ЕВ-2/ЕВ-3 Visas

EB-2: Employment-Based Immigration: Second Preference

Category EB-2 is an employment-based, second-preference immigrant visa that allows to apply for permanent resident status. Generally speaking, it is available to foreign nationals who hold an advanced educational degree or its equivalent.

Labor Certification and Ability to Pay. 

Before the employer can submit an employment-based petition, the company is usually required to first obtain a Labor Certification from the Department of Labor (in certain situations a blanket (Schedule A) certification may be obtained). The employer must also be able to demonstrate an ability to pay the offered wage until the worker receives the lawful permanent resident status. 

There is an option to waive the requirement of having a job offer, in which case there is no need to have the Labor Certification and to demonstrate an employer’s ability to pay a wage. This can be achieved through requesting a waiver in the national interest through the petition filed with USCIS. This means the qualified individuals do not need an employer sponsorship because their exceptional ability and their field of work is in fact going to benefit the interest of the United States. (Please see our special page dedicated to NIW for more information on the requirements and the process).

EB-3: Employment-Based Immigration: Third Preference

This category is the most popular one of the employment-based green card applications because it includes a wide array of training and skill levels, from “Professionals” for applicants with at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent, to “Skilled Workers” for applicants with a minimum of 2 years training or experience, to “Other Workers” for applicants who perform unskilled labor, not seasonal or temporary in nature, requiring less than 2 years of training or experience. Over the years, employers have been taking advantage of this visa category to bring thousands of employees from outside the US for positions they could not fill with American workers, such as IT specialists, dental assistants, cooks, and construction workers. EB-3 category is not eligible for a National Interest Waiver and must go through the Labor Certification process.


Answers to basic questions about ЕВ-2/ЕВ-3 visas

Sub-category EB-2: Highest degree of qualification
In order to qualify for the category EB-2 Advanced Degree, the job offered by the petitioning employer must require a bachelor’s degree or above, and the foreign national must possess such a degree or its foreign equivalent. In addition to the educational requirement of an advanced degree, the applicant must be able to demonstrate at least 5 years of post-baccalaureate, progressive work experience in the field.
How the EB-2/EB-3 Application Process Works
1. Unless the individual qualifies for the National Interest Waiver, the first step requires the sponsoring employer to file a Labor Certification with the Department of Labor (DOL). This includes obtaining a prevailing wage determination for that specific position and advertising the job in appropriate outlets to show that there are no qualified American workers willing to accept the offered position. 2. Upon certification by the DOL, employers can file the Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker with the USCIS. In this step of the process, the employer company must show its continuing ability to pay the wage offered by providing an annual report, federal income tax return, or audited financial statement. At this stage all the required evidence related to the worker’s educational and professional background has to be provided. 3. Finally, the individual applies for the Green Card. This process differs depending on whether the worker is inside or outside the US. If the applicant is outside the US and the visa priority for the category is current, then the green card application is submitted through consular processing, where the applicant gets the permanent visa at a US consulate in the country of residence. However, if the applicant is in the US when they become eligible to apply for green card, the application is submitted directly with the USCIS. If the visa priority date is current at the time the employer files the immigrant worker petition (step 2), then the application for the green card can be submitted at the same time with it.
Family of EB-2/EB-3 Visa Holders
After the Immigrant Worker Petition is approved, the worker’s spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may be eligible to apply for admission to the United States in the respective immigrant status.

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