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EB-2: Second Preference Category – Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees and Persons of Exceptional Ability

This preference is reserved for persons who are members of the professions holding advanced degrees or for persons with exceptional ability in arts, science, or business. Approximately 28.6% of employment based green card visas are granted to immigrants of this preference category.

  1. Professionals with advanced degrees: must be a degree beyond a bachelor degree, or a bachelor degree combined with at least five years of progressive experience in the profession. Labor certification is required.
  1. Persons with exceptional ability: must have expertise significantly above that of an ordinary professional in the fields of art, science, or business. Labor certification is required. In addition, you must meet at least 3 out of the following criteria listed below.
  1. National Interest Waiver: If you think that your employment in the United States would greatly benefit the nation, you may be granted a waiver for labor certification and may be able to self-petition. In order to qualify, you must beet at least 3 out of the following criteria listed below.


  • Official academic record of your diploma, certificate, degree, or similar award from an accredited higher education institution;
  • Evidence documenting at least 10 years of full-time experience in your profession;
  • Professional certification or license to practice in your occupation;
  • Evidence that you receive a higher rate of pay than others in your occupation due to your exceptional ability;
  • Membership in a professional association;
  • Peer, governmental, or professional recognition for your achievements and significant contribution to your industry or field;
  • Other comparable evidence to demonstrate your eligibility.

The applicant must have a permanent employment offer and the employer must obtain a labor certification.

If the applicant can prove that granting the immigrant visa would be in the nation’s interest, he/she may qualify for a national interest waiver and be exempt from the employment offer/labor certification requirement.

Contact Kristy Qiu, Esq., a knowledgeable Fort Lauderdale Immigration Attorney to find out the approximate wait time and availability of visa for each preference category.


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