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Immigrant Visas
(Permanent Residency / Greencard)

Obviously, not all foreign nationals qualify for Permanent Resident status. Therefore, the first analytical step of a case is to determine whether the applicant's situation/basic fact pattern falls within any of the situations enumerated in the law for the acquisition of Permanent Resident status.

Pathway #1 Family-Based Immigration
Pathway #2 Employment-Based Immigration
  EB-2, Labor Certification
  EB-3, Labor Certification
Pathway #3 Refugee/Asylum: Fear of Persecution
Pathway #4 The Diversity Lottery Program
Pathway #5 Various Special Programs


Pathway #2 : Employment-Based Immigration - EB-2

Second Preference:

This category covers aliens who are members of a profession holding advanced degrees or their equivalent.

Advanced Degree Professionals are defined as those who have a U.S. academic or professional degree (or its foreign equivalent) above a bachelor’s degree level. A bachelor’s degree plus at least five years of progressive experience in the specialty would be considered under the law to have the equivalent of a master’s degree. The DOL does not, however, accept this very easily and the employer must define precisely the terms and quantity of experience that qualifies as ‘progressive’. In the case of a requirement for a doctorate degree, only experience will not be counted and the alien must actually possess a doctorate degree.

The petition must be accompanied by:

  • An official academic record showing that the alien has a U.S. bachelor’s degree or a foreign equivalent degree.
  • An official academic record showing that the alien has a U.S. advanced degree or a foreign equivalent degree.
  • Letters from current or past employers showing that the alien has at least five years of progressive post-baccalaureate experience in the related field.
  • A labor certification from the DOL.

In both cases, the employer offering the alien employment must file the petition on the INS Form I-140, except when the alien is seeking an exemption from the job offer requirement, in which case the alien may file the petition himself. For this exemption, the alien must show that his/her entry to the U.S. would be in the national interest of the United States.

The National Interest Waiver for Qualified Physicians In Underserved Areas

Under 2 circumstances, a physician applying for EB-2 visa can be exempted from the labor certification process if:

  • The petitioner (sponsoring employer) request a national interest waiver on behalf of the qualified alien physician, or
  • The alien physician self-petitioning for EB-2 on his own can show his entry into the U.S. is in the national interest.

NOTE: Immigration law changes frequently. The resources and information provided on this web site are intended to help you understand basic issues involved in the immigration process, and are offered only for general informational and educational purposes. This information is not offered as, nor does it constitute legal advice or legal opinions. Although we strive to keep this information current, we neither promise nor guarantee that the information is the latest available, or that it applies to your specific situation. You should not act or rely upon the information in these pages without seeking the advice of an attorney.

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