An EB-2 Exceptional Ability Visa is available in the general fields of the sciences, arts, or business.  According to USCIS policy, the “arts” includes athletes and entertainers.  Some of the key requirements needed in order to seek to qualify for an EB-2 Exceptional Ability Visa include a variety of forms of evidence that must be carefully reviewed, prepared and documented, such as:

Requirement 1: Show that the applicant has exceptional ability in the sciences arts, or business.

The initial requirement is that it be shown the the field of endeavor or expertise will be included in the the sciences, arts, or business. Below is a general list of the criteria which requires that an applicant show at least 3 of the 6 types of evidence. This is required to evaluate whether, in total, whether an applicant has “a degree of expertise significantly above that normally encountered” in the sciences, arts, or business:

  • Degree, diploma, certificate or similar award from a college, university, school or other institution, relating to the field of exceptional ability
  • At least ten years of full-time experience in your field
  • If required, a license or certification to practice in your profession or occupation
  • A high salary or other remuneration for the services, which demonstrates exceptional ability
  • A member of professional associations
  • Recognized for achievements and significant contributions to the field of expertise or industry

Once an applicant has shown that they can document at least 3 of the above regulatory criteria, the USCIS is then required to engage in a review of the evidence based on the case Matter of Kazarian (596 F.3d 1115 (2010)) which requires a “final merits determination” involving a review of all of the evidence in the record.  This evaluation involves the USCIS determining whether a petitioner is at the very top of his or her field of endeavor.

Requirement 2: Show that the applicant “will substantially benefit prospectively” the U.S. economy, U.S. cultural interests, U.S. educational interests, or U.S. welfare.

A prospective benefit is generally shown by documenting a past record of achievements and explaining how that indicates the applicant’s future success.

In light of these requirements above, unless an applicant is in the National Interest and can waive the labor certification process, in order to qualify for the EB-2 Exceptional Ability Visa a job offer and a labor certification are required.  For more information about whether this EB-2 Visa category is the best option for you, please contact our board certified immigration attorney to discuss your case today.