Context: After Foreign Labor Certification
After the DOL approves your foreign labor certification application, your employer should file an I-140 immigration petition with the USCIS within 180 days of approval of your labor certification.
Once the USCIS approves your I-140, you can either:
Apply for an employment-based immigration visa at a US embassy or consulate overseas; or
File Form I-485 to adjust your immigration status to permanent resident.
Which of the above options you select depends on whether you are inside or outside the US at the time of filing.
EB-2 status offers an immigrant visa and a green card, but it is one of the most difficult US immigration statuses to obtain. The three pathways for obtaining permanent residence through EB-2 status are (i) qualifying as an “advanced degree professional”, (ii) possessing “exceptional ability”, or (iii) obtaining a National Interest Waiver.
“Advanced degree professional”
Normally, this pathway requires you to have earned an advanced degree, such as a master’s degree or a Ph.D. The job you are taking must require this qualification as well. In some cases it is OK for you to possess a bachelor’s degree plus five years of “progressive” work experience As usual, foreign equivalent degrees can qualify.
Although this is an inherently subjective determination, you must be able to show exceptional ability in science, art, or business that is beneficial to the US economy, culture, or educational system. Your ability must be, well beyond the level of ability that is normally encountered in your field.
National Interest Waiver
You may be granted a National Interest Waiver if your residence and employment in the United States will benefit the US enough to justify waiving the normal labor certification program requirement and granting you permanent residence directly. You don’t necessarily need an advanced degree or exceptional ability to qualify for a National Interest Waiver, because the determination is highly subjective.
You can obtain an employment-based immigrant visa using any of the three above-described pathways.