A person may be eligible for an employment-based, second preference visa if they are a member of the professions holding an advanced degree or its equivalent, or a foreign national who has exceptional ability.  To qualify for EB-2, except in National Interest Waiver cases, a PERM Labor Certification must be certified by the Department of Labor, showing that no qualifying U.S. worker is available for the position offered.

Professionals holding an advanced degree may qualify for the EB-2 visa if the job offered requires an advanced degree or its equivalent and the alien employee holds such a degree or its equivalent (a baccalaureate degree plus 5 years of progressive experience in the field).

One may also qualify for EB-2 where one is able to show Exceptional Ability in the sciences, arts, or business.  In these types of cases, “exceptional ability” is general referred to “a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business.”

Lastly, aliens seeking a national interest waiver are requesting that the Labor Certification be waived because it is in the interest of the United States.  Though the jobs that qualify for a national interest waiver are not defined by statute, national interest waivers are usually granted to those who have exceptional ability and whose employment in the United States would greatly benefit the nation.  Those seeking a national interest waiver may self-petition (they do not need an employer to sponsor them) and may file their labor certification directly with USCIS along with their Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker.

The spouse and children under the age of 18 may be admitted to the United States in E-21 and E-22 immigrant status, respectively. During the process where the alien and their spouse are applying for permanent resident status, their spouse is eligible to file for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).