Second Preference [EB-2]: Advanced Degrees or Exceptional Ability

Available to to “qualified immigrants who are members of the professions holding advanced degrees or their equivalent or who because of their exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business, will substantially benefit prospectively the national economy, cultural or educational interests, or welfare of the United States, an d whose services in the sciences, arts, professions, or business are sought by an employer in the United States.” INA §203(b)(2). Labor certification is required, unless waived because of national interest.

Advanced Degrees

An “advanced degree” is generally defined as above a B.A (or foreign equivalent) such as a M.A or higher. A B.A./B.S (or foreign equivalent) plus 5 years of progressive post-degree experience in the same specialty is equivalent to a M.A. 8 CFR §204.5(k)(3)(i)(B).

Exceptional Ability

Proof of exceptional ability [8 CFR §204.5(k)(3)(ii)] requires any 3 of the following:
– A degree relating to the area of exceptional ability;
– A letter from current/former employer showing at least 10 years of experience;
– A license to practice in the profession;
– The person has commanded a salary demonstrating exceptional ability;
– Membership in a professional association;
– Peer or association recognition for achievements and significant contributions.