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EB-2 Advanced Degree or Exceptional Ability Visa for Entrepreneurs

If you are entrepreneur foreign national, and you are seeking to start a business in the United States, you may qualify for the EB-2 exceptional ability visa if you can prove you possess an advanced degree or have exceptional ability in your field. For additional information, or if you would like to have a consultation with an attorney about the particular facts and circumstances of your case, contact the experienced attorneys at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates. Our lawyers have over 50 years of combined legal experience in a wide variety of complex immigration law matters.

How does the EB-2 work for entrepreneurs?

The EB-2 may work if you can't qualify for the H-1B, which requires you to be working in a specialty occupation. The EB-2 will grant you permanent resident status (green card) unlike the H-1B that does not. But be careful if you were born in India or China because those countries have a long EB-2 waiting list. Let us plan a business strategy that works best for you. We are an innovative firm with proven results.

What is the EB-2 advanced degree or exceptional ability visa?

The EB-2 visa is an immigrant visa category for two kinds of individuals: (1) those with advanced degrees, and (2) those with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business. The EB-2 visa petition requires a job offer and a labor certification approved by the US Department of Labor (DOL). There is an exception to the labor certification requirement if you can demonstrate that your work is in the national interest of the United States. The EB-2 is an immigrant visa category, which grants US lawful permanent resident status (a green card). Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 may also obtain permanent residence status as dependents of the EB-2 principal petitioner applicant.

I. Advanced degree professionals

Requirement 1: You must establish that you have an advanced degree

In order to qualify, you must have an advanced degree, which is defined as any degree higher than a US bachelor's degree or equivalent (effectively a master's degree or higher). If you have a US bachelor's degree or equivalent, you can qualify if you also have five years of progressive work experience after your bachelor’s degree.

Requirement 2: Your Advanced Degree must be related to your area of expertise

Your degree must be in or related to the field in which you will be working. This may be established by producing correspondence from your prospective employer that describes your current or proposed job description, other documentation that describes your employer company and its work, and an annual report from your company if available.

II. Exceptional ability

Requirement 1: You must establish you have exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business

In order to qualify, you must establish that you have exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business. In order to do this, you must be able to produce at least 3 of 6 different kinds evidence listed below:

  1. Evidence that you have received a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution, relating to the field of exceptional ability;
  2. Evidence establishing that you have at least 10 years of full-time experience in your field;
  3. Evidence of your license or certification to practice in your profession or occupation;
  4. Evidence showing you earn a high salary or other remuneration for your work that demonstrates your exceptional ability;
  5. Evidence that you are a member of professional associations;
  6. Evidence that you have been recognized for achievements and significant contributions to your industry or field.

Requirement 2: You must establish that you will substantially benefit prospectively the US economy, US cultural interests, US educational interests, or US welfare

You must show that your work will substantially benefit prospectively the US economy, cultural interests, educational interests, or welfare. This can usually be accomplished by producing documents establishing your past record of achievements and illustrating how that is an indication of your future success.

III. Labor certification or national interest waiver required

To qualify for the EB-2 category, you must either obtain a DOL labor certification, or show proof that your work will be in the national interest of the United States. Each is summarized briefly below, and both are explained in greater detail in the article following this one.

Labor certification

In order to get a labor certification from the DOL, you must have a job offer from a US employer, who will become your sponsor. The labor certification process verifies that (1) there are insufficient, qualified, and willing US workers available to fill the job being offered to you at the prevailing wage, and (2) hiring of foreign workers into the position will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed US workers.

National interest waiver

You do not need a labor certification if you can get a national interest waiver (NIV) by establishing that your work is of such importance that it is the US national interest to waive the labor certification requirement. There are several key requirements that must be met in order for you to obtain a NIV, which are explained in detail in the article following this one. If you have any questions about the EB-1 extraordinary ability visa for entrepreneurs or any of the other types of immigration visas that may be available to you. Please contact our immigration attorneys at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates, Co., LPA to schedule a consultation with an attorney at one of our offices near you.

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