Website Q & A - December 30, 2006

Can I do EB-2 Labor Certification as I Have a Master's Degree?

New York Li Reader asks:

I have a master's degree in architecture and work at a large architectural firm with offices in several states as a job captain. I got the job right after graduation and have been with the company ever since (2 years). The company is now willing to sponsor me for the green card through a PERM labor certification, but says that I am only eligible for an EB-3 classification. Since I already have a master's degree and it will take me a much longer period of time to get my green card under the EB-3 category, can I qualify under the EB-2 category? How can I convince my company to let me apply under EB-2?

Dear reader:

An EB-2 classification for a person with an advanced degree in a PERM labor certification application relates to the actual requirements of the position at hand. For example, a Ph.D. in physics cannot attain an EB-2 classification if his or her position only involves counting inventory in the physics lab. In your case, the position of a job captain is one that routinely does not require an advanced degree. A large company usually has its internal description of jobs including their requirements. Most large companies will not choose to deviate from their normal procedure for one case. In addition, even if the company was so willing, the Department of Labor will look to see whether an advanced degree requirement is normal for the occupation.

In your case, it is best to go with an EB-3 type requirement on the job captain application as it would be more realistic. Additionally, there is a good chance that legislation will be passed in this next Congress that will add much more quota to the employment based categories and significantly reduce the time of waiting for those in the EB-3 category. Alternatively if the company wishes to promote you into a position for which it normally requires an advanced degree based upon its satisfaction with your performance, you might be able to qualify for an EB-2 classification on that basis.


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The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any particular set of facts or circumstances. It should not be construed as legal advice and does not constitute an engagement of the Law Office of Alan Lee or establish an attorney-client relationship.