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People of Exceptional Ability (EB-2B)

by Hamid R. Kashani, Attorney at Law
Nov 07, 2018 (last modified Nov 30, 2018)

What is the EB-2B immigrant visa category?

Employment-Based immigrant visas are divided into five (5) preference classes.  EB-2B is a subcategory of the second preference.  It is reserved for people of exceptional ability in sciences, arts, or business.

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Do I qualify for EB-2B immigrant visa category?

You may qualify for this immigrant visa, if you possess an exceptional ability in sciences, arts, or business, which is “a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business.”

Before filing a petition with the USCIS, your prospective employer must go through the labor certification process at the United States Department of Labor and obtain a labor certificate, which certifies that qualified U.S. workers are not available to fill the position.

EB-2B visas are usually immediately available for citizens of most countries and there is no waiting time, except for processing time, to acquire this visa.  You may check the visa availability of a particular visa category for your country of origin. See Priority Date & Visa Availability.

What evidence do I need to show for EB-2B classification?

To qualify for this immigrant classification, your prospective employer must show at least three (3) of the following accomplishments by you:

  • Academic records, including transcripts and diplomas, showing a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution of learning in your area of exceptional ability
  • Ten (10) years of experience in your area of exceptional ability
  • License or certificate for practicing your profession
  • Commanding a salary or other remuneration evincing your exceptional ability
  • Membership in professional associations
  • Recognition of achievements and significant contributions to your field by your peers, government entities, or professional or business organizations

In addition, your employer must present a labor certificate issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), certifying that qualified U.S. workers are not available to fill the position for which you are being hired.

Other documents, which may be submitted, include all materials submitted in support of the labor certificate, full job description (more detailed than that submitted to the DOL), and the employer's financial statement showing the ability to pay the proposed salary.

How is a petition for EB-2B classification filed?

To apply for EB-2B classification, your prospective employer must first secure a labor certificate from the United States Department Labor.  The process for obtaining labor certificate is rather extensive and is described separately. See Labor Certification (PERM).

Once your prospective employer obtains a labor certificate, the employer must file an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker (USCIS Form I-140) together with extensive, supporting evidence.

To see the current USCIS fee for I-140 petition, see USCIS Fee Schedule.

To see how long the USCIS would take to adjudicate the petition, see USCIS Processing Times.

Premium processing is available for this kind of petition, meaning that your employer may be able to obtain a decision in 15 calendar days.

What happens after the EB-2B classification petition is approved?

If you are in the United States and qualify, you may apply for Adjustment of Status.  If you qualify to file for adjustment of status and a visa is immediately available to you, you should file an Application for Adjustment of Status together with the petition.

If you are outside of the United States or do not qualify to file for adjustment of status, you must go through Consular Processing, to actually receive an immigrant visa.


Labor Certification

Adjustment of Status

Consular Processing

Applying for Citizenship


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