If you possess an advanced degree (i.e., generally considered to be a "Masters Degree" or higher), or an equivalent foreign degree, and you have a U.S. employer who is offering you a full time position which requires that type of degree (this may be waived in the National Interest), then you may be able to qualify for U.S. Permanent Residency under the EB-2 category for individuals with "ADVANCED DEGREES".
A key advantage of the EB-2 category is that it tends to have a more current priority date than the EB-3 category. Another key advantage is that if you qualify for a National Interest waiver of the job offer, you do not need to go through the Labor Certification process, thereby making the process considerably faster than the EB-3 category, and you may also be able to self-petition (if you obtain the National Interest waiver of the job offer).
The main requirements for the EB-2 Advanced Degree category are as follows:
- You must possess a U.S. advanced degree (i.e., generally considered to be a "Masters Degree" or higher), or an equivalent foreign degree; and
- A LABOR CERTIFICATION obtained by the petitioning U.S. employer which must offer you a full time position in your field, unless you have obtained a WAIVER of the labor certification in the NATIONAL INTEREST in which case you may also be able to self-petition.
Note that if you are a health care worker, it may be necessary for you to obtain the necessary health care certification (e.g., Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS)).
PHYSICIANS have a special provision which allows them to obtain a National Interest Waiver of the labor certification requirement if the physician agrees to work full time in a designated by the Health and Human Service (HHS) as a health professional shortage area or in a Veterans Administration (VA) hospital for a designated number of years, and a federal agency or a state department of public health has determined that the physician's work is in the public interest. This provision may be less advantageous now, however, that the PERM Labor Certification is less time consuming that the previous Labor Certification system.