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EB-2 Green Card for Individuals of Exceptional Ability

The EB-2 green card allows individuals with “exceptional ability” in the sciences, arts, or business, or an advanced degree the opportunity to live and work in the U.S. 

The applicant must have a U.S. employer willing to sponsor her/him through labor certification or by getting a waiver for labor certification. (See EB-2 National Interest Waiver.)

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify as an individual with “exceptional ability,” a candidate must meet at least three of the following seven criteria:

  1. A degree, diploma, or certificate from a college, university, or other educational institution related to the area of “exceptional ability.”
  2. At least 10 years of full-time experience in an occupation related to the area.
  3. A license or certification to practice the profession.
  4. A salary or other compensation that demonstrates “exceptional ability.”
  5. Membership in professional associations.
  6. Awards, other recognition, or significant contributions to the industry or field by peers, government entities, professional or business organizations.
  7. Other comparable evidence of eligibility.

Application Process

To apply for an EB-2 visa, the U.S. employer must:

  • • Show the candidate meets the eligibility requirements of an individual with “exceptional ability.”
  • • Submit labor certification if no National Interest Waiver is sought. Labor certification requires a U.S. employer to prove to the U.S. Department of Labor that no minimally qualified U.S. workers are available for the position sought by the foreign employee. The labor certification process is designed to ensure that the employment of U.S. workers and the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers employed in the same field are not adversely affected.
  • • Show the U.S. employer or prospective employer has the ability to pay the offered wage.

What Happens Next?

USCIS may request more information, evidence or an interview with the EB-1C candidate. At an interview, you may be fingerprinted, photographed or asked for your signature to verify your identity or to update background and security checks. USCIS will notify you in writing of its decision.


$700 filing fee for Form I-140 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker)

$1,140 filing fee for Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status)

$85 biometrics service fee for green card applicants ages 14 to 78

Form I-140 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker)

Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status)

About 6 months for concurrent filing.

You intend to live permanently in the U.S.

Exceptional individuals



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