EB-2B Exceptional Ability

The EB-2 Green Card is second preference visa category that provides lawful permanent residence in the US. It includes "individuals who because of their exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business will substantially benefit prospectively the national economy, cultural or educational interests, or welfare of the United States, and whose services in the sciences, arts, professions, or business are sought by an employer in the United States" and "members of the professions holding advanced degrees or their equivalent." If you are a foreign national with an exceptional ability in science, arts, or business, you may be eligible for EB-2B.
HomeUS Visa & ImmigrationEB-2B Exceptional Ability

Advantages of EB-2B Status

EB-2B immigrant status has the following provisions:

  • Provides residency in the U.S.
  • For the EB-2 process, the employer is the petitioner and the alien with exceptional ability is the beneficiary.
  • The main benefit of the EB-2B subcategory is that the foreign worker need not have received international acclaim in the field of specialty.
  • EB-2 visa holders are allowed to bring dependents to the US, such as a spouse or unmarried children under the age of 21 on a dependent visa.
  • During the process of you and your spouse applying for permanent resident status, your spouse is eligible to file for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
  • The process often progresses more quickly than in related labor-based visa categories.
  • US permanent residents are entitled to attend any public or private school in the US, work in the US without a visa or employment authorization document, travel outside the US with few limitations, sponsor close relatives for US permanent residence, and apply for US citizenship when eligible to do so.

Application Process

The following information explains the process of applying for EB-2B:

  1. Perform the labor certification or PERM process. It requires employers to apply for and receive a labor certification from the US Department of Labor on behalf of the individual with Exceptional Ability. PERM: Labor Certification process.
  2. File a Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker. Once the labor certification is approved, the employer may sponsor the applicant for permanent residency. The purpose is to prove that the applicant qualifies as an alien with exceptional ability. One purpose of I-140 petition that requires a certified Labor Certification is to establish that the employer has the ability to pay the offered wage stated in the Labor Certification application. Form I-140 application procedure.
  3. Background check. The applicant and his/her family members must prove that they do not have prior immigration, criminal violations, or other problems that would make them ineligible for the green card. It explains the entire history of the applicant in the field and begins by explaining how the applicant got involved in the field and improved over the years. Therefore, the applicant must have extremely detailed information about his education, training, work experience, and other qualifications.
  4. File a Form I-485 or Take Consular Processing Interview. Upon approval of Form I-140, the applicant should file Form I-485 application for adjustment of status or take consular processing interview at a US consulate in his country. The purpose is to become a lawful permanent resident of the US. Form I-485 application procedure and consular processing.
  5. Receive Green Card. A permanent resident card (Green Card) will be mailed to the applicant’s home if the application is approved by USCIS.

Eligibility Criteria & Documents

In order to qualify as a foreign national with exceptional ability,

  • The beneficiary must have an offer of permanent employment from a US sponsoring employer/petitioner or qualify for a national interest waiver (NIW).
  • The applicant must have an exceptional ability in the field of science, arts, or business.
  • The worker must be considered significantly more accomplished than the average person in the same profession.
  • The applicant must have an employer willing to sponsor him/her through labor certification or PERM.
  • Applicants must also meet health and character requirements.

Employer Requirements

  • The employer must prove its ability to pay the wage at the time the priority date is established, and continue to do so until the beneficiary employee obtains lawful permanent residence.

Details of the required evidence and documentations to prove that the alien beneficiary meets EB-2B criteria are mentioned below.

The petition must be accompanied by at least three of the following items:

  • A permanent job offer from a US employer who will act as the applicant’s sponsor.
  • An official academic record such as a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution of learning related to the area of exceptional ability.
  • Evidence in the form of letter(s) documenting at least ten years of full-time experience in the occupation.
  • A license to practice the profession or certification for a particular profession or occupation.
  • Evidence of receipt of a salary, or other remuneration for services, which demonstrates exceptional ability.
  • Evidence of membership in professional associations.
  • Evidence of recognition for achievements and significant contributions to the industry or field by peers, governmental entities, or professional or business organizations.

If the above standards do not readily apply to the occupation, comparable evidence can be used to establish eligibility.

Notes on EB-2B

  • Exceptional ability is defined as a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business.
  • Typical professionals who qualify for an EB-2B visa might include economists, lawyers, doctors, veterinarians, physicists, market research analysts, geographers, mental health workers, and marriage and family therapists.


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