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EB-2 Visa

Green Card for Advanced Degree Professionals and Individuals with Exceptional Ability! If you're a foreign national with an advanced university degree or exceptional abilities in a particular field, including art, science, or business, the EB-2 visa may be the optimal path to United States citizenship.

Contact us today to learn more about the EB-2 visa green card process by speaking with the experienced EB-2 visa lawyers at Simvisa.

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    • Step 1: Initial Consultation with SimVisa

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    • Step 1: SimVisa collected information and documents from you through our online portal

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All You Need to Know

Trusted Chicago EB-2 Visa Lawyers

Gaining an employment-based visa is a complex process, and it's further complicated by the fact that the U.S. offers multiple types of employment-based visas.

Simvisa immigration lawyers complete a thorough analysis of your employment background and identify whether your academic background or extraordinary ability means you qualify for permanent residence in the U.S. through an EB-2 visa.

EB-2 Visa Support for Clients Across the U.S.

The Chicago EB-2 visa lawyers at Simvisa work with foreign nationals both in Chicago and nationwide to identify whether the EB-2 visa is the right green card option for you.

What Is an EB-2 Visa?

The EB-2 visa allows permanent residence based on academic or professional achievements. The three EB-2 visa subcategories are EB-2A, EB-2B, and EB-2C.

Professionals with Advanced Degrees (EB-2A Visa)

Eligibility under EB-2A, Professionals with Advanced Degrees, requires one of the following:

  • Master's degree or higher
  • Bachelor's degree and at least five years of related work experience
  • Foreign equivalent degree (if other than a baccalaureate degree, master's, or doctorate)

The EB-2A requires a job offer and completion of the U.S. Department of Labor's Foreign Labor Certification.

Persons of Exceptional Ability (EB-2B Visa)

The EB-2B, Persons of Exceptional Ability, is for applicants whose knowledge in a field is significantly higher than their peers and who demonstrate three of the following:

  • A degree related to the profession and proof of at least ten years of experience
  • Proof of salary commensurate with exceptional ability
  • Valid licensing
  • Professional organization membership
  • Proof of accomplishments or recognition
  • Official academic record displaying exceptional work of national interest

The EB-2 visa is typically available to those in the fields of the sciences, arts, or business. Applicants must have a pending job offer and complete U.S. labor certification requirements.

National Interest Waiver (EB-2C)

The EB-2C, National Interest Waiver (NIW), is for foreign nationals with skills or abilities from which the U.S. would substantially benefit. The national interest waiver requirements include:

  • Advanced degree: master's or foreign equivalent
  • Proof of exceptional ability or substantial merit of national importance
  • Proof that entrance to the U.S. serves the national interest or benefits the national economy

A key benefit of national interest waivers is that they do not require a pending job offer or labor certification. An EB-2 NIW attorney can help you identify whether your background makes you eligible for an EB-2C national interest waiver.

EB-2 Green Card Application Process

There are three primary steps to gaining an EB-2 green card:

  • Labor certification
  • Visa petition
  • Status adjustment

For applicants with a job offer seeking the EB-2A or EB-2B, the future employer must begin the PERM Labor Certification process by filing through the U.S. Department of Labor. The employer must undergo an extensive process demonstrating that the foreign national possesses qualifications not held by any domestic applicants.

A business is sometimes unwilling to sponsor work visas due to these requirements. The PERM labor certification process is time-consuming. A business must justify the candidate's job offer by undergoing and documenting extensive recruiting procedures to demonstrate that the only domestic candidates are underqualified workers given the skills, experience, or educational interests required for the position.

Once the labor certification process is complete, the employer can file form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. This is the actual petition for the EB-2 visa. For foreign nationals seeking the EB-2C visa, the labor certification requirement is waived, and the applicant can self-petition using form I-140.

If an individual meets the requirement regarding the national interest waiver, they can bypass some of the most challenging and time-consuming aspects of gaining an EB-2, like the job offer and labor certificate. A lawyer can help you understand whether your academic, professional, or business accomplishments are of national interest or national importance and whether they qualify you for the national interest waiver green card.

Upon successful petition approval, the final step is registering for permanent residence. If the foreign national is already in the U.S., they must file form I-485, Application to Adjust Status. If applying from abroad, they'll instead need to undergo consular processing at a U. S. consulate.

EB-2 Green Card Processing Time

The EB-2 is processed by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This government agency tends to have shorter processing times for the EB-2. This is one benefit of opting for the EB-2, although the applicant's home country can impact wait times. Generally, wait times for approval of form I-140 might take 6–9 months or longer.

If your EB-2 does not involve the national interest waiver, you'll need to wait for your employer to complete the PERM process, which may take a year or longer. If you are applying for the national interest waiver (EB-2C), you can expect the approval process to be faster.

After approval, the final step can also take time. Consular processing tends to be the faster route, with an average wait time of six to 12 months. Awaiting approval of form I-485, Application to Adjust Status, can take longer, with an average wait of one to two years.

How Can Simvisa Help with an EB-2 Visa?

Applying for an immigrant visa is costly and lengthy, and your plans for the future depend upon a successful petition. While countless individuals apply for EB-2 visas each year, the USCIS only approves around 40,000 EB-2 visas annually. Working with an experienced EB-2 immigration lawyer is your best chance of being one of the applicants to receive approval.

Simvisa works with some of the best immigration lawyers in the U.S. to connect foreign nationals with the right EB-2 attorney. Applicants filing for the national interest waiver would benefit from working with an EB-2 NIW lawyer, while those seeking employment authorization through the labor certification process can benefit from the guidance of a Simvisa EB-2 employment-based attorney.

Unlike more general law group services, Simvisa exists for one purpose — helping clients successfully achieve the visas they need.

What Is the Cost of an EB-2 Visa?

Applying for an EB-2 visa requires adequate financial planning. Rather than a flat fee for EB-2, several separate fees can vary by case. Fees you can expect during the EB-2 application process include:

  • $700 I-140 filing fee
  • $1,140 I-485 filing fee
  • $85 biometrics fee

You may also face additional fees if you're filing from outside the U.S.

If applicants hope to bypass the lengthy wait times ordinarily encountered during the visa application process, they can also opt for premium processing. This option fast-tracks application review and approval and typically costs around $2,500. A Simvisa immigration lawyer can help identify whether premium processing is an option for you.

Contact Your EB-2 Visa Lawyers Today!

If you'd like to learn more about the EB-2 visa and if you qualify to self-petition for an NIW, a Simvisa EB-2 NIW lawyer can help. Contact the Simvisa office today.

SohYoon Atac
Co-founder of SimVisa with over 17 years of experience in immigration law.


  • Juris Doctorate - Chicago Kent College of Law
  • Bachelor's Degree - The University of Chicago
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Why Choose Simvisa’s EB-2 Visa Attorneys? 

The EB-2 visa lawyers at Simvisa combine experience with personalized attention for every client. Simvisa's sole focus is immigration law. We can connect clients to the type of immigration lawyer they need, like pairing clients seeking NIWs with our NIW lawyers.

Every lawyer has practiced immigration law for over a decade.

Experienced immigration lawyers offer visa-specific support.

Personalized plans are tailored to meet client needs.

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FAQs about EB-2 Visas

Our clients have a lot of questions. Here are the answers to some of those most frequently asked.

Is an EB-2 visa a green card?

Yes, the EB-2 is for acquiring a type of green card available to foreign professionals with advanced degrees or exceptional abilities of national interest to the U.S. If your EB-2 visa process is successful, you will become a lawful permanent resident, commonly referred to as a green card holder. You can pursue U.S. citizenship after five years of living in the U.S as a permanent resident.

Can I bring my family to the U.S. on an EB-2 visa?

Yes, you may be able to bring your immediate family members (spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age) to the United States on an EB-2 visa. Your family members can apply for dependent visas, such as an E-21 (spouse of EB-2 holder) or an E-22 (child of EB-2 holder), to accompany or follow-to-join you in the United States.

What is EB-2 priority date retrogression?

EB-2 priority date retrogression refers to how the U.S. government handles an excess of visa applications that exceeds the available supply of visas for that category and country. Retrogression occurs when U.S. immigration moves the date when you can receive a green card further into the future, increasing the wait time. It's important to take action quickly once you're able to, as your priority date can be moved even after it become current.

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Contact Your EB2 Visa Lawyers Today!

If you'd like to learn more about the EB-2 visa and if you qualify to self-petition for an NIW, a Simvisa EB-2 NIW lawyer can help. Contact the Simvisa office today.