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We are offering complimentary consultations with our experienced attorneys via phone, Skype, FaceTime and Zoom to anyone – individuals, businesses and organizations – with a situation and/or questions related to immigration and nationality law. We can advise or offer second opinions on family-based and employment based immigration options, employer compliance, maintenance of non-immigrant status and employment authorization, political asylum, removal defense, remedies through federal court litigation or other U.S. immigration matters. Please contact us 24/7 at (312) 444-1940 or

Labor Certification Visas

Labor Certification Visas

How to Obtain a U.S. Labor Certification

Labor Certifications are available for qualifying foreign workers coming into the United States for employment opportunities. The purpose of a labor certification and visa is to ensure that foreign workers are not displacing qualified U.S. workers. Labor Certification options are available for United States employers who wish to hire qualifying foreign workers.

Labor Certification Process

To begin the process of obtaining labor certification for employees, the employer must prepare the following:

  • Job description and requirements
  • Recruitment steps
  • Possible issues with employment

The following step for employers is to request a prevailing wage determination (PWD) from the Department of Labor (DOL). Processing of the PWD can take up to four months by the DOL. However, it may take longer if there are discrepancies. It is highly recommended that employers file the PWD before recruiting employees to simplify the process.

Once an employer has recruited potential employees, they are able to file the official labor certification. The filing process for labor certification can take several months depending on the preparedness of the employer. The DOL makes their decision on the labor certification once the forms and applications are submitted. The waiting period for a decision is typically 4-6 months.

If you have received a denial from the Department of Labor, you have 30 days to file an appeal as the employer. A following appeal decision is typically issued within 6 months or less.

Labor Certification Forms

There are several forms required to apply for a Foreign Labor Certification depending on specific circumstances. Typically, applications may be submitted to the Department of Labor and passed along to the United States Citizenship and Immigrations Services (USCIS) for approval.

For employers seeking:

  • Permanent status for employees: Form ETA 9089 should be completed for Permanent Employment Certification
  • H-1B and E-3 visas: Form ETA 9035 for Labor Application for Non-Immigrant Workers
  • H-2A: Form ETA 9142A for Temporary Employment Certification; ETA 790A for Agricultural Employment; ETA 385 for Domestic Agricultural In-Season Employment
  • H-2B: Form ETA 9142B for Temporary Employment Certification
  • CW1: Form ETA 9141C for Temporary Employment Certification and Wage Information
  • D-1: Form ETA 9033 for Employers Using Aliens for Longshore Activities in Alaska

The PERM System

The Program Electronic Review Management is an electronic labor certification system. PERM was put into place to reduce waiting time for labor certification.

PERM qualifications include:

  • Qualifying employers must prove there are not enough U.S. workers available to fulfill the position
  • PERM applications must be filed electronically
  • Professional standards must be followed throughout the recruitment and hiring process by PERM guidelines

Permanent Labor Certifications

Permanent Labor Certifications are employment-based immigrant visas or Green Cards. The process for obtaining a permanent labor certification can vary based on the program. It’s important to remember that your employer is responsible for filing the application, not you (the employee).

The permanent labor certification is a visa issued by the Department of Labor. This certification allows companies to hire foreign workers to work permanently in the United States. Once the employer has obtained a certification application, they can file an immigration petition with the USCIS. The DOL will likely have to demonstrate that there are no U.S. workers able to fulfill the role of the position before a foreign worker will be able to certify.

The DOL processes Permanent Employment Certification applications by completion of Form 9089. Upon completion of labor certification application to the DOL, the certification will be submitted to the USCIS along with Form I-140.

Adjustments to Labor Certification Qualifications

An extensive list of adjustments made to the Labor Certification qualifications and process can be found through the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration.

Contact an Experienced Attorney Today

The attorneys at Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C. have over seven decades of combined experience in United States Immigration law. We have provided individuals and employers with the legal representation they need to navigate the process of obtaining Labor Certification visas. Contact a member of our team today at 312.444.1940.

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