If you are a foreign national in the United States with hopes of settling down in the country, getting an EB2 green card is a big deal.
But it isn’t as easy as it sounds and often takes rather long to process.
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The EB2 priority date is often so eluding that people find it easier to apply for EB2 to EB1 Porting.
However, that is not simple either.
But before we delve any deeper into the realms of EB2 priority date and EB2 to EB1 Porting, it is extremely important to understand what exactly is EB2 and EB1 green card and the differences between them.
It is important to understand that because only then, you will truly realize what a EB2 priority date is and how EB2 to EB1 Porting can be beneficial in certain instances.
We will get you a quick lowdown on the process involved in acquiring these different kinds of green card and how can it materially impact your future prospects.
There are many differences between those who qualify for EB2 and those for EB1 and conditions under which EB2 to EB1 porting is allowed.
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What Is an EB2 Green Card?
First and foremost, let us understand what is meant by an EB2 Green Card.
This is essentially designed for those foreign nationals who have either exceptional expertise in their chosen field or have got an advanced degree.
Of course, they need to present three strong evidence of this expertise. This includes:
- A special and advanced degree in the field of expertise they claimed
- Evidence that indicated ten years of experience in the same field
- Licenses or certifications in the field of their expertise
- Earning substantial salary in the field of their expertise
- Recognition from peers and a variety of awards
- Memberships in associations related to the area of expertise
Apart from this, all applications for EB2 green card must be supported with a job offer from the United States.
Here is where the EB2 priority date makes sense, because job offers cannot last forever and they have a special deadline.
The only exception to this would be a national interest waiver.
Therefore, the employers for these specific EB2 applicants should go ahead and get a PERM Labor Certification on their behalf.
What Is An EB1 Green Card?
To understand EB2 to EB1 Porting, it is important that you also have a clear idea about the EB1 Green Card.
Obviously, this is one of the most well-known and beneficial green cards available.
While you have EB2 priority date, EB1 does not have any priority dates, and the applicants don’t need a PERM Labor certification either.
In fact, there are three types of EB1 green card available.
This is decidedly for the best and is for foreign nationals with distinguished achievements in the field of their expertise.
This could be in the field of art, athletics, education, business, science and be recognized with an award like the Nobel Prize.
- Be recipient of national and international awards
- Be members of organizations in your field that need you to have exceptional achievements to enter
- Work recognized by media and journal publications
- Renowned for making a substantial and significant contribution in their chosen field
- Display of your work at various exhibitions
- A key role in an organization that is renowned in your field of expertise
- Be distinguished through a huge salary payout in your field
This one is specifically for researchers and professors who are renowned for their outstanding contribution in their field.
There are many ways to establish this, but some of the mandatory requirements include:
- At tenure or a research position without a fixed term
- International recognition in the chosen field
This EB1 Green Card is designed specifically for different managers and executives with experience in a chosen field.
- They need to manage a variety of functions of selected organizations
- Supervise a variety of work by subordinates and take a call independently on hiring them and even firing them
- Be in charge of day to day activities and their daily tasks
- Control managers, create plans and set goals
- Be able to make several long-term plans without any supervision
The firm that is employing these visa applicants also needs to conform to some mandatory requirements.
They need to be multinational US firms with branches in foreign countries.
They must have completed at least a year of doing business in the United States when the application was filed.
EB1 vs EB2
You must understand that EB stands for employment based immigration in the US.
The series of immigration categories is predominantly divided into many sub-parts.
Whether EB1 or EB2, every sub-part needs applicants to submit a specific set of documents.
In fact, in this, a comparison between EB1 vs EB2 is rather popular given the decided set of advantages that each of the independent visas comes up with.
Perhaps apart from the obvious similarities and differences between two of these most common visa subcategories, the processing time that each of these entails offers a point of cardinal difference in their entire mechanism.
The most important difference here is that EB2 has to have a job offer that has a deadline which is called EB2 priority date.
But EB1 doesn’t need any job offer.
– EB1 Visa:
This one is specifically for leaders in the field of education, art, science, business and athletics. The biggest advantage is that they
- Don’t need a set job to apply for this visa.
- Can self-petition without involving the employer
- These applicants are distinguished by any of the following
- Extraordinary ability
- Outstanding researchers or professors
- Managers in multinational companies
- Most time the EB1 visa applicants do not need a
- PERM Labor certification.
- Priority dates
However, one major disadvantage is that given all the advantages, this green card is one of the most difficult to apply and obtain eventually.
– EB2 Visa:
Now if you compare the above visa opportunity with EB2 Green Card, as the name indicates, EB2 is the second most popular employment based visa.
It is specially designated for those individuals who have many advanced degrees and an exceptional repertoire of work and experience.
The EB2 does not include those excelling in the field of academics.
The PERM Labor certification is one of the primary requirements of the bEB2 applications of the EB-2 green card category.
Though there can be waivers in some select sections, it depends on whether the waiver would be in national interest.
However, the EB2 priority date is one of those factors that decidedly plays a key role whether one should decide on it or opt for EB2 to EB1 Porting.
Key Requirements for EB-2 Visa
In this context, there are some clarifications that are extremely important to properly understand the process of getting the EB2 immigrant visa.
1. Need For Advanced Degree
I am sure you do understand that all foreign nationals interested in applying for EB2 Visa need to have an advanced degree in their related field of expertise.
But how or what construes an advanced degree?
You need to have a Masters or Doctorate or its foreign equal.
Five years of work experience along with the job is equally important.
However, the US Labor Department’s Foreign Labor Certification wing has to approve this five years work experience.
2. Exceptional Expertise
Your specialization and your expertise in your chosen area are almost as good as you can prove it.
Yet again, the US Labor Department’s Foreign Labor Certification process will give its final nod in the process.
3. National Interest Waiver
The US Labor Department’s Foreign Labor Certification process waiving off the work experience in the interest of the nation.
All applicants must understand that the successful petition for EB2 immigrant visa needs you to fulfill the conditions required for this process in totality.
In all, there are three steps in the entire process.
The employer needs to file for the PERM Labor certification in addition to your EB2 petition.
Essentially this clarifies that the available job opportunity is available only for specific professionals expert in a certain field.
The employer through this certification also makes sure that the compensation for the job is in sync with the prevalent market rates.
Additionally, the recruiting process for this type of employment also needs to be rather specific.
This is to make sure that no qualified American employee was ignored or deprived of the opportunity to give the opportunity to you.
Any such suspicion can also severely impact the prospects of securing the EB2 Visa. However, if you are seeking the National Interest waiver, you can skip this process.
The EB2 priority date keeps changing depending on the total number of visas that might be under process at the moment.
So retrogression in the EB2 priority date is most common.
So what happens is, if your current processing time is three months and there is a big spike in the number of applications, the US State Department might only allow applications filed 6 months ago to proceed.
Interviews are normally held on a one on one basis by the US Consular for granting EB2 visa.
You might have to tackle specific questions regarding your job, staying arrangements in the US and relevant topics.
If you are able to satisfy the official’s question, you will get the legal status of a permanent resident.
The final decision by the US State Department about the EB2 visa is mailed to the applicant after they are through the security processing and you have satisfied all concerned authorities.
EB2 Priority Date
One of the most common factors about the EB2 priority date is the constant fluctuation and uncertainty that is associated with the priority dates.
On an average, every green card holder needs to file his petition on his own or via a sponsor.
As and when the USCIS or the US Consulate gets this petition, it becomes their priority date.
Now every month, the US Department of States releases the final action dates in their bulletin board.
When Your EB2 Priority Date Matches
So when your EB2 priority date matches with the final action date in your designated country and the category you are applying for, your date becomes current and the visa number would be made available to you.
It is at this point that you would be able to submit the I-485 to change the status.
Now, you can understand that the EB2 priority date is subject to change, and there could be a long wait time before the final combination comes up.
This by far is the biggest challenge for many becoming impatient for their visa proceedings.
To Get Rid of the Hassles of EB2 Priority Date
To get rid of the hassles and problems of EB2 priority date, you can change from EB2 to EB1 which is called EB2 to EB1 Porting.
It is exactly at this point; I am sure you would consider EB2 to EB1 Porting.
One of the biggest advantages, therefore, of this move is that it reduces the challenges involved and brings down the wait time for your Employment based visa in the US drastically.
This is because unlike the EB2 visa, in the case of the EB1 Visa, all dates are current dates.
Moreover, it is not subject to the country specific citizenship either.
That further eases the process.
If you are applying for EB1, you can adjust your status as soon as I-140 is approved, without any potential changes.
So now you can understand why EB2 to EB1 Porting becomes so important for many who are looking to obtain an employment based visa.
It cuts down their wait times and so you won’t have to be worried about EB2 priority date, eases the entire set of proceedings for them and can unlock several additional advantages.
However, EB2 to EB1 Porting is not as easy as it sounds.
This is far difficult that porting to EB2 from EB3.
One of the biggest concerns would be making sure the USCIS will accept your petition.
Remember just because we satisfy 4 out of 5 conditions, you do not automatically qualify for the EB1 green card.
You have to associate with an immigration attorney and then put together evidence which will justify your claim.
This is extremely important because this step alone will be able to provide concrete evidence to the US State Department that your claim for an EB1 green card is well justified.
This is a long, delicate process and has to be often dealt with utmost care.
Often the smallest misstep can lead to serious ramifications going forward.
It can even cost you the visa in the longer term.
However, before anything, if you are considering EB2 to EB1 Porting to get rid of EB2 Priority Date, you need to consider first upgrading your qualifications and meeting all the necessary requirements.
Along with the qualifications, getting the appropriate job that satisfies the various pre-conditions.
For example, an applicant has got the I-140 approval for EB2 green card.
Let’s assume the applicant might have to wait for close to 10 years to get the current date.
But during that time, the professional achievements can help you to easily opt for EB2 to EB1 Porting.
How Does EB2 to EB1 Porting Happen?
Now we understand that to get rid of the EB2 priority date problems, you can go from EB2 to EB1 which is called EB2 to EB1 Porting.
You also know what EB2 to EB1 Porting is.
The next step is to know how EB2 to EB1 Porting happens. Let’s take an example of Person X.
Assuming that this person is interested in furthering the visa status and adapt the current job developments as potential proof of EB2 to EB1 Porting.
But it does not mean that you can continue with the existing application.
If you have problems with EB2 priority date and are looking for EB2 to EB1 Porting, you need to apply from scratch, and your employer needs to apply for the PERM Labor Certification also afresh.
This means that the employer is open to audit all at once.
The employer can file for the second I-140 under the new EB1 green card.
The advantage of this move is that the applicant is able to retain the priority dates.
You can also claim for self-petition in the event that you have achieved international claim as in getting an award, like the Nobel Prize.
– Are You Surprised by This Proposition?
Well in many ways, it highlights the kind of challenges involved to actually qualify for the EB1 green card and successfully undertake EB2 to EB1 Porting.
Also, given the delicate nature of the legality involved, it is always better to go with a legal expert or an attorney for completion of the entire process.
Look for firms with decided expertise in securing employment-based immigration successfully and hire their services.
They will ease out the entire application procedure as well as enable a lot better acceptance of the final petition.
Evidence gathering is rather tricky, and these attorneys are adept at helping you gain the maximum leverage in dealing with it.
Also, there is no time limit and deadline like the EB2 priority date here.
Time Required to Process EB1
Time is one of the biggest concerns when you consider EB2 to EB1 Porting.
On an average, whether you are considering the EB1 or the EB2 green card, the processing time for most employment visas most times is directly dependent on the individual’s ability to complete all the relevant documentation.
The fact is it is never as easy as it appears.
Although the EB2 priority date has no place here, the time that EB1 visa processing takes, is sometimes a big problem.
Documentation is, in fact, rather tedious and time taking and can often result in many unnecessary errors.
A lot of information that you have to file can be filled in incorrectly, and there are options where the location from where it is filed is inappropriate.
The result is, all of these small misses can completely put the schedule for employment based visa haywire.
With every small error, the overall processing time keeps getting longer.
– The Extent of Supporting Evidence
The extent of supporting evidence that you can furnish always plays an important role.
That undeniably also adds or reduces precious hours from the overall processing time that is taken into account.
Moreover, the service center where this immigration petition is filed can also play a very important role in helping you judge the true extent of the processing time that you must account for.
That is why liaising with the proper attorney at this juncture can help you address many of the hassles quite seamlessly.
Processing time will also depend upon the kind of petition you are filing for your employment based via.
Whether you are filing a hard copy or e-filing, your visa petition will directly impact the overall time involved.
Of course, if you have e-filed the petition and requested for a premium processing, yours will be processed at a lot faster rate.
However that said, it does not mean that you can choose the service center for filing your EB2 or EB1 visa.
The USCIS has already pre-decided the jurisdiction of the service centers depending on the location.
You can easily refer to the USCIS website for seamless and smooth filing.
It will clearly give details of all possible locations that is closest to your home and from where you can file your petition.
The reason why EB2 to EB1 Porting is justified is that the US State Department takes about 8 months to process the EB1 visa and then 6 months to issue permanent residencies, whereas you can easily reach the EB2 priority date before you can do anything.
The online application procedure, no doubt, enhances the overall time required to process the employment-based visa program.
The Advantage of EB1 Visa
A key reason that many foreign nationals are keen about gaining the EB1 Visa and even open to EB2 to EB1 Porting is undeniably because of the advantages associated with the EB1 Visa.
Once you get the EB1 visa approved and get the permission to stay in the US, you can pursue a job there.
It is needless to mention that there are many privileges that go hand in hand with this facility:
- Gaining the permission to work in United States
- Traveling around the world as a US resident and with all the associated perks and permission
- Applying for dependent visas for your spouse and children and they automatically gain access to stay in the US based on the permission you secure.
Processing Time: EB1 vs EB2
Well, you always have the option to bring down the processing time to 15 flat days using the premium processing service offered by the US Government.
But for that, you need to shell out an additional, $1225 fees.
If you are in a real hurry, perhaps it makes sense to shell out the additional amount.
But that aside, EB1 Visa and EB2 proceed at a completely different time.
– On an average, the EB1 visa is processed at a much faster rate compared to EB2.
This is because the EB1 immigrant visa does not require PERM certification and the current priority dates for countries across the world is similar
– The Visa number in case of EB1 is generally available the month it is filed. But for the EB2 Visa, is significantly delayed.
This is because different countries have different processing time.
In fact, petitioners from India and China have to wait for many years before they get EB2 priority dates.
Why the Delay in EB2 Priority Dates?
That brings us to a moot question that why is this delay in the EB2 priority dates?
This is cardinal because the USCIS grants around 140000 employments through its immigrant visa program annually.
The lower the green card variant is, the lesser priority it gets.
So of the 140,000, the first priority is given to EB1, then EB2, so on and so forth.
So the number of visa openings available for every visa variant keeps reducing.
Perhaps that’s also a reason why EB2 to EB1 porting is such a convenient option if you are able to satisfy the pre-condition.
Another problem that most applicants face is the inaccurate filing of the petition.
Often many applicants feel that they satisfy all conditions and can therefore quite easily undertake the proceedings themselves.
However, this is a tedious process and takes a lot of time.
Even a minor error can mean refiling the entire process.
As a result, you need to be very careful and must make sure that this proceeds in a seamless manner, and there are no unwanted glitches.
Even the smallest problem in the EB2 filing or EB2 to EB1 porting can mean that your processing time doubles up significantly and your prospects of getting a visa delayed by those many months.
Also, it is always a good idea to hire relevant immigrant attorneys to process the entire filing proceedings.
This is because the evidence gathering process needs to be extremely precise and has to take into account every single development that goes hand in hand with the procedure.
This is what can be eased out rather simply if a trained attorney is in charge.
Of course, it would mean additional expenses for you.
But if you consider time is money, this will mean some serious savings, in the context of time required to process the petition and get the required visa.
How to Get Appropriate EB2 Priority Date
Therefore, we can conclude that getting the employment-based immigrant visa in the United States is not simple for foreign nationals.
If you are looking at obtaining either the EB1 or EB2 immigrant visa, it becomes very important to undertake detailed planning and understand the regulations very clearly.
A lot of your success in getting appropriate EB2 priority date is dependent on how strong your petition is.
This is exactly why the evidence that you gather for the necessary qualifications and pre-condition required is extremely crucial.
It needs to be followed very carefully to make sure it is as thorough and detailed as possible.
Also, depending on your urgency and ability to scale up your qualification and job prospects, you can look at EB2 to EB1 porting.
The other alternative is to opt for premium processing.
Both the steps can help cut down the processing time.
But for EB2 to EB1 porting, you have to first add the required skill sets and then apply.