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One must be a person with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business, or an advanced degree holder to be eligible for a green card under the EB-2 category. An advanced degree means a master’s or higher degree from an American university or its foreign equivalent. Alternatively, a person can demonstrate a bachelor’s degree with at least five years of progressive post-bachelor degree experience.

Aliens who are members of the profession holding advanced degrees or aliens of exceptional ability. (EB-21)

  • The job offer must demonstrate that employment requires a professional holding and advanced degree or alien of exceptional ability;
  • Labor certification must be approved or a person must obtain a waiver based on national interest;
  • Individual must have an approved I-140 petition, filed by the employer or self-petitioned.


 Aliens holding advanced degree

Aliens with exceptional degree must demonstrate 3 of the following:

  • An official academic record of U.S. advanced degree or foreign  equivalent


  • Official academic record of U.S. bachelor degree or foreign equivalent and evidence of at least 5 years of progressive experience in the specialty.
  • An official record showing degree, diploma, or award in area of exceptional ability
  • Ten years of full-time experience
  • License or certificate to practice the profession
  • Evidence that alien command a salary or other remuneration for services which demonstrates exceptional ability
  • Membership in professional associations
  • Recognition for achievements and significant contributions to the industry or field

Use EDGE, Electronic Database for Global Education, a web-based resource for the evaluation of foreign educational credentials.


National Interest Waiver (EB-22)

Petitioner must show the following: (Matter of Dhanasar , has designated as precedential  and the decision in Matter of New York State Department of Transportation, 22 I&N Dec 215 (Comm 1998) has been vacated)

  1. The foreign national’s proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance;
  2. He or she is well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor;
  3. On balance, it would be beneficial to the United States to waive the requirement of a job offer and thus of a labor certification.


Factors that may be considered in determining national interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Improving the U.S. economy;
  • Improving wages and working conditions for U.S. workers;
  • Improving education and training programs for U.S. children and under qualified workers;
  • Improving health care;
  • Providing affordable housing in the U.S.;
  • Improving the environment;
  • Request from an interested U.S. government agency.

 Unique Knowledge and Abilities

Alien must possess unique knowledge or abilities that set him or her apart from other professionals and he or she will use these attributes in activities that will significantly benefit the Nation.

 Adversely Affects the Nation

The national interest must be adversely affected if a labor certification were required. Alien must submit sufficient proof that your contribution is significant, and the time taken for a traditional labor certification process would severely impair national interest.

Labor Certification could be waived.

The alien may submit documentation to prove his or case for a National Interest Waiver:

  • Copy of Notice of Approval of current status (H, J-1, F-1, etc.);
  • Current detailed resume including employment/research history (names, addresses, and exact dates of employment);
  • Copies of college/university degrees and transcripts or notarized copies;
  • Letters of recommendation from colleagues or other authorities in a related field (Include the author’s resumes);
  • Copies of all the articles written by the applicant;
  • Copies of any articles where applicant’s achievements were mentioned;
  • Copies of any prizes an applicant had been awarded;
  • Receipts demonstrating high salary or any other payments.


Spouse and children of the aliens with approved petition under the age of 18 may be admitted to the United States in E-21 and E-22 immigrant status, respectively. During the I-140 application process, spouses are eligible to file for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

Currently, immigrant visas are not available for Indian and Chinese Nationals in the EB-2 category, and they cannot adjust status until their priority date becomes current. However, for petitioners in H-1B status, H-1B status will be extended in 3 years increments.


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