EB-2 visa

This article has extensive information about the EB-2 visa for the second preference category and its three subcategories. 


In addition to the information in the article, our expert immigration lawyers in Los Angeles are ready to help you.

EB-2 visa subcategories

1- Holders of an advanced degree.

2 – Candidates with exceptional ability. This is granted to candidates with exceptional ability without reaching the “extraordinary” level required by the EB-1 visa.

3- People who are going to do a job in the USA of national interest and that will bring good benefits to the country.

EB-2 visa eligibility requirements

SubcategoryDescriptionEvidence
Advanced degreeThe work to be done requires an advanced degree or the foreign equivalent (a baccalaureate or foreign equivalent degree plus 5 years of progressive post-baccalaureate work experience in the field). You must meet any other requirements specified in the labor certification, as applicable.Documentation, such as official academic records showing that the candidate holds a US advanced graduate degree or an equivalent foreign degree. Failing that, official academic records that demonstrate possession of a US baccalaureate degree, or the foreign equivalent. Also letters from former employers or from the current employer showing that the candidate has at least five years of progressive work experience in the specialty after receiving the baccalaureate.

If a doctoral degree is customarily required, the candidate must have a doctorate obtained in USA or an equivalent foreign degree.
Exceptional abilityThe candidate must be able to demonstrate some exceptional ability in the arts, sciences, or business. That is, a remarkable ability above the usual. You must also comply with the requirements that apply and are specified in the labor certification.At least 3 of the criteria included in “Criteria for Exceptional ability” must be met.
National interest waiverAlien candidates are hereby requesting that the labor certification be waived in the interest of the United States. Qualifying jobs are not defined by statute but are normally awarded to people with professions that require advanced graduate degrees or exceptional skills whose employment in the US benefits the country. These people do not need their employer to sponsor them. They can submit the petition themselves on their behalf to USCIS by filing their labor certification along with Form I-140.Evidence of and advanced degree or exceptional ability must be provided and 3 of the national interest waiver criteria must be met. The latter is done so that USCIS exempts you from a job offer and labor certification as it is in the national interest. 

Criteria for exceptional ability

  • Official academic records that prove to be the holder of a title, certificate, diploma, award or similar awarded by an institution. This institution may be a university, school, or other educational institution related to your field of exceptional ability.
  • Letters documenting at least 10 years of full-time experience in the profession.
  • A license or certificate that allows the candidate to practice his profession or occupation.
  • True evidence of having received a salary or other remuneration for services that demonstrate exceptional ability.
  • Being a member of one or more professional associations.
  • Recognition by fellow professionals, government entities, professional or business organizations for remarkable contributions or achievements in their industry or field.
  • Other comparable samples of eligibility will also be accepted.

Criteria for waiver by national interest

  • The proposed job, in turn, has national importance and substantial merit. 
  • The candidate is well positioned to advance the proposed work; and
  • It would be in benefit of the US to exempt the candidate from the requirements of a job offer, therefore, from labor certification.

Note: Employment-based second preference EB-2 visa petitions generally must be accompanied by an application for PERM labor certification. This must be approved by the Department of Labor on form ETA 9089. However, the candidate may request exemption from this requirement in case of national interest.

To qualify for an EB-2 visa the employer must submit an I-140 form. In this case, the candidate can present this form himself. As part of the application process the employer must demonstrate ability to pay the offered salary from the priority date. You can do this by using an annual report, tax returns, or an audited financial statement.

Can family relatives of the EB-2 visa holder enter the USA?

If the Form I-140 is approved, the spouse and children under the age of 21 may be eligible to enter the US under category E-21 and E-22 respectively.

How much does the EB-2 visa cost?

When applying for the EB-2 visa you are responsible for paying the fees. Both the USCIS, the DOL and the US Embassy will determine the final cost. 

The employer must pay the DOL labor certification fee and the Form I-140 filing fee for USCIS.

The employee must pay the processing of form DS-261, medical examination fees. He/She must also consider costs incurred in obtaining support documents and translation into English.

How long does it take to process the EB-2 visa?

Due to the annual limitation it can take anywhere from one year to three and even four for the EB-2 visa to be processed. The important thing here is to submit the application as soon as possible.


It is important to carry out the process well and be informed. To do this, do not hesitate to contact our immigration lawyers specializing in deportation and in all US immigration matters.

With more than 40 years of service we are trained to meet your request and we will be happy to do so. Do not hesitate to contact us completely free of charge.