The EB-2 green card is reserved for: 1) individuals of exceptional ability in the arts, sciences or business; 2) individuals with advanced degrees (M.D., J.D., LLM, Ph.D. etc.); and 3) those who qualify for the National Interest Waiver. The process is extensive, and it is outlined in more detail in the For U.S. Employers: Employment-Based Green Cards section.
Canadians of Exceptional Ability
To qualify as a Canadian of exceptional ability under the EB-2 green card category, the application must demonstrate that they have exceptional ability in business, arts, or science. USCIS defines “exceptional ability” as a “degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business.” Applicants must meet at least three of the criteria below. Keep in mind that it is quality over quantity – simply meeting three criteria alone is not enough if the substance of the evidence is not thorough:
- Proof of a degree or certification from an educational institute relating to your area of exceptional ability
- At least 10 years of experience in your occupation as proven through verification letters
- Relevant licenses or certifications related to your profession
- Proof of having been paid a high salary in your occupation
- Membership in relevant professional associations
- Professional recognition for your achievements and contributions in your area of expertise
- Other relevant evidence
Canadians With Advanced Degrees
Canadians with graduate degrees, such as an M.D., J.D., MBA, Pharm.D., Ph.D., etc. can be sponsored by a U.S. employer for an occupation that requires this degree. For example, a law firm is seeking a lawyer to fill a vacant associate attorney position. A Canadian citizen received a Juris Doctor and is licensed in the state where the position is being offered. The Canadian lawyer is eligible for an EB-2 green card.
National Interest Waiver
Certain accomplished Canadian citizens may be eligible for an EB-2 green card based on a National Interest Waiver. To qualify, the Canadian must demonstrate a level of exceptional ability, and have an offer of employment that would be of a national benefit. NIW applicants do not require a U.S. employer to sponsor them.