Timeline

Employment Green Card Timeline

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

What is the Timeline to Apply for and Obtain Labor Certification?

The obtainment of labor certification visa requires processing by the Department of Labor (DOL). The DOL processing times can change without warning. In general, however, the typical timeline for labor certification processing is as follows:

  1. Prevailing Wage Determination

    In order to initiate the process, the U.S. employer files an Application for Prevailing Wage Determination (ETA Form 9141) with the Department of Labor (DOL).

    Prevailing Wage Determination: Currently, the Prevailing Wage Determination is issued within 6-8 weeks of filing.

  2. Recruitment Process

    The U.S. employer then conducts recruitment in order to test the United States labor market to determine if there are able, willing, qualified and available U.S. workers for the position.

    State Job Order: The U.S. employer places a job order with the state employment security department for a period of 30 days.

    Newspaper Advertisement: The U.S. employer places 2 consecutive Sunday advertisements in a newspaper of general circulation appropriate to the occupation in the area of intended employment.

    Internal Posting: The U.S. employer must physically post a notice of filing in 2 conspicuous places at the place of employment for 10 consecutive business days and publish the notice of filing in any and all in-house media (printed or electronic (Intranet)) normally used to fill positions in accordance with normal procedures used for recruitment for similar positions in the organization.

    Additional Recruitment: The U.S. employer engages in 3 additional types of recruitment that must occur during a 30 to 180 day period prior to the filing of the Application for Permanent Employment Certification (ETA Form 9089).

  3. Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) Report

    The U.S. employer drafts a Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) Report evidencing that it followed all applicable recruiting regulations.

    Timing: Dependent on individual employer.

  4. Permanent Online System

    The U.S. employer registers the company online with the Permanent Online System and assigns a sub-account to the attorney.

    Registration: The registration should occur immediately after entering requested company information.

  5. Application for Labor Certification

    The U.S. employer files an Application for Permanent Employment Certification (ETA Form 9089) online with the DOL.

    Filing: After completion and filing of the application, the DOL will forward an email to the U.S. employer requesting that it confirm that it wishes to submit the application.

    Response: The DOL will either certify or deny the Application for Permanent Employment Certification (ETA Form 9089) or issue an audit notice within 5-6 months of filing.

    Audit: If an audit notice is issued, the DOL will either certify or deny the Application for Permanent Employment Certification (ETA Form 9089) within 5-6 months of receiving the response to the audit notice.

    *If certified, then the U.S. employer may proceed to the second step of obtaining permanent residence (“green card”) on behalf of a foreign worker.

    **If denied, then the U.S. employer may file an appeal.