EB-2 (Employment-Based 2nd Preference) Overview & EB2 Green Card


Eb-2 benefits foreign persons who have advanced degree in professional fields or have exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business.

For this preference category, a job offer and labor certification is required unless the USCIS waives that requirement in the national interest. About 40,000 visas plus those numbers not used in first preference are issued every year.

Requirements of “Advanced Degree “

In order to establish that the foreign person has advanced degree, the foreign person must submit the official academic record showing that:

  1. Advanced Degree:The foreign person has received a United States advanced degree ( degrees above a bachelors) or a foreign equivalent degree; OR
  2. Baccalaureate Degree plus Five Year Progressive Experience in the Specialty:The foreign person has received a United States baccalaureate degree or a foreign equivalent degree and evidence in a form of letters from current or former employers stating that the foreign person has at least five years of progressive, post-baccalaureate experience in the specialty. The USCIS has established a policy that the labor certification on which the preference petition is based must establish the employer's minimum requirements as a bachelor's degree and five years of experience or a master's degree. If the alternatives are not specified in the labor certification, the USCIS will not accept the bachelor's degree and five years of experience as the equivalent of a master's degree.

Supplemental Statement: If the experience requirement listed in the application for labor certification form is unclear as to these two elements, adjudicators may request that the petitioner provide “plain-English explanation“ of the experience required. The description may take the form of a supplemental statement establishing each of the following elements:

  1. the employer requires post-baccalaureate job experience;
  2. the job experience required must be progressive in nature (that is, the employer is requiring job applicants to possess experience reflecting increasing levels of responsibility and knowledge in the specialty); and
  3. such job experience is required in order to adequately perform the job duties for the position.

The supplemental statement should take the form of an affidavit from an individual within the petitioning company who has relevant knowledge concerning the minimum qualifications for the position. The instructions state that adjudicators may infer that highly technical positions are progressive in nature due to the constant state of change in the industries involved. Adjudicators retain discretion, however, to request evidence in particular cases on the progressive nature of the experience required even in situations in which a high-tech position is involved.

Requirements of “Exceptional Ability“

The other group in the second employment-based preference includes aliens with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business.Inclusion in the exceptional ability group requires that the applicant have a degree of expertise above that ordinarily encountered in his or her field.

Degree or Certificate is not sufficient: The USCIS mandates that possession of a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution may not be considered sufficient by itself to evidence exceptional ability; nor may a license or certificate to practice a profession or occupation be considered sufficient.

Evidence of Exceptional Ability: In order to establish exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business, the foreign person must document at least three of the following:

  1. an official academic record showing that the foreign person has a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution of learning relating to the area of exceptional ability
  2. evidence in the form of letters form current or former employers showing that the foreign person has at least 10 years of full-time experience in the occupation.
  3. a license to practice the profession or certification for a particular profession or occupation.
  4. evidence that the foreign person has commanded a salary or other remuneration for services that demonstrate exceptional ability.
  5. evidence of membership in a professional association OR
  6. evidence of recognition for achievements and significant contributions to the industry or field by peers, governmental entities or professional or business organizations.

The USCIS has indicated that it will consider comparable evidence that is appropriate to the foreign person's application in the event the foreign person cannot provide the type of demonstration listed above. And athletes may be considered aliens of exceptional abilities in the arts for purposes of qualifying in the second employment-based preference.


Under the USCIS rules, the second employment-based preference petition must be accompanied by

  1. the evidence establishing exceptional ability from the list above
  2. a labor certification approved by the Department of Labor or documentation to establish that the foreign national qualifies for Schedule A (a labor certification is not required if the job offer requirement is waived), and
  3. documentation supporting the waiver of a job offer, if a waiver is requested.

Healthcare workers

Requirements of certification: Some healthcare workers seeking EB-2 classification must meet special certification requirements. The certification requirement is currently applicable only to nurses, physical and occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, medical technologists and technicians, and physician assistants. The certification is required whether the foreign national was trained in the United States or abroad. The majority of these healthcare workers seeking an immigrant visa or adjustment of status will be EB-2 advanced-degree professionals or EB-3 professionals/skilled workers.

A foreign medical degree: A foreign medical degree may qualify as the equivalent of a U.S. M.D. degree if, at the time of the filing of the labor certification application, several conditions are met. The immigrant must establish that he or she:

  1. has been awarded a foreign medical degree from a medical school that requires applicants to obtain a bachelor's degree equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's degree as a requirement for admission
  2. has been awarded a foreign medical degree and a foreign education credential evaluation is provided that describes how the foreign medical degree is equivalent to a medical degree obtained from an accredited medical school in the United States, or
  3. has been awarded a foreign medical degree and has passed the National Board of Medical Examiners Examination (NBMEE) or an equivalent examination, such as the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), Steps 1, 2, and 3.