The Employment Based Second Preference ("EB-2C") immigration visa is a stream under the EB-2 category, offered to applicants interested in establishing their own innovative business venture in the USA. Upon approval, applicants receive a 10-year unconditional USA green card for themselves and their dependents which includes their spouse and children under 21 years old. This means that the successful applicant (and dependents) will have the right to live, work, and study anywhere in the USA.
To be eligible for the EB-2C stream, applicants must have at least a USA-equivalent bachelor's degree with a minimum of five years of experience in the same field as the degree and managerial work experience. Their innovation business venture must also be in the same field as their professional and academic background.
The applicant must also further demonstrate that:
- the business idea has substantial merit and national importance,
- the applicant is well-positioned to advance the proposed business venture, and
- that it would be beneficial to the USA to waive the requirement of a job offer.
The threshold that needs to be met is that the applicant must establish that they will serve the national interest to a substantially greater degree than an available U.S. worker would with the same minimum qualifications. Hence, the national interest waiver hinges on the prospective national (or local) benefit of the business venture.
An important and very attractive aspect of the EB-2C program is that the green card will not be contingent on the level of success of the business. This gives potential applicants and their families the reassurance and stability needed before deciding to take the plunge to move to the US. Indeed, even if the business encounters issues, the applicant will have the time to address business needs and the family will not be put at risk of losing the green card.
Under the EB-2C program, there is no language, age, nationality, business field, business performance, or job creation requirement. On average, the processing time from submission of documents to receipt of green card is projected at 16 months. This route to green card is also a path to future US citizenship for those that will live in the US.
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