(Exceptional ability or advanced degree professional with NIW)
The EB-2 immigrant visa is one of the available pathways for entrepreneurs looking to live and work in the United States. This pathway is intended for:
This visa classification requires a job offer and a labor certification issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). You must first meet this requirement for your employer to move on to the next step of filling your immigrant visa petition with the USCIS and (if approved) before a beneficiary could be issued an immigrant visa through consular or adjustment processing.
DOL regulations prohibit the issuance of labor certifications for self-employment. However, if you seek an EB-2 visa status with a National Interest Waiver (NIW), you may self-petition and not be subject to the labor requirement. When requesting a NIW, you must demonstrate that you are either an individual of exceptional ability or a member of the profession holding an advanced degree.
More guidelines concerning the labor certification process are readily available on DOL’s website.
There are generally two broad requirements for this category of EB-2 visa applicants. These requirements are:
The term “advanced degree’ implies a professional or academic degree above a bachelor’s degree. Admissible evidence that you can use to demonstrate that you have an advanced degree may include the following:
For more information about how the USCIS determines eligibility for advanced degree professionals, check out the USCIS Policy Manual.
Some of the supporting evidence you may submit to establish that your advanced degree is related to your field included, but is not limited to:
There are generally two broad requirements for this category of EB-2 applicants. These requirements are:
To qualify for this classification, you must show exceptional ability in business sciences or arts. The initial evidence must include at least three of the six types of evidence listed below.
You must answer yes and adduce supporting evidence for at least three of the following questions:
If the above criteria do not apply to your occupation, you may submit comparable evidence to establish your eligibility.
Upon meeting the minimum threshold requirements, USCIS will evaluate all your submitted evidence in its totality to determine whether you have a degree of expertise significantly higher than that normally encountered in business, sciences, or arts.
Refer to the USCIS Policy Manual for detailed guidance on how USCIS determines your eligibility for exceptional ability classification.
To show prospective benefit, you must submit evidence of a record of achievements and explain how that indicates your future success. Qualifying or admissible evidence that you can submit to make this demonstration includes, but is not limited to:
The USCIS reserves the right, as a matter of discretion, to grant your request for a National Interest Waiver IF the following requirements are met:
The USCIS Policy Manual outlines detailed guidelines on how to evaluate eligibility for NIWs based on the requirements mentioned above. The policy also discusses the specific evidentiary considerations for entrepreneurs.
The USCIS is not oblivious to the fact that entrepreneurs do not always follow traditional career paths and that start-ups vary in structure. Therefore, in addition to the general guidance, the USCIS Policy Manual clarifies that as an entrepreneur petitioner, you are free to submit other forms of evidence to help establish the following:
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) https://www.uscis.gov/working-in-the-united-states/entrepreneur-employment-pathways/immigrant-pathways-for-entrepreneur-employment-in-the-united-states