EB-2 Advanced Degrees & Experience

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EB-2 Professionals with Advanced Degrees or Persons with Exceptional Ability   

The following persons fall under this category:

  • Foreign nationals of exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business;
  • Foreign nationals that are advanced degree professionals; and 
  • Qualified alien physicians who will practice medicine in an area of the U.S., which is underserved.

The EB-2 classification includes: aliens who are "members of the professions holding advanced degrees or their equivalent" (that is, any degree above a baccalaureate degree or a baccalaureate degree with at least 5 years of progressive experience in the professions) and aliens who because of their exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business will substantially benefit the national economy, cultural, or educational interests or welfare of the United States. The services should be sought by the employer in the U.S.

If you are a worker with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business, you may apply to waive the requirement that you have a job offer if such a waiver would be in the national interest.

Exceptional Ability Aliens

In order to be classified as having exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business, the individual must provide documentation of at least three of the following:

  • An official academic record showing the alien 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;
  • Letters documenting at least ten years of full-time experience in the occupation being sought;
  • A license to practice the profession or certification for a particular profession or occupation;
  • Evidence that the alien has commanded a salary or other remuneration for services that demonstrates exceptional ability;
  • Membership in professional associations; and
  • Recognition for achievements and significant contributions to the industry or field by peers, government entities, professional or business organizations.

If the above standards do not apply to the petitioner's occupation, other comparable evidence of eligibility is also acceptable. The aliens in this group are required to have a degree of expertise above that which is ordinarily encountered in their field. A labor certification is not required if the job offer requirement is waived.

Schedule A Occupations

Under the Department of Labor Schedule A, certain occupations do not require individual labor certifications. Such labor certifications are pre-certified. However, under Group II of Schedule A, the employer must submit the labor certification application to the USCIS with other documentation showing the alien’s work over the preceding 12 months that required exceptional ability and the alien’s work in the U.S. that requires exceptional ability. Under Group II, aliens of exceptional ability in the performing arts are also included. Under Schedule A Group II, evidentiary requirements are similar to that of the extraordinary ability evidentiary requirements of the first preference category.  In order to be classified as having exceptional ability in this category, the individual must provide documentation of at least two of the following in the field which certification is sought:

  • Receipt of internationally recognized prizes or awards of excellence in the field which certification is sought;
  • Membership in international associations;
  • Published material about the alien in professional publication;
  • Alien’s participation on a panel or individually as a judge of the work of others;
  • Alien’s original scientific or scholarly research contributions;
  • Alien’s authorship of published scientific or scholarly articles; and
  • Evidence of display of alien's work at exhibitions in various countries.

Advanced Degree Professionals

A petition for a foreign professional holding an advanced degree may be filed when the job requires an advanced degree (beyond the baccalaureate--i.e., a Master's Degree or higher) and the alien possesses such a degree or the equivalent. In lieu of the Master's Degree, the alien may use his/her U.S. baccalaureate degree or a foreign equivalent degree and at least five years of his/her progressive post-baccalaureate experience in the specialty. Under the regulations, evaluation of the alien’s education and experience to determine the equivalency of a Bachelor’s Degree is not allowed.

Please further note that in a liaison meeting with AILA in June 2007, the USCIS Nebraska Service Center is reported to have changed its stand about what is considered to be equivalent to a U.S. Master’s Degree for Employment-Based Category 2. Each petition and its supporting documentation are examined on a case-by-case basis and degree equivalencies are based on the evidence presented with the individual case. However, the below is provided as a general outline: 

  • U.S. Master’s Degree – As long as it is in the field required, no additional document is required.
  • Four-year Bachelor’s Degree + two-year Master’s Degree (India) – With degrees in the same or related fields, this will generally be considered the equivalent to a U.S. Master’s Degree and no additional document is required.
  • Three-year Bachelor’s Degree + three-year Master’s Degree (India) – With degrees in the same or related fields, this will generally be equivalent to a U.S. Master’s Degree and no additional document is required.
  • Three-year Bachelor’s Degree + one-year postgraduate diploma + two-year Master’s Degree (India) with degrees in the same or similar field - This would generally be considered the equivalent of a Bachelor’s Degree plus one additional year of education.  Therefore, the beneficiary would also need to have five years' progressive experience. If the postgraduate diploma is determined to be progressive postgraduate education that is a continuation of the three-year Bachelor’s Degree, it is possible that this would be considered the equivalent to a U.S. Master’s Degree and there would be no need to establish five years' progressive experience.
  • Three-year Bachelor’s Degree + two-year Master’s Degree (India) – Generally, this would be the equivalent of a Bachelor’s Degree + one year and would require five years' progressive experience to qualify under the 2nd preference (EB-2) category.
  • Three-year Bachelor’s Degree + two-year Master’s Degree (India) + five years' progressive, post-Master’s Degree experience – Generally, the educational degrees would be determined to be the equivalent of a U.S. Bachelor’s + one year and the beneficiary would meet the statutory requirement.
  • Three-year Bachelor’s Degree + two-year Master’s Degree + one-year postgraduate diploma (India) – Generally, this would be the equivalent of a Bachelor’s Degree + one year and would require five years' progressive experience to qualify under the 2nd preference category (EB-2). If the postgraduate diploma is determined to be progressive postgraduate education that is a continuation of the three-year Bachelor’s Degree or the two-year Master’s Degree, it is possible that this would be considered the equivalent to a U.S. Master’s Degree, and there would be no need to establish five years' progressive experience.

The petition must include documentation, such as an official academic record showing that the alien has a U.S. advanced degree or a foreign equivalent degree, or an official academic record showing that the alien has a U.S. baccalaureate degree or a foreign equivalent degree and letters from current or former employers showing that the alien has at least five years of progressive post-baccalaureate experience in the specialty. The post-baccalaureate experience should reflect increasing or advancing levels of responsibility and knowledge in the specialty. The profession should be an occupation for which a baccalaureate degree or its foreign equivalent is the minimum requirement for the entry in the field.

Green Card: 

Comments

Dear Sir,

I have three years of Bachelor + one year of Diploma + 1 year of PG diploma along with that below certification and 10 years of experience.
Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) (2000)
Microsoft Certified Solution Developer (MCSD) (2000)

I am working as IT manager in one of american company.

Please Kindly advice eligibility for EB2 category.

~Nirav

Nirav ji, EB-2 appears unlikely. Certifications do not help. But you get the PG diploma evaluated under AACRAO - EDGE standards. May be, that will help.

Note: Not intended to create attorney-client relationship.  Answers could be incomplete, incorrect or outdated.  Use caution.

I have 4 years of Bachelor Degree (IT) in India. I have been working in US for the past 10 years. Currently I'm filed under EB3 with I140 approved. I want to port it to EB2. Am'I eligible ?

I think you are eligible for EB-2.

Note: Not intended to create attorney-client relationship.  Answers could be incomplete, incorrect or outdated.  Use caution.

Hello Rajeev sir,

Hope your doing well.

My current employer is failing the GC. Below is the job requirement. My total experience is with the current employer only (2.5 years in INDIA+4.5 years in USA)

Job requirement:
Education: Master’s degree, or equiv., in computer information systems or related field
Experience: At least 1 year in position offered or in design defect fixes/enhancements

i have US equivalent Master degree. My attorney said for the experience, we can show your current employer INDIA experience(2.5 years for which i worked in india for the same employer and came USA for the same employer).

Can we show current employer India experience while filing PERM?

Please suggest.

Regards,
Kumar

Kumar, generally speaking, you can use the experience gained with an employer who has a tax ID number other than your petitioning employer.

Note: Not intended to create attorney-client relationship.  Answers could be incomplete, incorrect or outdated.  Use caution.

Thank you sir.

My company is an indian company. while joining US for the same company, i have resigned in india and joined as a US employee here.

My attorney said "The DOL rules changed many years ago and we can use experience gained by the company overseas."

In india i have worked 2 years 7 months.

Job requirement they are posting is.

Education: Master’s degree, or equiv., in computer information systems or related field
Experience: At least 1 year in position offered or in design defect fixes/enhancements

I have master degree which is equivalent to US masters. So i am bit confused to use the current employer india experience or not.

Please suggest.

Regards,
Kumar

Kumar ji, the GENERAL rule is that if the tax ID number of two companies is different, you may use the experience gained with one to the other, even if they are commonly owned or related.

Note: Not intended to create attorney-client relationship.  Answers could be incomplete, incorrect or outdated.  Use caution.

Hello Sir,

I have 4 yrs BE + 2 yrs PGDM in India. All these are AICTE recognized. I have 4.5 yrs experience before joining my current company in US (where I have worked for 1.5 yrs now). Total work experience in related field is 6 yrs now. Will I qualify for EB 2? Will they consider my PGDM equivalent to MS in US?

The diploma needs to be evaluated under AACRAO EDGE standards. Otherwise, your lawyers must assess the possibility of using your experience gained while working with the current employer. Both routes may be available.

Note: Not intended to create attorney-client relationship.  Answers could be incomplete, incorrect or outdated.  Use caution.