Labor Certification Visas

Labor Certification Visas

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.

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.

Is Labor Certification Same as PERM?

PERM stands for Program Electronic Review Management System Labor Certification. The certificate itself is often called “PERM labor certification” because obtaining a PERM is equivalent to a labor certificate. It’s important to note that the PERM labor certificate is not a visa. The labor certificate does not guarantee a visa. Employment-based visas require you to have a PERM labor certificate before you even apply for your visa. PERM immigration is one part of the entire immigration process. The process can quickly become complicated. Working with a perm labor certification attorney can clarify and ease the process of obtaining a labor certificate and ultimately a visa.

How Do I Get My PERM Labor Certification?

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

The ETA Form 9089 is filled out by your employer, not you. Your employer will need to provide information about themselves and you. Additional information includes approved planned wages, terms of employment, your requirements for being hired, and the recruitment process for your position. The form must show that no qualified U.S. worker was found for the job position.

To obtain the PERM Certification, Form 9089 also calls for your credentials that show you are qualified and specialized for the job position. Though your employer fills out ETA Form 9089, you will also need to sign to verify the information about you is correct. It is helpful to work with a PERM labor certification attorney to make sure all paperwork is filled out correctly along with relevant and required evidence.

PERM Labor Certification Process

Before your employer even fills an application for a PERM certification, steps must be taken to qualify for the labor certificate. 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

Next, the employer requests a prevailing wage determination (PWD) from the Department of Labor (DOL). The PDW is approved if your employer’s proposed wages match the local job market.

There will also need to be an analysis of the market for any qualified employees in the business’s area. PERM Labor Certificates are only given if there are no other qualified workers for the position.

Once an employer has recruited potential employees, they are able to file the official labor certification using Form 9089. The DOL makes their decision on the labor certification once the forms and applications are submitted.

If your PERM is approved, you move onto the application for permanent labor certification. The forms you fill out for applying for labor certification is based on your type of employment. Ask an experienced immigration attorney for next steps after receiving your PERM certification.

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

How Long Does it Take for PERM Labor Certification?

PWD can take up to four months to be processed 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 your employer recruits you, they will file for the PERM labor certificate by using Form 9089. The filing process for labor certification can take several months depending on the preparedness of the employer. Form 9089 processing time 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.

How Much Does it Cost to File PERM?

The DOL does not have a filing fee for the PERM labor certification. However, you will still have to pay for other costs, including costs associated with permanent labor forms. Your employer will be responsible for payments. Permanent labor form costs vary.

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 PERM labor certification 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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