Overview

Your company wishes to move forward with the labor certification process on behalf of a valued employee.

What is Labor Certification?

Generally, the first step in obtaining permanent residence (“green card”) on behalf of a foreign worker is labor certification. Labor certification is the process of proving that there are no qualified U.S. workers for the position being offered to the foreign worker. Indeed, labor certification’s stated goal is to “protect U.S. workers and the U.S. labor market by ensuring that foreign workers seeking immigrant visa classifications are not displacing equally qualified U.S. workers.” If there are qualified U.S. workers then the foreign worker cannot be offered the position on a permanent basis.

Can the U.S. Employer File for Labor Certification?

In order to file for labor certification on behalf of a foreign worker the U.S. employer must attest to the following: that it is offering a full-time, bona fide and permanent position; that it will pay the foreign worker at least the prevailing wage; that there are no U.S. workers able, willing, qualified and available for the position; and that employment of the foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers. The foreign worker must meet the requirements (educational, experience, training) for the position.

How Does the U.S. Employer Obtain Labor Certification?

The U.S. employer files an Application for Prevailing Wage Determination (ETA Form 9141) online with the Department of Labor (DOL) to obtain a prevailing wage for the position. Once the Prevailing Wage Determination is issued, the U.S. employer follows regulations and begins the recruitment process in order to test the United States labor market. If, after recruitment, there are no U.S. workers able, willing, qualified and available for the position then the U.S. employer drafts a Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) Report evidencing that it followed all applicable recruiting regulations. Then, the U.S. employer registers the company online with the Permanent Online System and assigns a sub-account to the attorney. If the U.S. employer is offering a full-time, bona fide and permanent position and will pay the foreign worker at least the prevailing wage, it files an Application for Permanent Employment Certification (ETA Form 9089) online with the DOL. The DOL will either certify or deny the Application for Permanent Employment Certification (ETA Form 9089) or issue an audit notice. If issued, the U.S. employer responds to the audit notice. After responding, the DOL will either certify or deny the Application for Permanent Employment Certification (ETA Form 9089). If certified, then the U.S. employer may proceed to the second step of obtaining permanent residence (“green card”) on behalf of the foreign worker.

The labor certification visa process is complicated and time-consuming. We suggest the retention of an experienced immigration attorney well versed in the complexities of the process. The attorneys at CLG can efficiently guide you through each step of the process with the end goal of obtaining the labor certification visa as quickly as possible.

Additional Questions?

If you are unfamiliar with what is required, you may wish to take a moment to learn more about the labor certification process, to review the requirements for the labor certification process, the associated labor certification fees and the timelines for the labor certification process.