If you or someone you love is looking to immigrate to Illinois, Wisconsin or another part of the United States by way of a second-preference EB-2 visa, you may be wondering if you or that loved one meet the eligibility requirements needed to qualify. You may be able to secure this type of visa if you hold an advanced degree within your field or its equivalent, or if you are able to demonstrate an exceptional ability in the arts, business or science. You may also be able to pursue this type of visa via what is known as a National Interest Waiver.

To apply for an EB-2 visa for an advanced degree, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services dictates that you must produce documentation proving your educational background. You may, too, have to furnish communications from your past or present employers detailing your specialized work in your field. To pursue this type of visa based on an exceptional ability, or through a national interest waiver, you must meet at least three specific criteria outlined by USCIS. Please note, however, that those seeking NIW EB-2 visas must also show how their coming to the United States is in the nation’s best interests.

As for the three specific criteria you must meet to adhere to eligibility requirements for an exceptional ability or NIW visa, you have some options. An official academic record demonstrating your ability counts, as does a professional license, a membership in a professional association, or the recognition of your exceptional ability by peers within your field.

You may also be able to produce a letter detailing the fact that you have had at least 10 years of full-time experience in your occupation, or you may, too, be able to meet criteria by producing evidence of a salary that backs up your claims of your exceptional ability. While these are some of the ways you might be able to meet the criteria required for a second-preference EB-2 visa, this is not an exhaustive list.

This information about visa eligibility requirements is informative, but it should not replace personalized legal advice.