Utku Galip Akcok and EB-2 Visa

The main topics to be covered in this article:

What is an EB-2 Visa?

The EB-2 Green Card is an employment-based immigrant visa. Approximately 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas are issued in the United States each year, of which approximately 40,000 are EB-2 visas. Employment-based immigrant visas allow individuals to permanently immigrate to the United States to work and are one of the simplest ways to obtain a Green Card. 

 

To apply for an EB-2 Green Card, you must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Master's Degree or Equivalent Education: Master's degree or equivalent education in a specialized field.

  • Extraordinary Talent Demonstrate exceptional talent in science, art or business.

To obtain an EB-2 visa, you need to meet the criteria set by USCIS, as well as a job offer and your employer's Labor Certification.

Important Information

  • After immigrating to the US with an EB-2 visa, you can apply for US citizenship if you meet certain requirements.
  • Thanks to the EB-2 visa, the visa holder's spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 can also live in the US with E-21 and E-22 status
  • EB-2 Green Card’ınız için NIW (National Interest Waiver) alarak iş teklifi ve PERM şartından muaf olabilirsiniz. Detaylı bilgi için EB-2 NIW yazımızı inceleyebilirsiniz.

Who Can Obtain an EB-2 Visa?

There are two sub-categories of individuals who can apply for the second preference employment-based EB-2 visa: Advanced educational degree (EB-2A) and exceptional ability (EB-2B). For each visa type, there are criteria that you must meet.

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Criteria for Applying for an EB-2 Visa

Individuals who can obtain the EB-2 visa are divided into two by USCIS:

  1. Professionals requiring at least a master's degree,
  2. Individuals with superior skills in their field of work.

 

We will now examine in more detail what both criteria mean:

EB-2A Visa: Green Card Visa for Individuals with Advanced Education Degrees

The job you will be working in the United States must be one that requires a master's degree or equivalent level of education. If you do not have a master's degree, but you have a bachelor's degree or equivalent, and you have at least 5 years of "progressive" post-graduate experience, you can get an EB-2 visa. To do so, you must prove to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that your 5 years of experience has been "progressive". You must also meet the requirements of the Labor Certification.

Are you interested in getting a Green Card based on your outstanding talent or graduate studies? We know what you need to do to succeed in the complex application process!

EB-2B Visa: Green Card Visa for People of Exceptional Talent

To be eligible for an EB-2B visa, you must have demonstrated superior ability in science, art or business. In other words, you are expected to be more specialized than other people in the field. To demonstrate this, you must from evidence you are required to provide at least three of them:

  • Official academic records showing that you have received a degree, diploma, certificate or award from a college, university, school or other institution of learning in the area of your giftedness,
  • Letters from your current or former employers certifying at least 10 years of full-time experience in your profession,
  • Bachelor's or master's degree or certificate to practice your profession,
  • Evidence that you received a salary or other remuneration for services for which you used your exceptional talent,
  • Evidence of professional association memberships,
  • Evidence that your achievements and significant contributions to your industry or field have been recognized by peers, government agencies, professional or business organizations.

Further, if an individual is unable to provide any of the above-mentioned indicators, USCIS has indicated that it will consider other evidence of a similar nature.

EB-2 Green Card

EB-2 NIW Visa: Green Card Visa with National Interest Waiver (NIW)

Did you know that you can waive the job offer requirement for the EB-2 Green Card? The EB-2 NIW Green Card does not require a job offer or Labor Certification, thanks to the NIW (National Interest Waiver) you can waive the job offer requirement.

If you can prove that your skills, knowledge or experience are of great value to the United States and that your permanent residence would be in the "national interest," you can apply for an EB-2 NIW visa.

What Does "National Interest" Mean for an EB-2 NIW Visa?

The term "national interest" means that your presence in the United States will bring significant benefits to the country. These benefits can be in areas such as science, technology, business, education or the arts. There is no one-size-fits-all method to prove that you are eligible for NIW. 

 

For example, if a researcher with a PhD in artificial intelligence is developing new algorithms with potential groundbreaking applications for national security, his or her work is of interest to the US national security sector, which could lead to an EB-2 NIW visa.

Requirements for EB-2 NIW Visa

In addition to the requirements listed above for EB-2A and EB-2B visas, you can apply for EB-2 NIW by meeting the following 3 requirements:

  • Your work is of significant value and national importance.
  • You are in a good position to advance your work.
  • The job offer and thus the waiver of the Labor Certification requirements will be beneficial for the United States.

For detailed information Our EB-2 NIW article you can examine.

How to Get an EB-2 Green Card?

First of all, on behalf of the employer, on behalf of the employee, Labor Certification from the US Department of Labor (DOL) must be obtained. Once you meet all the requirements, you can apply for an EB-2 Green Card from within the US or through consulates in your home country.

EB-2 Visa Application Process

It can take approximately 6 months to 3 years to obtain an EB-2 visa. If you want to speed up your application process, I-907 Premimum Processing Form with the USCIS for $2805 Your I-140 Form It is possible to reduce the evaluation process to 15 days.

 

The EB-2 visa application process works in two different ways depending on whether you are in the United States or not. If you are in the US with a different legal status Adjustment of Status you can get an EB-2 visa. If you are located outside the US, you need to apply through the US consulate.

Applying for an EB-2 Green Card from Outside the U.S. through the U.S. Consulate

STEP 1: Completing the I-140 Form

The application process begins when the American employer fills out the "I-140, Petition for Alien Worker" form and sends it to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

STEP 2: Visa Bulletin Check

The number of EB-2 Green Cards to be issued annually is limited, so there is a queue in years when there are too many applications. In order to proceed to the next step visa bulletin to check if your Green Card application is in the queue. The date the I-140 form is submitted is considered the Priority Date and you will be queued accordingly.

STEP 3: Green Card Application with DS-260 Form

Once the I-140 form has been approved and you are in line according to the visa bulletin DS-260 You can apply for a Green Card by filling out the form.

STEP 4: Medical Examination

Prior to the interview appointment, you must obtain a medical examination report from an embassy-approved doctor. Information on the relevant doctors from the consulate's website you can reach.

STEP 5 Interview

After you apply for your Green Card with the DS-260 form, you will receive an interview date on the same page at the end of the application. We recommend that you collect the necessary documents until the interview date. The questions you will be asked in the interview may be related to the information you filled in the form, or they may be about your success and experience.

STEP 6 Application Result

Your application status CEAC's website You can check by entering your immigrant visa application number (Immigrant Visa Case Number). If your Green Card application has been approved, the consular officer will give you an information package. You should never open this package, which is called a "Visa Packet". Once you arrive in the US, you give the packet to the officer at the border crossing and the officer will review your documents and decide whether or not to accept you into the country. Within 45 days of your arrival, your Green Card will be printed and sent to your US address.

Applying for a Green Card through Change of Status within the United States

If you are in the US in a non-immigrant status and your status will not expire until the I-140 form is approved, you can apply for an EB-2 Green Card from within the US. To keep up to date on USCIS processing times for the I-140 form USCIS website you can visit.

NOTE: By completing and submitting the I-907 form with your application, you can request that your I-140 form be finalized within 15 days for an extra $2805. This will allow you to apply for EB-2 from within the US before your status expires.

STEP 1: Completing the I-140 Form

The application process begins when the American employer fills out the "I-140, Petition for Alien Worker" form and sends it to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

STEP 2: Visa Bulletin Check

The number of Green Cards to be issued each year is limited, so there is a queue in years when there are too many applicants. In order to proceed to the next step visa bulletin to check if your Green Card application is in the queue. The date the I-140 form is submitted is considered the Priority Date and you will be queued accordingly.

STEP 3: Green Card Application with Form I-485

Once the I-140 form has been approved and your turn in the visa bulletin has come, you can apply for a Green Card through Adjustment of Status by filling out the I-485 form. Along with the form, there are many documents that you need to attach a copy of, such as birth certificate, criminal record, marriage certificate, etc.

STEP 4: Biometric Appointment

After you apply for a Green Card, USCIS sends you a document (form I-797C) with the date and place of your biometric appointment. When you attend your biometric appointment, your fingerprints will be scanned, your signature will be taken and your photo will be taken. 

STEP 4: Interview (if deemed necessary)

If USCIS decides that you need to attend an interview, it will send you interview appointment information by letter or online.

STEP 5 Application Result

Your application status From the USCIS website or by calling the USCIS contact center at +800-375-5283. Once your application has been decided, USCIS will send you a written decision letter. If your application has been accepted, your Green Card will be mailed some time after this letter. If your application was rejected, the letter will include the reasons for the rejection.

Working in the US with an EB-2 Green Card

Occupation Requiring Higher Education

The job you are going to work in the US must be a job that requires a master's degree or equivalent level of education. If you do not have a master's degree, but you have a bachelor's degree or equivalent, you can still apply for an EB-2 visa if you have 5 years of post-graduate work experience in the job you are applying for. We would like to point out that although there is a higher education requirement, there is no requirement to be an academic.

With this immigrant visa, you can work in the US as a professor, teacher, research assistant, engineer, IT manager, and many other professions.

To better understand these concepts, contact our ALO Team to find out if you are eligible for an EB-2 immigrant visa!

Gifted and Talented

People who have demonstrated outstanding talent in science, art or business can work in this field in the United States.

However, the company you will work for in the US and the company you worked for before coming to the US must be different legal entities. USCIS does not consider the employee of a foreign company's branch in Turkey in this context.

IMPORTANT: Another category, the EB-2 NIW Green Card, does not require a job offer or Labor Certification. In addition, people who meet the following 3 requirements can apply for EB-2 NIW:

  • Your work is of significant value and national importance.
  • You are in a good position to advance your work. 
  • The job offer and thus the waiver of the Labor Certification requirements will be beneficial for the United States.

For detailed information Our EB-2 NIW article you can examine.

What are the Documents Required for EB-2 Green Card?

Although the documents required for the Green Card in the EB-2 category vary from person to person, they are generally as follows:

  • Valid Passport: Must be eligible to travel to the US and meet other passport requirements. You may also need to submit a photocopy of the biographical data page of your passport.
  • Birth Certificate Birth certificate from the applicant's country of birth.
  • Photo in accordance with US visa photo guidelines
  • Completed DS-260 Form Confirmation Page: If you are applying through the consulate, you must bring the confirmation page of this previously completed form to the interview.
  • I-94 Form: A record if the visa applicant has been to the US before.
  • Receipts Receipt for payment of the I-140 application fee, receipt for payment of the DS-260 application fee, and receipts for other expenses you incurred during the application process...
  • Evidence of Employment in the United States: Job offer, letters of reference, employment contract, diploma, and other documents showing ability to do business
  • Academic and Career History: Resume, transcripts, letters from former employers.
  • I-907 form: The I-907 form can be used to request the finalization of the I-140 form within 15 days for an additional fee.
  • Medical Examination Report: If you are applying through the consulate, you will need to present a medical examination report at the interview.

Evidence of Giftedness: If you are applying for an EB-2 Green Card based on giftedness, you must provide at least three of the following pieces of evidence:

  • Letters from your current or former employers certifying at least 10 years of full-time experience in your profession,
  • A bachelor's or master's degree or a certificate to practice your profession,
  • Evidence that you received a salary or other remuneration for services for which you used your exceptional talent,
  • Membership to professional association(s),
  • Recognition of your achievements and significant contributions to your industry or field by peers, government agencies, professional or business organizations.
 

NOTE: Some of these documents must be submitted with the forms, while others you are expected to bring with you to the interview. You can submit the documents in stages according to the instructions you will receive when you apply. For this reason, we recommend that you collect all documents completely before applying. Missing documents may cause your Green Card application to be delayed or even rejected. To increase your chances of getting a Green Card, you can run your application with ALO, we are at your side with our professional team during the document collection phase!

EB-2 Visa: Tips and Tricks

  • Gather Comprehensive Evidence: Prepare a strong evidence package documenting your achievements and educational background. This could include your diplomas, awards, publications, patents, and documentation of other achievements in your field.
  • Prepare for a Green Card Interview: During the EB-2 Green Card application process, you may be required to attend an interview. Before the interview, review your application documents and be prepared to answer questions about your purpose for staying in the United States, your career history, and your academic achievements. Also, make sure you have a solid dossier to back up your evidence.
  • Expediting the Application: If you are in a hurry to get a Green Card, you can have your I-140 form finalized within 15 days. To do so, you will need to file form I-907 and pay an additional fee of $2805. For applications filed from the US, your status must be valid until your I-140 form is approved. In this case, you may need to expedite your application.
  • Write an Impressive Personal Statement: Your personal statement should highlight your achievements and your contribution to your field. Preparing an impressive and persuasive statement can significantly increase your chances of application approval.
  • Tax Obligations: Green Card holders are required to file tax returns in the US every year. Make sure you are informed and take the necessary steps.
  • Get Professional Support: The EB-2 Green Card application process can be complicated. Therefore, you may want to consider working with an experienced immigration lawyer. An attorney can guide you, help you prepare a complete application package, and significantly increase your chances of approval.

Advantages of Living in America with an EB-2 Green Card

  • Permanent Residence with Green Card: EB-2 Green Card holders are eligible for permanent residence in the United States. With a 10-year term, Green Cards can be renewed before they expire and offer lifetime residency unless canceled. In this way, you can choose the USA as your second homeland, build your life here and make long-term plans.

    Freedom to Travel: Green Card holders are not subject to any visa restrictions when entering or leaving the United States and can travel freely within the country. This is a great advantage, especially for those whose jobs require them to travel to different countries.

    Access to Increased Resources: Being in the U.S. with an EB-2 Green Card gives you access to state-of-the-art facilities, research facilities, libraries and other resources to help you advance your career. The country's vibrant and diverse cultural scene also provides an inspiring environment for artistic and creative exploration.

    Family Reunification: Along with the original Green Card holder, the spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 are also eligible for a Green Card. This allows you to move to the US with your family, study and work legally.

    Wide Job Opportunities: The EB-2 Green Card offers the opportunity to work in the United States. In this way, you can have an exciting career and make a significant contribution to your profession by collaborating with the best experts in your field and prestigious organizations.

Successfully Manage Your EB-2 Visa Process with Akcow Law Office

The EB-2 visa is an employment-based second preference Green Card visa and is issued to individuals who have at least a master's degree in their field of study or possess superior skills. To obtain an EB-2 visa, you must have Labor Certification and a job offer that meets USCIS criteria.

 

If you think you meet the above requirements, you can start managing your EB-2 visa process in the most effective way by contacting us. 

Utku Galip Akçok
Utku Galip Akçok

Attorney Utku Galip Akçok is the founder of ALO. Like you, he came to the US as an immigrant and today is a licensed attorney in California and New York.

Frequently Asked Questions

PERM is a document required for foreign nationals who want to work in the US in a permanent job. It is issued to employers by the US Department of Labor (DOL) and proves that hiring a foreign worker does not deny US workers job opportunities.

As a Green Card holder, you can obtain American citizenship after 5 years of residence in the United States. In addition, you must have been physically present in the US for a total of 2.5 years. You can visit our guide for detailed information about all the requirements for American citizenship and the application process.

The applicant's spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 can also live in the United States under the EB-2 category by obtaining a Green Card together with the applicant.

The Green Card application takes approximately 6 months to 5 years. Unfortunately, it is not possible to give an exact deadline, we would like to point out that the deadlines may vary considerably from time to time.

 

To keep up to date with USCIS processing times for I-140 and I-485 forms USCIS website you can visit.

The extraordinary ability category in the EB-2 visa does not have as stringent requirements as the extraordinary ability category in the EB-1A visa. In other words, while the extraordinary ability category in the EB-1A visa requires national or international acclaim to prove extraordinary ability, the extraordinary ability category in the EB-2 visa requires certificates or documents to prove extraordinary ability. 

 

For detailed information about EB-1A Green Card, see our related article from here you can go.

There is no strict salary requirement for EB-2 visas. However, you must meet the "prevailing wage" criteria set by the US Department of Labor. This means that you must be earning an average salary for your region and the work you do.

In most cases, yes. The EB-2 visa is an employer-sponsored visa. This means that you must have a job offer from a US employer before applying for the visa, and your employer must sponsor you on your behalf. In exceptional cases, you can also apply on your own by obtaining a "National Interest Waiver".

Yes, but there are some limitations. Before you get a Green Card (permanent residency), you are expected to continue working for the sponsoring company. After you get a Green Card, you have more freedom to change jobs.

EB-2 and EB-3 visas are employment-based immigration categories. However, there are differences in qualifications and priorities:

  • EB-2: For professionals with advanced education (master's degree or equivalent) and people with extraordinary abilities.
  • EB-3: For skilled workers, professionals (with a bachelor's degree) and unskilled workers.

EB-2 visa holders generally face shorter waiting times than EB-3 visa holders.

There is no set standard for proving that your experience in your field has "gradually" improved. However, a strong dossier with letters of recommendation and employment contracts from the places where you have worked can be used to prove that your experience has "gradually" increased.

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