US immigration law allows non-US citizens to become lawful permanent residents in the United States through employment-based visas. Both the EB-1 and EB-2 are popular options for employment-based visas that attract many applicants year after year.
EB-1 Visa vs. EB-2 Visa – Understanding the Difference
The EB-1 First Preference visa is the most important category of the employment-based options available with USCIS. This category encompasses applicants who excel in their fields of expertise, including science, art, education, business, or athletics.
Depending on the applicant’s abilities and professional skills, he or she may apply for a:
- EB-1A Extraordinary Ability visa
- EB-1B Outstanding Professor and Researcher visa, or
- EB-1C Multinational Manager or Executive visa
Each subcategory has its specific criteria for applicants to meet, which includes proof of international acclaim, prizes or awards for outstanding achievements, and other requirements that vary depending on the visa. No EB-1 visa requires labor certification.
The EB-2 Second Preference visa is a US immigration option available for individuals with advanced degrees (at least above bachelor’s) or applicants with exceptional ability.
Slightly more limited than the EB-1 status in terms of eligibility criteria, the EB-2 visa requires a job offer from a US employer and a PERM labor certification. Depending on the applicant’s circumstances, it is possible to file for a National Interest Waiver (NIW).
In such cases, the applicant must demonstrate that his or her admission to the United States would be in the national interest, allowing USCIS to waive the PERM requirement.
Is EB-1 Faster Than EB-2? – The Verdict
While the requirements for the EB-1 visa are stricter than those applied to EB-2 applicants, the processing time for EB-1 status is faster. Two reasons explain this fact:
- EB-1 applicants are not required to go through PERM labor certification
- All countries eligible for the visa have current priority dates
The term “priority date” refers to the date upon which the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) receives an applicant’s petition. In layman’s terms, this date refers to the applicant’s “place in the line” to receive a US green card.
If you are applying for an EB-1 visa, you only need to wait for your petition to be reviewed and processed by USCIS. Please note that the processing demand in the USCIS center where your petition is located may extend or shorten the waiting period.
Considering priority dates for different categories fluctuate based on the demand for a specific visa in the applicant’s country of origin, the waiting time for EB-1 priority dates tends to be shorter.
Generally, the processing demand for EB-1 applications is always lower due to the low number of applications, which is heavily influenced by the category’s stricter requirements.
The EB-2 visa has lower requirements compared to EB-1 status, which significantly boosts the number of petitioners in countries like India and China. USCIS grants only 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas per year, which results in EB-2 applicants from these countries waiting several years until their priority dates are current.
Which is an Ideal Visa Option for You? – Immediately Discover by Working with Jurado & Associates, P.A.
A well-versed immigration lawyer from Jurado & Associates, P.A. is willing to navigate the visa application process with you. Call us today at (305) 921-0976 or email [email protected] for expert legal guidance.