How to Get a Green Card Without a Job Offer

The U.S. is rife with opportunities for those who emigrate there, but not everyone can get a job offer instantly. This leaves talented individuals unaware of how they can get to the U.S. to use their talent and seek these opportunities. 

Luckily, the U.S. is aware of this and has opened up a potential route for talented individuals to obtain a green card without first having a job offer. This route comes in the form of the EB-2 green card. Learn more about how you can take this route to U.S. residency here.

The Possibility Of A Job Offer-Free Green Card

Although it may seem unlikely, people can obtain a green card in the U.S. without a job offer. The U.S. is constantly expanding; therefore, the country will not say no to talented individuals wishing to emigrate to work. 

● The possibility of a job offer-free Green Card comes in the form of an EB-2 green card. This is a second preference employment-focused visa for the U.S. This visa enables foreign nationals with an advanced degree or the equivalent to living in the U.S. with permanent residency status as long as they can satisfy the eligibility criteria for the route.

Exploring The EB-2 Visa Option

For you to be considered eligible for this type of visa, you must meet one of the two following criteria: 

● You must have an advanced university degree or the equivalent of an advanced university degree. 

● You must have exceptional ability in either art, business, or science. You must also show that you have expert knowledge and significant experience in your speciality field.

The EB2 Green Card can be split into three different tiers of significance. 

● The EB2A is for advanced degrees.

● The EB2E for exceptional ability.

● The EB2C for national interest waivers. 

40,000 green cards are issued annually for each of the EB-2 subcategories. However, not only having a degree and expertise will get you this EB2 green card; each applicant must meet the requirements set by their labor certification, if relevant to the specific situation. 

The EB2C visa is a national interest waiver. Through this visa route, those with proven exceptional ability, which would benefit the United States, can self-petition for their EB-2 visa without a job offer.

Through this EB-2 Green Card process, you would have to demonstrate that it would be in the interest of the U.S. for the job offer requirement to be waived. This would require you to show evidence of an advanced degree/ exceptional ability and evidence demonstrating you meet national interest waiver criteria. 

Eligibility For Self-Petitioning Under EB-2

Those with exceptional ability and whose employment would benefit the U.S. need to request that the labor Certification be waived. This is done by applying for a National Interest Waiver. 

An applicant can self-petition for this form of EB-2 visa through the Green Card process by demonstrating that it will benefit the U.S. To do so, they will need to show they fit criteria such as: 

● The proposed endeavor would have substantial national merit and importance.

● The applicant shows they are well-positioned to be able to advance the endeavor as proposed.

● It is beneficial to the U.S. to waive the typical requirements regarding a job offer, thus waiving the labor certification requirement.

Those choosing to do this will need to submit a self-petitioned Form I-140 and a labor certification with USCIS directly.

Navigating The Application Process

To apply for an EB2 visa, applicants need to fill out their Form I-140 with all documents and any supporting elements that serve as proof. After making an application, the individual must wait for a priority date when their local U.S. Consulate or Embassy will call upon them for an interview. 

Those applying for an EB2A or EB2B visa will be required to have their employer demonstrate they can pay them the offered wage while they work in the U.S. Employers also need to have certification to sponsor a foreign worker. 

Those who are applying for and seeking a national interest waiver can self-petition with the I-140 form as well. 

There are certain costs related to applying for an EB-2 Green Card. 

● Those who are self-petitioning will need to pay $700 for the Form I-140. 

● Immigration Visa and Alien Registration Applications Form DS-260 cost £325.

● An affidavit of support is $120.

● The USCIS immigrant fee is $220.

● There are costs associated with medical examinations and vaccinations, which vary.

● Translations of any forms will cost if required.

● Travel expenses will also have costs that vary.

● Those who are already in the USA on a different visa and are changing to an EB2 visa will require Form I-485, which costs $1,225. 

EB-2 Green Card processing periods are usually 6 to 9 months; however, getting the premium service will result in a processed visa application in only 15 days is possible. However, this does cost a separate fee of $2,500. It also requires an additional form, Form I-907, but it results in a faster result. 

Advantages Of EB-2 Self-Petitioning 

The ability to get an EB-2 or EB-3 employment-based green card in the U.S. opens up many more opportunities for talented migrants to enter and live in the U.S. However, self-petitioning with the EB2C visa has many benefits, such as: 

● Self-petitioning can be less stressful and easier.

● Quick processing times at an average of 3 months, whereas the alternative can take years.

● EB2C applies to a vast range of professional fields.

The EB-2 self-processing option opens up ease of application and opportunities in the U.S. for the applicant and benefits the country. This route allows talented individuals to get a green card without a job offer being needed.

Charlotte Giver

Charlotte is the founder and editor-in-chief at Your Coffee Break magazine. She studied English Literature at Fairfield University in Connecticut whilst taking evening classes in journalism at MediaBistro in NYC. She then pursued a BA degree in Public Relations at Bournemouth University in the UK. With a background working in the PR industry in Los Angeles, Barcelona and London, Charlotte then moved on to launching Your Coffee Break from the YCB HQ in London’s Covent Garden and has been running the online magazine for the past 10 years. She is a mother, an avid reader, runner and puts a bit too much effort into perfecting her morning brew.