EB-2: PERM & NIW Processing

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EB-2/PERM Processing/NIW Blog

EB-2/PERM Processing/NIW Blog

Foreign workers to be permanently hired at a company may seek an EB-2 green card. This green card will allow the individual to reside in the US for permanent work. Applicant must have one of the following qualifications in order to be eligible for an EB-2 green card:

  • Applicant has an Advanced Degree, such as a masters or doctorate, or foreign equivalent
  • Applicant has an Exceptional Ability, which can be proved through a specialized degree along with noticeable expertise in either business, art, or science.
    ** Must be approved by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Foreign Labor Certification Process.
  • Applicant is eligible for a National Interest Waiver

Further requirements for this green card if the applicant has an exceptional ability or national interest waiver must include at least three (3) of the following:

  • Official degree in the field of exceptional ability
  • Proof of a minimum of 10 years work experience in the field
  • Professional license or certification
  • Salary or wage that reflects exceptional ability
  • Be involved in professional associations
  • Public recognition of achievements
  • Any outstanding evidence of exceptional ability

PERM Processing

The first two qualifications will require the PERM process. The Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) is the process undergone by any employer or employment agency in order to permanently hire any foreign national worker. This process is mandatory when applying for an EB-2 green card, unless eligible for the waiver. There are several steps that make up the process:

  • The employer must comprehensively state the work duties and requirements for the job. This description should include the required experience, education and skills for the job.
  • The employer must specify the salary/wages that will be earned through the job based on the job’s nature and current economy.
  • The employer must complete the job recruitment by advertising job listings and conducting interviews with U.S workers who apply.
  • The employer must file the ETA-9089 form to complete the application for the PERM, which will be followed by form I-140 if everything is approved.

The time you can expect to complete the application itself is around 6 months. However, if accounting for the preceding steps of the process, including the job determination/recruitment, it will take much longer. The overall time to complete this process varies on a case by case basis, but you can generally expect to complete the PERM process in its entirety after around 9-13 months.

National Interest Waiver (NIW)

The PERM process tends to be rather lengthy, but it can be overlooked with an NIW. A National Interest Waiver can act as an exception, and allow an immigrant to petition without needing an employer’s involvement to bring them into the country. An applicant can apply for an NIW as long as they can prove all of the following:

  • The applicant’s purpose for coming to the country is of substantial merit and national importance in either science, business, technology, health, culture, or education. This evidence does not require any indication of economic growth.
  • The applicant must demonstrate that they will be able to advance their prospects by immigrating to the US. In this, factors such as educational background, experience, skills, past successes, and progress will be considered.
  • The applicant must prove that waiving the explicit job offer will be more advantageous to the country than if they were not to waive it.

The time you can expect for the NIW to be processed is generally expected to be between 3-9 months, however can vary on a case by case basis depending on the USCIS officials. It is advisable to consult with an attorney to make sure you have all the necessary documents and requirements prepared before your application.

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