa

Advanced Degree

  • The job the applicant is applying for must require an advanced degree;
  • Applicant must possess such an advanced degree or its equivalent (a baccalaureate degree plus 5 years progressive work experience in the field);
  • Applicant must have documentation, such as an official academic record, showing that they have a U.S. advanced degree or a foreign equivalent;
  • U.S. employer must seek labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor that the employer has gone through an adequate recruiting process and rightly determined that no qualified American workers are willing and available to take the job, thus necessitating that the employer turn to foreign sources of labor.

Exceptional Ability

  • 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.

SAMPLES & TEMPLATES

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Attorney Brief: [coming soon] We will provide an attorney brief sample for the I-140 petition.

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Cover Letter: [coming soon] We will also provide a cover letter sample for the I-140 petition.

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Sample Request for Evidence: [coming soon] Requests for evidence can be used to strengthen the case.

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Forms: Here is a list of the forms that are needed by USCIS

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Sample Checklist: [coming soon] We look at the client’s unique situation and create customized checklists to strengthen their cases.

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USCIS Fee Calculator: This is to help calculate how much the filing fee will be.

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USCIS Mailing Address: This address is where it is mailed to USCIS.

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USCIS Processing Timetable: This will help you figure out how long it will take to process.

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ASC Field Offices: Listed are the addresses of the field offices for the bio-metrics.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How long is the EB2 visa process?

On average, it takes about 6 months to process your form I-140. If you have to go through PERM Labor Certification, it can even take up to 8 months to 2 years.

Will the time I worked for a sponsoring employer where I gained progressive experience count towards the requirement?

In most cases, the Department of Labor will not allow an applicant to count the time they worked for a sponsoring employer as time where they gained progressive experience.

For nationals who are applying for the EB2 visa, relying on having a bachelor’s degree and 5 years or more of progressive experience should be aware of the following stipulations.

  1. the applicant must meet the minimum education and experience qualifications before the employer files for a labor certification.
  2. the visa applicant must have met these basic requirements before beginning to work for the sponsoring company.

What is considered an advanced degree?

A foreign national must hold an advanced degree from an academic institute, such as a Master’s degree, a Ph.D. Juris Doctor law degree, or if they are in the field of medicine to have a M.D.

The USCIS does not require a foreign national to have an advanced degree beyond a baccalaureate if they have a B. A. or a B.S. as well as five years of progressive work-related experience. This is considered to be equal to a Master’s degree. The term “progressive” signifies that the responsibilities and the level of complexity of the assignments a worker has done will have increased in a progressive way during their five years of employment.

I have a bachelor's degree in law from China, I have obtained a Chinese lawyer qualification certificate A and a practicing certificate, and I have practiced in a well-known Chinese law firm for six years. Am I eligible to apply for EB-2A?

The Immigration Bureau stipulates that lawyers applying for employment-based immigration must obtain an advanced degree in law before they are eligible to apply for the second priority of employment-based immigration. A very small number of people obtain the LL.B. Bachelor of Laws without first obtaining a general university bachelor’s degree. Such individuals qualify as professionals under the third preference category of employment-based immigration and do not fall under the second preference category.

In addition, the USCIS also emphasized that foreigners who have obtained degrees from foreign law schools must prove that they are eligible to obtain a license to practice law in the United States. A common form of proof is to show that the alien has taken or is eligible to take the bar exam in the state of residence. Even if a foreign lawyer has not obtained a lawyer’s license, he is eligible to apply for the second priority of employment immigration as a lawyer, as long as the foreigner has obtained a license issued by a certain state as a foreign legal consultant.

I am studying for a master's degree in the United States with an F-1 student visa. I plan to continue working in the United States after obtaining the degree and apply for a green card through EB-2A. In addition to the degree requirements, what are the requirements for applying for EB-2A?

Your academic qualifications meet the conditions for applying for EB-2A, but if you want to apply for a green card through EB-2A, you must also meet the following conditions:

  • You have a permanent full-time job offer from a U.S. employer;
  • Apply for a labor certification issued by the Ministry of Labor;
  • You personally meet the minimum requirements for the position;
  • Your employer has sufficient payroll capacity;
  • Your desire to have an employment relationship with your employer.

After graduating from a master’s degree in the United States, I work in an American company with an H-1B visa and hold an important position. I have plans to immigrate, but the company is not large. Is it possible to successfully apply for EB-2A immigration?

Although your U.S. company is small in scale, as long as your employer presents relevant documents to prove that it has sufficient salary capacity and can pay your current and foreseeable future salary, it can apply for an EB-2B visa for you. It should be noted that you must prove that you have “sufficient salary-paying capacity” on the day you submit your labor certification application, otherwise your application will be denied.

Not long ago, an overseas American company hired me. The employer submitted an EB-2A employment-based immigration application for me and is now in the process of review. I am qualified for the application and the two parties have established an employment relationship. Can I successfully pass the immigration application and obtain a green card?

Maybe. Although you are eligible to apply for EB-2A and have been offered a job by a U.S. employer, USCIS will still evaluate whether the intention of the employer and the employer is still genuine after the alien receives the green card. Of course, this question is difficult to judge, and the Immigration Bureau will not reject the application without evidence. You and the U.S. employer need to be aware of whether you are overqualified for the job offered by the U.S. employer, or whether you are trained in a field that is irrelevant to the job offered by the employer (for example, the employee Physician, the job position offered by a US employer is restaurant manager).

I studied mathematics in college for four years. After graduation, I studied computer science in another technical college for one year. Currently, I am working in a computer company in the United States with an H-1B visa. I want to apply for immigration. I heard that I can apply for EB- The foreign degree required for 2A should be completely limited to the degree awarded by a single institution. Am I eligible for EB-2A in this situation?

You are eligible to apply. It needs to be clarified that the so-called academic qualifications are not limited to a single degree awarded by a single educational institution, but can be interpreted as the same qualification that is the sum of multiple courses taken in multiple institutions. For example, in your case, after academic evaluation, it may also be equivalent to having a degree equivalent to four years of computer science education in the United States. It is recommended that you find an American academic qualification evaluation agency to evaluate your academic qualifications. Once approved, such a mixed academic background can meet the requirements for EB-2A academic qualifications.

I have been working in a branch of a Chinese company in the United States for nearly three years as a department manager. Can my company apply for an EB-2B immigrant visa for me?

Yes. One of the conditions for applying for EB-2B is that the employer must be a US company, and the company’s ownership can be foreign, as long as the employer has a branch or an office in the United States to meet the conditions. The company you work for belongs to a branch of a Chinese company in the United States and fully meets the requirements for this application.

My current company has filed an EB-2B application for me, and the case is currently under review. If I want to change jobs during this period, will my employment-based immigration application be invalid?

If your employment-based immigration application has been approved and your adjustment of status application has been pending for more than 180 days, there will be no adverse effect as long as your new job is in the same or similar occupational field. But at this time, USCIS will ask your new employer to produce a letter in order to determine whether your new job is the same or similar to the job you originally applied for, and also to determine whether you will become a public charge in the United States. However, if the waiting list for the employment-based immigration application quota is long and the application for adjustment of status cannot be submitted in a short period of time, it is better not to act rashly, so as not to invalidate the approved I-140 application.

The EB-2B application that meets the second occupation standard of the Ministry of Labor’s Schedule A is very similar to the EB-1A in the first priority category of employment-based immigration. What are the specific differences?

  • The EB-2B application of the second type of occupational standard of Schedule A only requires two kinds of evidence in the basic evidence, and EB-1A requires at least three kinds of evidence;
  • The EB-1A category allows for other more relevant evidence, such as a nationally recognized award instead of an internationally recognized award;
  • The EB-1A category requires applicants to have reached the top of the professional category, so the review will be much more stringent than the EB-2B of the second category of occupational standards in Schedule A.

What types of work fall under Schedul A?

There are some positions for which there is no need to hire because these positions are chronically in short supply in the United States or the hiring does not make sense for these positions. When it comes to these jobs, it is not necessary to apply to the Ministry of Labor, and the application can be submitted directly to the Immigration Bureau. These work types are collectively referred to as Schedule A.

SCHEDULE A SESSION

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