Because the EB-3 professional green card only requires a foreign national to have a bachelor’s degree to qualify for the immigration benefit, many EB-2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) candidates believe that they likely need a Ph.D., doctoral or professional degree. That thought is actually partially true, but only in limited circumstances.
When applying for a National Interest Waiver green card, you only need to have a Ph.D., doctoral, or professional degree if that education is customarily required for your career endeavor. This advanced degree can be a U.S. diploma or a foreign equivalent.
If you are unsure about whether or not you might meet the criteria for an EB-2 NIW green card, it is generally a bright idea to schedule a free consultation with an immigration lawyer near you. When an attorney in immigration focuses on a particular type of green card benefit, they can be deeply knowledgeable about the process.
Professions that Typically Require a Doctoral Degree
Although the designation of doctorate may make it seem like the degree is reserved for medical doctors, this is only one of the professions that usually require a doctorate, Ph.D., or professional degree.
Careers that generally require a professional degree are often those that also mandate that the person become licensed in the field. For example, the immigration attorney who might help you to apply for an EB-2 NIW green card would have both a professional degree, the juris doctor, as well as a license to practice law in one or more of the United States.
Another field of work that requires a professional degree is a licensed clinical social worker. Even though someone in this career might not have a Ph.D., they must have a graduate degree, will undergo clinical training, and need to pass a licensure exam.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), some careers that typically require a doctorate to enter the field in many positions include the following:
Job Outlook in the United States for those with Doctoral Degrees
According to data compiled by the BLS, “About 3 percent of all jobs in the United States were in occupations that typically require a doctoral degree (Ph.D.) or first professional degree, such as in law or medicine.” The areas of the United States that have the largest shares of employment in occupations that usually require a doctoral or professional degree include: Washington DC, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Rhode Island.
It should be noted; however, that the above parts of the USA have a large number of colleges and universities that employ postsecondary educators. Additionally, states like Massachusetts, for example, have a high concentration of biochemists and biophysicists, and the state’s workforce consists of 4 percent of doctoral or professional degree holders.
Consult with a Immigration Attorney Near You about Your NIW
Even though the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) allows for persons to self-petition for the EB-2 National Interest Waiver, consulting with an immigration lawyer can be prudent. If you would like a free consultation, or a free CV/resume evaluation, you can contact us at eb2-niw.org.