There are a few reasons why someone might want to switch from an EB-3 classification to an EB-2 classification. The most common reason is that the foreign national has either obtained an advanced degree or has gained the necessary experience to qualify for the EB-2 classification. In some cases, it may also be possible to “downgrade” from EB-2 to EB-3 if the foreign national no longer meets the requirements for EB-2 (e.g., if the foreign national’s job no longer requires an advanced degree). Before we proceed further, let us understand EB-3 and EB-2 immigrant visas and how immigration attorneys in Los Angeles can help in the process.
What is an EB-3 category visa?
The Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB-3) immigrant visa category is for foreign nationals seeking to immigrate to the United States permanently in order to work in any occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience that is not temporary or seasonal.
The third preference employment-based immigrant visa category is intended for skilled workers, professionals, and other workers.
Employment-Based Immigration: Third preference (EB3) allows U.S. employers to sponsor foreign national employees for permanent residence in the United States. The employer must go through a lengthy process to demonstrate that it cannot find a U.S. worker to perform the job and that the foreign national employee is well-qualified for the position.
EB-3 is further divided into three subcategories:
Skilled Workers: Foreign workers whose jobs require a minimum of two years of training or experience that are not temporary or seasonal.
Professionals: Foreign workers whose jobs require at least a U.S. bachelor’s degree or foreign equivalent and are not temporary or seasonal.
Other Workers: Foreign workers whose jobs require less than two years of training or experience. This subcategory is reserved for those occupations that are considered unskilled labor, defined as requiring less than two years of training or experience.
Special Immigrants: A “special immigrant” is an immigrant who qualifies for permanent residence under one of several sections of U.S. law, including religious workers and employees of the U.S. government abroad.
What is EB-2?
According to an immigration attorney in Los Angeles, the Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB-2) immigrant visa category is for foreign nationals who have been recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor as having extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, or business; who have an advanced degree; or who will substantially benefit the national economy, cultural or educational interests, or welfare of the United States.
Unlike EB-3, there is no subcategorization within EB-2. The Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB-2) immigrant visa category is for foreign nationals who:
Advanced Degree Professionals: Foreign nationals who have earned an advanced degree (beyond a baccalaureate degree) or its foreign equivalent degree.
Exceptional Ability Professionals: Foreign nationals who can demonstrate exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business.
Criteria to follow:
To qualify in this subcategory, the foreign national must demonstrate that he or she meets three of the six criteria below. If the foreign national is unable to meet three of the criteria, he or she may be eligible if the person’s spouse or unmarried child (over the age of 21) meets one of the criteria in his or her place.
- Documentation of a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution of learning relating to the area of exceptional ability;
- Documentation of at least ten years of full-time experience in the occupation for which classification is sought;
- A licensing to practice the profession or occupation in the United States or foreign jurisdiction, if required by law;
- Evidence that the foreign national has commanded a salary or other remuneration for services that demonstrates exceptional ability;
- Membership in professional associations; or
- Documentation of recognition for achievements and significant contributions to the industry or field by peers, governmental entities, or professional or business organizations.
It is important to note that, in order to change classification from EB-3 to EB-2 (or vice versa), the foreign national must go through the entire visa process again. This includes filing a new petition with USCIS and going through consular processing (if necessary).
If you are currently in the United States on an EB-3 visa, you may be able to upgrade to EB-2 status without having to leave the country. However, this can be a complex process, so it is important to consult with an experienced immigration attorney before proceeding.
Immigration attorneys in Los Angeles at Di Martino Law Group can help with the visa process in a number of ways. They can help ensure that you meet all of the eligibility requirements for the visa, and they can help you gather and prepare the necessary documentation. They can also represent you in any interactions with USCIS or consular officials, and they can provide guidance and support throughout the entire process.
If you are interested in applying for any visa category, or if you have any questions about the visa process, please contact Immigration attorneys in Los Angeles at Di Martino Law Group today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced immigration attorneys.