Frequently Asked Questions (E-2)

Q:  What is EB2 green card?
In order to understand what ‘EB2’ means, one must first understand that there are 5 preference categories in employment based green card applications.  
The US offers about 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas per year. These visas are divided into five preference categories:

  1. Employment-Based First Preference (EB1)  - 28.6%
  2. Employment-Based Second Preference (EB2)- 28.6%
  3. Employment-Based Third Preference (EB3) – 28.6%
  4. Employment-Based Fourth Preference (EB4)  - 7.1%
  5. Employment-Based Fifth Preference (EB5) – 7.1%

First Preference is for Priority Workers including aliens with extraordinary abilities, outstanding professors and researchers, and certain multinational executives and managers.

Second Preference is for Members of Professions Holding Advanced Degrees or Persons of Exceptional Ability.
Third Preference is for Skilled Workers, professionals and other qualified workers.
Fourth Preference is for certain special immigrants including those in religious vocations.
Finally, Fifth Preference is for Immigrant Investors.

EB2 indicates Employment-based second preference category.

Q: Does my future employer have to first receive labor certification approval from the US Department of Labor for me to get an immigrant visa?
Unless you are eligible for the National Interest Waiver case, you need to be sponsored, and your sponsor must obtain labor certification approval even in an EB2 case.

Q.  If I have a Master’s degree or the equivalent, does any job qualify for EB2? 
No. The employer’s minimal requirements for the position offered must be at least a Master’s degree or the equivalent.

Q: I have a 2 year Associate Degree and 15 years of experience.  Do I qualify for EB2?  
No. The requirement is minimum an Advanced degree or the equivalent. This definition includes Master's degree, Professional Degree (J.D., M.D., D.V.M., Pharm.D., etc.) and a Bachelor's degree plus 5 years' progressive experience.

Q:  I gained my bachelor’s degree after working for more than 5 years.  Do I qualify for EB2?  
No. Pre-baccalaureate experience does not count as the equivalent of a Master’s degree.

Q:  I gained my Bachelor’s degree and/or Master’s degree from a non U.S. institution abroad.  Do I qualify?
It does not affect your chance of obtaining green card whether you gained your academic degrees in the U.S. or abroad.

Q:  I have a Bachelor’s Degree and more than 5 years of qualifying experience.  How do I prove my experience to the USCIS?  
You need to obtain a certificate from your former company or a letter from your supervisor verifying your experience in detail.  Even if your company has closed down since, you can still verify your experience through someone that has personal knowledge of your prior experience. 

Q:  If I am offered a high salary, does that improve my chance of obtaining green card under EB2 category?
Not really. The amount you need to be offered is the prevailing wage. There are four levels within each occupation’s prevailing wage, and the level depends on the level of complexity of the offered position. As long as the sponsor offers a wage that is the same or above the level of the prevailing wage that is assigned to the position, there is no difference – even if you are offered a significantly higher salary. 

Q:  What if my position changes while my case is pending?
Your current position does not affect your green card case.  As long as the position you are offered for your green card case (i.e., permanent prospective position) remains the same, your case will continue.

Q:  What if I change my employer while my LC is pending?
Your LC is filed by a specific employer. If you change your employer, then your green card case will have to be initiated by the new employer from the very beginning.

Q: What if your salary is increased after your LC has been filed?
Simple salary change does not affect your green card case. 

Q: When my LC has been approved, may I work or apply for social security number?
LC (Labor Certification) is not a work authorization. It’s a process through which DOL certifies that immigrant petition can be filed for this particular position. Therefore, LC approval does not provide you with work authorization.

Q: I heard traveling during green card process is prohibited.  May I travel?
Travel is generally allowed while your PERM application or I-140 petition are being processed. However, when you file I-485 application, you may not travel until you receive your travel document. If you do, your application will be considered abandoned. The exception is if you have H or L visa; then, you may travel during the process. Travel document takes about 2-3 months to be issued.  
Overall, overseas travel is risky and may have adverse effect.  Therefore, please always consult with us before you make travel plans.
Q: I may have to change jobs in the middle of the process.  When can I change employer without affecting my green card case?
When 3 conditions have been met, you may change jobs without affecting your green card case: 1/ your LC has been certified; 2/ you I-140 petition has been approved; and 3/ your Form I-485 application has been filed and pending for 180 days. If all these conditions have been met, then you may change jobs, but the new employment must be the same or similar occupational classification.

Q: When do I get my employment authorization document?
2-3 months after filing Form I-485 application.

Q: When do I get my travel document?
2-3 months after filing Form I-485 application.

Q: Do I get my green card right after getting fingerprinted?
Fingerprinting needs to be done but it does not mean your green card will be issued within certain period of time.

Q: I have a criminal record.  Does it affect my chance of obtaining green card?  Do I get interviewed?
It depends on the severity of the crime. You must provide a Certified Copy of the Final Disposition. A simple misdemeanor does not usually prevent you from obtaining green card.  However, it does increase your chance of getting interviewed in person.

Q: Do children benefit from my green card application and is there an age limit?
Children may benefit as your derivative until 21 years old. The age calculation is complex. If your children are approaching 21st birthday, please consult with us

Siyuan Chang