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Labor Certification

A Permanent Foreign Labor Certification from the Department of Labor (DOL) allows U.S. employers to hire foreign workers to work permanently in the U.S. In most instances, before the U.S. employer can submit an immigration petition to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the employer must obtain an approved Labor Certification request from the DOL’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA).

A Foreign Labor Certification certifies that the employment of the foreign national will not displace nor adversely affect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers (U.S. Citizens and Legal Permanent Residents) who are similarly employed. To obtain a Labor Certification the employer must file ETA Form 9089, Application for Permanent Employment Certification, with the DOL establishing that both of these criteria have been met. The Foreign Labor Certification is a requirement for U.S. employers seeking to employ either:

  • Certain persons whose immigration to the U.S. is based on job skills.
  • Non-immigrant temporary workers coming to perform services for which qualified authorized workers are unavailable in the U.S. A.

Foreign Labor Certification contains attestations by U.S. employers as to the numbers of U.S. workers available to undertake the employment sought by an applicant.  Certain kind of work qualifies under the permanent labor certification process, the job must be:

  • Full time and permanent for which the employer is ready to hire an available qualified U.S. worker
  • One where an employer employee relationship exists, evidenced by the employer’s ability to hire, supervise and provide payment to the employee
  • One in which generally, the job duties are be consistent with those defined in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles and normally required for the job in the U.S.
  • One where the hiring requirements conform to the Department of Labor’s data for usual experience and education standards common to the occupation and the industry
  • One that is not tailored to the qualifications of the foreign worker
  • One that does not include requirements for a language other than English, without written justification

A Foreign Labor Certification certifies that the employment of the foreign national will not displace nor adversely affect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers (U.S. Citizens and Legal Permanent Residents) who are similarly employed. To obtain a Labor Certification the employer must file ETA Form 9089, Application for Permanent Employment Certification, with the DOL establishing that both of these criteria have been met. In order to obtain the Foreign Labor Certification, the employer must satisfy the following requirements:

  • The employer must have a bona fide offer of full-time, permanent employment for the foreign worker
  • Job requirements must adhere to what is customarily required for the occupation in the U.S. and may not be tailored to the worker’s qualifications. In addition, the employer shall document that the job opportunity has been and is being described without unduly restrictive job requirements, unless adequately documented as arising from business necessity
  • The employer must pay at least the prevailing wage for the occupation in the area of intended employment
  • The employer must certify that U.S. workers who applied for the job were rejected for lawful job-related reasons

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