How to Immigrate to the U.S. using EB-2 Visa?

To immigrate to the U.S. using the EB-2 visa, you need to go through a multi-step process that involves obtaining a job offer from a U.S. employer (except for EB-2(c) National Interest Waiver applicants who can self-petition), obtaining approval for the EB-2 Immigrant Petition, and going through consular processing or adjustment of status to obtain a Green Card. Here is a step-by-step guide to immigrating to the U.S. using the EB-2 visa:

  • Check Eligibility: Determine if you meet the eligibility criteria for the EB-2 visa. The EB-2 visa is for professionals with advanced degrees, individuals with exceptional abilities in their fields, and those with a National Interest Waiver. Ensure that you have the necessary qualifications and supporting documentation for the specific subcategory (EB-2(a), EB-2(b), or EB-2(c)).
  • Find a U.S. Employer (EB-2(a) and EB-2(b) Categories): If you are applying under the EB-2(a) or EB-2(b) category, you will need a U.S. employer to sponsor your visa. The employer will need to obtain a labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to show that there are no qualified U.S. workers available for the position.
  • File Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker: The U.S. employer (or the applicant if applying under EB-2(c) National Interest Waiver) will file Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This form serves to establish your eligibility as an EB-2 visa applicant.
  • Wait for I-140 Approval: Once Form I-140 is approved, USCIS will notify you and your employer (if applicable).
  • Consular Processing or Adjustment of Status:
    • If you are outside the United States: You will go through consular processing at a U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country. You will need to submit Form DS-260, Immigrant Visa Application, and attend a visa interview.
    • If you are already in the United States: If you are eligible for adjustment of status, you will file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, with USCIS.
  • Attend Visa Interview (Consular Processing): If you are applying through consular processing, attend the visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate. Be prepared to present the required documents and demonstrate your eligibility for the EB-2 visa.
  • Receive Immigrant Visa or Green Card: If your EB-2 visa application is approved, you will receive an immigrant visa (for consular processing) or a Green Card (for adjustment of status). The immigrant visa will allow you to enter the U.S. as a permanent resident.
  • Arrival in the U.S.: If you received an immigrant visa through consular processing, you can travel to the U.S. and become a permanent resident upon entry. If you adjusted status in the U.S., your Green Card will be mailed to you.

It’s important to note that the EB-2 visa process can be complex, and requirements may vary depending on the specific subcategory and individual circumstances. Working with an experienced immigration attorney can help ensure a smooth and successful immigration process. Additionally, the information provided here is based on the regulations as of my last update in September 2021. For the most current and accurate information, applicants should refer to the official USCIS website or consult with an immigration attorney.

How long does it take to obtain EB-2 visa?

The processing time to obtain an EB-2 visa can vary significantly based on several factors, including the specific subcategory (EB-2(a) for Advanced Degree Professionals, EB-2(b) for Exceptional Ability Individuals with a job offer, or EB-2(c) for National Interest Waiver applicants), the applicant’s country of chargeability, the U.S. government’s workload, and any processing backlogs.

As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, here are some general estimates for the processing times:

  • Form I-140 Processing Time: The processing time for Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, which is filed by the U.S. employer (or self-petitioned by EB-2(c) applicants), can vary depending on the USCIS service center where the petition is filed. On average, it may take several months to receive a decision, but this can vary from a few months to over a year.
  • Consular Processing (Outside the U.S.): If the EB-2 visa application involves consular processing (outside the U.S.), the waiting time for a visa interview appointment at the U.S. embassy or consulate in the applicant’s home country can also vary. Once the interview is completed, the visa processing time can take a few weeks to a few months.
  • Adjustment of Status (Inside the U.S.): If the EB-2 visa applicant is already in the United States and eligible for adjustment of status, the processing time for Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, can also vary. On average, it may take several months to receive a decision on the adjustment of status application.

It’s essential to note that the processing times are subject to change, and actual processing times can differ based on individual circumstances and changes in U.S. immigration policies. Additionally, there may be seasonal variations in processing times or delays due to external factors.

To get a more accurate estimate of the current processing times for the EB-2 visa, applicants should check the USCIS website or consult with an immigration attorney. USCIS provides estimated processing times on its website for various types of visa petitions and applications, which can help applicants plan and manage their immigration process accordingly.

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