E2 Visa to Green Card

E2 Visa to Green Card

If you do not have family green card options or want to make a supersized EB5 investment, there are two primary ways to obtain a green card as an E2 visa holder.

1. Self sponsored green card option

In an effort to encourage foreign nationals to immigrate to the United States, establish or purchase a business and employ US persons, USCIS has established a new set of regulations specifically for foreign entrepreneurs.  This new regulations allow entrepreneurs to obtain permanent residency through the  EB2 NIW category.  This blog post will cover using the NIW to obtain a green card by establishing a US business and hiring US workers.

The National Interest Waiver allows a foreign national to apply for permanent residency through the EB2 category without having a US employer or a job offer.  This means that there is no requirement to undergo PERM labor certification and petitions can be approved in as little as 3 months provided that the entrepreneur’s immigration is in the national interest.

The entrepreneur can show his immigration is in the national interest if he can establish the following three points.

1. The NIW entrepreneur must seek employment in an area that has substantial intrinsic merit.  An example would be a structural engineer working on highway bridges.
2. The NIW entrepreneur must demonstrate that the proposed benefit to be provided will be national in scope.   For example, the entrepreneur might be able to demonstrate that the jobs his or her business enterprise will create in a discrete locality will also create (or “spin off”) related jobs in other parts of the nation. Or, as another example, the entrepreneur might be able to establish that the jobs created locally will have a positive national impact.
3. The NIW entrepreneur must demonstrate that the entrepreneur will serve the national interest to a substantially greater degree than would an available U.S. worker having the same minimum qualifications.  The entrepreneur who demonstrates that his or her business enterprise will create jobs for U.S. workers or otherwise enhance the welfare of the United States may qualify for an NIW. For example, the entrepreneur may not be taking a job opportunity from a U.S. worker but instead may be creating new job opportunities for U.S. workers. The creation of jobs domestically for U.S. workers may serve the national interest to a substantially greater degree than the work of others in the same field.

The USCIS is finally recognizing that immigrants are vitally important to the success of the US economy and are providing additional avenues to permanent residence for them.  If you are considering starting, purchasing or expanding a US business, the NIW may be the right choice for you.

2. Employer sponsored green card option (EB2/EB3)

The EB2 employment based green card is for individuals who are members of the professions with advanced degrees (any degree above a baccalaureate degree or a baccalaureate degree and at least 5 years progressive experience in the professions) or who have exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business who will substantially benefit the United States.  The combination of a baccalaureate degree with 5 years experience in the professions is deemed equivalent to a Master’s degree. If a doctoral degree is required for the particular profession, the alien must possess the doctoral degree.

EB3 employment based green card is for professionals who hold a US baccalaureate degree or foreign equivalent degree that is normally required for the profession. Education and experience may not be substituted for the degree.

The EB3 employment based green card is also for skilled workers and other workers who are not seasonal or temporary and require at least two years of experience or training as well as other workers are those who are capable of performing unskilled labor, not of a temporary or seasonal nature, for which qualified workers are not available in the US.

In order to obtain permanent residency through the EB2 or EB3 category, the applicant must have an employer willing to sponsor him or her through PERM Labor Certification. The applicant does not have to be employed when labor certification/PERM is filed. A job offer is sufficient. Labor certification/PERM is the process whereby, the US government determines whether qualified US workers can fill the open position. Once the labor certification is approved, the employer may sponsor the applicant for permanent residency.

The EB2/EB3 process is as follows:

  • The employer performs the PERM labor certification process;
  • The employer sponsors the employee for a green card; and then
  • The employee adjust his or her status to permanent resident.

We have successfully helped thousands of clients obtain green cards.  Feel free to call us at 305-515-0613 or email us at info@messersmithlaw.com.  We look forward to helping you and your family obtain green cards like we have for thousands of other clients.

Filing a Second PERM Labor Certification to Take Advantage of shorter EB2 Wait Times

I am from India and I already got an approved labor certificate and I140 in the EB3 category. My I485 has been pending for three years now and it seems like it will never get approved because of the long waits. I have a job offer from another company and I want to file again to go through the EB2 category. Is this ok? Am I qualified? I only have a BA but I now have 6 years of experience.

Yes, not only is it possible for the new company to refile for you but you should be able to take advantage of your current priority date. This likely means that your priority date will be current once the application is approved and you should be able to obtain your green card without any additional wait for a visa number. Regarding your qualifications, a Bachelor’s degree + 5 years experience is the minimum requirement for an EB2 petition so you are almost certainly qualified.

I-140 Upgrade from EB3 to EB2

Hi, I was hoping you could tell me if I can upgrade my I-140 from EB3 to EB2. Is that possible? EB3 is taking forever and I know I can get green card quickly through EB2. Thx.

Yes, not only is that possible but both the Nebraska Service Center and the Texas Service Center have both issued clear guidance for I-140 upgrades.

Visa Bulletin Outlook for 2009/2010

The Department of State Visa Office has made several predictions regarding the movement of priority dates for the remainder of 2009 and beyond.  These predictions include the following:

  1. Regarding the EB1 category, all countries are expected to remain current for 2009 but this is expected to change in 2010 for India and possible China due to high demand
  2. Regarding the EB2 category, retrogression for India and China is expected to worsen for India and China.  Both countries are expected to become unavailable in August or September 2009.
  3. Regarding the EB3 category, EB3 wordwide and for China, India, Mexico and Philippines are expected to reamin unavailable for the remainder of the fiscal year.  In October, it is likely the priority dates will be March 1, 2003 for EB3 worldwide, China will be March 1, 2003, India will be November 1, 2001 and Mexico will be March 1, 2003.
  4. Regarding the EB4 category, it is expected to be current for the remainder of the fiscal year but a cut off date will likely be established in FY2010.
  5. Finally, for the EB5 category, it is expected to remain current for the foreseeable future though there is higher demand in this category.