How to Apply for an EB2 Visa - Every Step from Getting the Application Started to Receiving Your visa
How to Get an EB2 Visa. The EB2 visa is a professional occupations visa that allows foreign workers to come to the US and work in certain high-tech fields. What’s special about the EB2 visa is that it is one of the few visitor visas that also allows employers to sponsor job-seekers. In this blog post, we’ll take you through every step of applying for an EB2 visa, which jobs are eligible for the status, and how long it takes from start to finish.
If you’ve got the itch to visit your favorite U.S.A location, chances are that an EB2 visa is one of the best ways to take advantage of your opportunity. The EB2 visa program is designed for highly-skilled workers who have a job offer from an American company, and the employer has access to at least one other U.S.-based employer that’s willing to sponsor the worker. To qualify for an EB2 visa, you need to meet certain requirements, such as offering a “highly skilled” occupation. You may also need to demonstrate that you have a “demand for qualified employees in the U.S.,” which means that employers in your area can show how much demand there is for workers with your skill level or experience. There are a lot of requirements for getting an EB2 visa and applying, but with careful planning and persistence, it's not difficult to get one. Let's take it step by step:
What is a visa?
A visa is a document that allows a person to enter and stay in the United States. It doesn’t automatically grant entry, but it authorizes the U.S. government to say who is allowed in and out. There are many different types of visas, and the process for applying for each one can vary depending on your country of origin and your skill level. For example, the H-1B visa is considered a “specialty” visa, which allows engineers and other highly-skilled workers to skip the entry-process and immediately start working in the United States. There’s also the J-1 visa for exchange visitors, which lets you travel and work in the U.S. as an “intern,” meaning that you’re not legally declared a employee and don’t have benefits or a job history.
What is a EB2 Visa
The EB-2 visa or the Second Priority Workers visa is one which targets three groups of people. These groups are:
- Advanced Degree Holders – are those who have advanced educational degrees such as a Bachelor’s or a Master’s Degree and 5 years of experience in their field
- People with exceptional abilities – are those who have demonstrated exceptional abilities and achievements in business, arts, or sciences
- Those who can obtain a National Interest Waiver – are those who can demonstrate that working in the US would benefit the country and is in the US national interest
If you belong to any of these groups then you have a chance to get an EB-2 visa. Getting an EB-2 visa means that you will move permanently to the US. You will work there in your field of expertise and you will enjoy the rights of permanent Green Card holders. You are required to pay all applicable taxes and follow the US laws. You are allowed to travel in and out of the US, change jobs after a few years, move from one state to the other and so on. Additionally, when you qualify, you can also apply for a US citizenship and become naturalized.
Since the employment based visas have a limit on the annual number of visas issued, out of the 140,000 immigration visas, 28.6% are allocated for EB-2 visas as well as any visas that are left from EB-1 visas. This means that 40,040 visas plus those left by the EB-1 visa are for the EB-2 visa category. Because of such a low number, the wait times for this visa are quite long.
Get the EB2 Visa Application Started
The first step in applying for an EB2 visa is getting the application started. You can start the process by filling out an EB2 visa application form and sending it to the U.S. consulate in your home country. The form should include:employment history, including dates and locations where you've worked; and copies of your payslip and proof of income. Be sure to include any relevant documents or information about your salary in your application. Most important, though, is to put your best foot forward and make sure that your case is strong enough to qualify for an EB2 visa. The U.S. Embassy in your home country can also help you with this step, as well as with other requirements related to the EB2 visa.
What are the requirements for the EB-2 visa?
In order to be eligible for an EB-2 visa, there are requirements which the foreign employee or worker and the US employer must meet. To qualify as an Advanced Degree Holder, you must fulfill these requirements:
- Prove through academic records that you have an advanced educational degree such as a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree or a US equivalent
- Have previous employer’s letters proving that you have 5 years of experience in your field of expertise after you completed your Bachelor’s Degree
To qualify as a person with exceptional abilities or a national interest waiver, you must meet three of the criteria below:
- Show diplomas, certificates, or awards which prove you have achieved excellence in business, arts, or sciences, or other fields of expertise
- Have letters from employers proving at least 10 years of full-time job experience in your field of study
- Have a license or a certification which shows you are able to practice your profession
- Prove that you have had a high salary in your previous jobs which show that you have exceptional abilities
- Show that you have membership in one or more professional associations
- Prove that you have won recognitions for your achievements and contribution in your field of expertise by your peers, professional organizations, or the government
- For the national interest waiver, you must also submit proof that your work is in the interest of the US government
If you are a US employer who wants to hire a person and sponsor the foreign worker for an EB-2 visa, you must meet these requirements:
- Prove that you could not find an available, willing, or qualified US worker and so you need to hire a foreign worker
- Prove that you will not discriminate towards the foreign worker and will pay them the same wage you would pay a US worker in the same job position
- Prove that your company is financially stable and can afford to pay the foreign worker
Get an Employer Sponsor Certified Job Offer
Once you have the application process under control, it’s time to start looking for a job. If you’re applying for an H-1B visa, you’ll want to speak to an H-1B employer certification representative to get certified. The certification process verifies that employers hiring workers on the visa are complying with federal law, including those that require an employee to perform certain tasks, such as translation or secretarial services. There are many online certification providers, and you can check whether one in your region is certified for the jobs that you want. Be sure to ask your employer if they’re certified, and if not, what the certification process is.
Set Up your American Company Profile on Avaaz
Once you’ve found an employer that’s willing to work with you, it’s time to set up your American company profile on Avaaz. This will make it much easier for potential customers and investors to find you and your business, as well as for your colleagues to find you if you're managing a team. You’ll need to create a profile for your employer, including a brief biography, a list of your responsibilities, and a clear picture of your company. You can find a step-by-step guide to setting up a profile on Avaaz here.
Get Your Resume and Cover Letter ready
The next step in the application process is to prepare your resume and cover letter. Ideally, you’d have experience in a specific industry that can help you get the job you want. For instance, if you have work experience in marketing, you can apply to work at a marketing company in the U.S. In either case, make sure to include relevant experience, responsibilities, and salaries. Be sure to sign and date your cover letter, as it’s a good way to show that you understand the position that you’re applying for. Be sure to keep your cover letter as short as possible, as there’s no set length for a cover letter, and it’s helpful to reference the information in your resume as you write it. When it comes to your resume, make sure to list all of your skills and experience as accurately as possible. Don’t rely on memory or make assumptions about what your experience would be if you had to write the application in a single day. Make sure all of your work is on file, and double-check the accuracy of your experience by looking it up online.
Make Your Case through Your Employment Portfolio
The best way to show the U.S. Embassy that you qualify for an EB2 visa is by using an employment portfolio. An employment portfolio is a collection of your resumes and cover letters, alongside supporting documentation, that demonstrates that you have the skills and qualifications that the job requirements ask for. You can find a step-by-step guide to creating an employment portfolio on Avaaz here. When you’ve finished your portfolio and applied for your EB2 visa, you’ll have a better idea of whether or not you qualify for the program, as well as what your path to approval will look like.
Apply for Your EB2 Visa with U.S. Embassy in Canada
Once you’ve got your employment portfolio ready, it’s time to apply for your EB2 visa with the U.S. embassy in your home country. You can apply online, or you can call the Indian Embassy in your country and apply there. The online application is just as easy as clicking a button, and you can apply as much as you’d like, as there’s no minimum number of applications. The deadline for applications is late May, so get started now if you want to take advantage of the early bird special.
Get a Passport and Emergency Travel Money from the embassy
Once you’ve got your application in order, it’s time to go to the embassy and apply for your visa. You’ll need to bring your passport and emergency travel money (that’s the money you used to pay for your ticket, plane ticket, or train ticket) for the short trip to the U.S. The U.S. embassy in your home country can help you apply for a passport, but you’ll need to pay for it yourself. If you have a valid passport, travel money, and an appetite for adventure, you should head to the U.S. as soon as possible.
Important of EB2 visa for Foreigners
The EB2 visa program is only open to workers who meet certain job qualifications, including offering a “highly skilled” occupation. This means that each employer who sponsors a worker must complete an employment eligibility verification (EELV) form, which is a legal savvy practice that ensures each company applying for an EB2 visa is following the proper process. For example, an H-1B employer could request that the workers they hire use the H-1Bvisa program, but they also need to complete an EELV before they can work in the United States. Another example is that an employer who wants to hire an engineer for their company’s expansion needs to complete an EELV for each new position that the company will have, including management, technical, and HR.
What are the EB-2 visa fees?
There are many fees which both the US employer and the foreign worker must pay for the EB-2 visa. The amounts vary and are decided by the DOL, USCIS, and the US Embassy in the country you are applying from. In general, your employer and you will have to pay the following fees:
- DOL Labor Certification fee (employer)
- USCIS Form I-140 petition filing fee (employer)
- Form DS-261 processing fee (employee)
- Medical examination fees (employee)
- Fees to obtain supporting documents (employee)
- Any translation fees from foreign language to English (employee)
How long does it take to get an EB-2 visa?
The time for EB-2 visa to be processed can range from one year to three or four years. Since there is a cap on the limit of annual visas given for EB-2, the processing time for it can be quite long. The visas are processed in order of applying, so if you have applied earlier, you might get processed faster.
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The path to getting an EB2 visa is a difficult one, but it's one that can be completed successfully if you put in the effort. The EB2 visa program is designed for highly-skilled workers who have a job offer from an American company, and the employer has access to at least one other U.S.-based employer that’s willing to sponsor the worker. To qualify for an EB2 visa, you need to meet certain requirements
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