The EB2 employment based green card is for individuals who are members of the professions with advanced degrees (any degree above a baccalaureate degree or a baccalaureate degree and at least 5 years progressive experience in the professions) or who have exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business who will substantially benefit the United States. The combination of a baccalaureate degree with 5 years experience in the professions is deemed equivalent to a Master’s degree. If a doctoral degree is required for the particular profession, the alien must possess the doctoral degree.
In order to obtain permanent residency through the EB2 category, the applicant must have an employer willing to sponsor him or her through PERM Labor Certification. The applicant does not have to be employed when labor certification/PERM is filed. A job offer is sufficient. Labor certification/PERM is the process whereby, the US government determines whether qualified US workers can fill the open position. Once the labor certification is approved, the employer may sponsor the applicant for permanent residency. An individual with an advanced degree, or a Ph.D. student, may obtain permanent residency without labor certification with a national interest waiver.
The EB2 process is as follows:
- The employer performs the PERM Labor Certification process;
- The employer sponsors the employee for a green card; and then
- The employee adjust his or her status to permanent resident.