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.
Recently, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has named additional countries of origin that will qualify a noncitizen for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). You may have noticed these announcements in immigration news, but you were unsure what TPS means.
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a designation by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and USCIS that allows foreign nationals to remain in the United States during a period in which it is dangerous to return to their home country.
What countries are designated by DHS/USCIS for TPS?
The list of TPS countries has been growing in 2021 with new nations being named as eligible each week. Currently, the list of countries includes:
The list of TPS countries is fluid, so it is prudent to check with the USCIS announcements or with an immigration attorney for the latest group of eligible nations. Some countries that no longer qualify as TPS countries include Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea.
Requirements for TPS Approval
Each person’s circumstances are unique, so meeting the minimum qualifications for Temporary Protected Status does not mean an automatic approval by the U.S. government. However, the general criteria for TPS are:
Continuous residence can be an issue for noncitizens if they have traveled abroad for long periods, but there can be an exception for short departures from the USA.
Obstacles to TPS Status
Persons who have been convicted of two or more misdemeanors or even one felony could be prevented from gaining TPS status in the United States. Additionally, those who are subject to any mandatory bars to asylum may be ineligible for TPS if they are found to have participated in persecution or acts of terrorism.
The failure to meet DHS/USCIS deadlines can also keep someone from qualifying for Temporary Protected Status, so it is wise to stay on top of all calendar limitations. Working with a local immigration attorney can be beneficial, so that initial and subsequent registration dates are not missed.
What do you need to do to gain Temporary Protected Status?
Those who want to apply for TPS, will need to file Form 821, Application for Temporary Protected Status. Additionally, if you are facing any of the bars to Temporary Protected Status, you might need to submit Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility.
There are also country-specific requirements and benefits, so applicants should check with the USCIS website and possibly an immigration lawyer near them. Each person’s immigration case is different, so the criteria for gaining TPS status, the USCIS forms that should be filed, and the evidence that should be attached to an I-821 application can vary by the foreign national.
It can feel disheartening when you believe you have jumped through every hoop in the immigration process and are still waiting for a response. If you have been dealing with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) on your own, it might be time to call a legal professional.
A capable attorney in your area may be able to effectively guide you through the immigration delay litigation process. You may have legal recourse if you have been ignored by USCIS for an unreasonable amount of time.
How to Submit a Case Inquiry with USCIS
USCIS offers electronic methods for obtaining information about the status of an immigration case. The service indicates that it is actively processing a case if any of the following happened during the last 60 days:
What Needs to Be Filed for Immigration Delay Litigation
Potential beneficiaries, who have been wronged by undue delay of their citizenship or immigration status, may seek a federal remedy.
Writ of Mandamus
Under federal law, a petitioner may institute proceedings for a writ of mandamus to compel USCIS to perform its duties. Mandamus litigation proceedings, per Rule 21 of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, must be filed with the United States District Court that is housed in the state.
A writ application must state the facts of the case, the relief being sought, and the reasons why it should be granted. It might be beneficial to seek the counsel of an experienced immigration lawyer during this legal process.
Petition for Naturalization
Individuals who have already filed their Form N-400 and completed their citizenship interview might also have standing for immigration delay litigation. After 120 days have passed since the citizenship interview, a noncitizen may file to seek the assistance of a federal judge.
During this process, an applicant may have their case brought to federal court. During federal proceedings, a judge might grant or deny citizenship. Another option for the court is to send the case back to USCIS with an order to expedite the case’s processing.
How to Get Immigration Delay Help
If you are experiencing an unreasonable delay in your immigration process, it might be helpful to contact an attorney near you.
A legal professional might be able to explain the immigration delay litigation process in more detail during a face-to-face consultation.
If you have participated in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or National Guard, America thanks you for your service. By enlisting in the military, you can create a path to citizenship for yourself, and possibly your family, as well.
The American Community Survey reports that more than 261,700 veterans reside in just Los Angeles County, some of whom are not yet citizens but wish to pursue naturalization. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) offers a process to military personnel seeking naturalization through military duty. If you served honorably for at least one year during a conflict or peacetime, you could be eligible for a path to citizenship.
Naturalization Through Military Service
Many armed forces agencies have an assigned liaison for immigration purposes, who can assist with the naturalization process. They can often be located in the branch’s community service center. The military road toward citizenship begins with the completion of several documents, some of which are applicable to nonmilitary persons, as well.
Military Naturalization Forms
Military veterans who apply for naturalization must begin by completing an N-400 form, which is the standard application for citizenship. They will also require an N-426 form, which is a request for certification of military service.
Members of the armed forces must have their N-426 certified by their branch of the military. If they have already separated from service, an uncertified form is acceptable, but there will be additional forms and requirements to fulfill.
Posthumous Naturalization for Service Members
Often a soldier who died in military service of at least one year may be eligible for posthumous naturalization under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) §§329A. Persons who are seeking this type of citizenship for deceased military members must file Form N-644, the Application for Posthumous Citizenship. A grant of this type of naturalization may allow spouses and children to get survivor immigration benefits, which may include citizenship.
Naturalization for Military Spouses
The spouses of U.S. citizen soldiers may also seek naturalization. If their spouse is stationed abroad or soon will be out of the country, they might apply for expedited naturalization. Expedited citizenship is decided on a case-by-case basis by authority of the INA §319(b).
Requirements for expedited naturalization for military spouses includes the following criteria:
If a soldier is a U.S. citizen, a spouse may pursue naturalization for themselves and their children under INA §319(d). Moreover, under that same section families may pursue survivor immigration benefits, if the service person has died honorably during active duty status and has achieved posthumous naturalization.
Discuss Naturalization Through Military Service with a Lawyer
You might be able to explore more than one path to naturalization through military service. The forms and requirements can be confusing, as there are several additional forms for soldiers and the families of military personnel. Call an immigration lawyer to discuss naturalization options for service members and their families.
It can feel frustrating when you want to become a legal permanent resident (LPR) of America, but you encounter pitfalls when filing an application with USCIS. USCIS is the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service, and it receives thousands of LPR petitions yearly from those who want to live and work in America.
A lawful permanent resident is a person who is not a United States citizen but who legally resides in the U.S. under officially recorded green card status. Even the savviest applicant can encounter obstacles to obtaining LPR status in America.
1. Timeline for Obtaining LPR Status
One obstacle in the process of getting a green card in America is time. After spending many hours gathering evidence and identification documents, as well as supplying information for forms to an immigration attorney, the only task remains for the near future is waiting.
USCIS does have some tools that better allow a potential beneficiary to be updated about their LPR petition. Some measures that may be taken to attempt to expedite the process include the following:
2. Request for Evidence (RFE) in Support of an U.S. LPR Petition
Another roadblock to getting an LPR card in America is the dreaded Request for Evidence (RFE). An RFE will be mailed back to the applicant if more evidence will be necessary before the adjudicator can issue a good-faith approval of a green card.
RFEs can be issued at any stage in the LPR process, from the initial filing forward. USCIS will provide a deadline date for submitting the proof documents asked for, and the RFE letter must accompany that newer evidence.
3. Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) An LPR Application in America
Although a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) is indeed an obstacle to garnering a green card in America, it is not the final decision. A NOID is better defined as a warning that USCIS may not grant the petition unless they are sent more evidence or receive clarifying information.
Noncitizens who receive a NOID still have a chance to get their green card. It is not a great feeling to receive such a letter, but it is not the final step.
4. Statutory Denial
In 2018 USCIS released guidance in a Policy Memorandum that clarified the allowable decision-making capabilities of adjudicators regarding LPR status. This document declared that adjudicators are allowed to issue a statutory denial of a green card application, even if they had not first issued an RFE or NOID.
Clearly, this is the one of the largest roadblocks in the way of achieving legal permanent resident status in America. However, it is not the end of the road.
If a denial does result from an attempt to gain LPR status in America, there are methods to appeal certain decisions. For example,tThe applicant may file an appeal with the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO).
Appealing to the AAO requires another form, the I-290B and more filing fees. This can be an obstacle in itself. Moreover, there is no guarantee that the AAO will see it your way and approve your green card petition.
See a U.S. Immigration Lawyer About Obtaining LPR Status
A U.S. green card lawyer can provide helpful support when you encounter obstacles to obtaining LPR status in America. Some have experience with the pitfalls that others have encountered, and they may be able to help you to avoid them. Call a lawful permanent residency attorney to discuss your case.