The employment-based second preference, or EB-2, category provides a route to the green card for foreign nationals in one of the following categories:

  1. Individuals with advanced degrees where the offered job requires an advanced degree;
  2. Individuals with “exceptional ability” in the arts, sciences, or business;
  3. Individuals who qualify for a “national interest waiver.” These foreign nationals generally have an exceptional ability in the arts, sciences, or business whose employment in the United States would greatly benefit the nation.

Unless a foreign national qualifies for a national interest waiver, petitions for an EB-2 visa must be accompanied by a labor certification issued by the Department of Labor. The labor certification acts as a test of the job market and requires the petitioning U.S. employer to prove that there is no qualified, available U.S. worker for the offered job.