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Foreign Labor Certification

This information is provided by the Division of Foreign Labor Certification. Foreign labor certification programs are generally designed to assure that the admission of aliens to work in this country on a permanent or temporary basis will not adversely affect the job opportunities, wages and working conditions of U.S. workers. With few exceptions, these five programs are jointly administered by the Department and the State Employment Security Agencies (SESAs). The program titles link to the regulations which govern each program. The Department of Labor is responsible for administering programs for Permanent Labor Certifications, H-1B Specialty (Professional) Workers, H-2A Temporary Labor Certifications, and H-2B Temporary Labor Certifications.

H-2A Temporary Labor Certification

The H-2A temporary agricultural program establishes a means for agricultural employers who anticipate a shortage of domestic workers to bring nonimmigrant aliens to the U.S. to perform agricultural labor or services of a temporary or seasonal nature. Before the INS can approve an employer's petition for such workers, the employer must file an application with the Department stating that there are not sufficient workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available, and that the employment of aliens will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers. The statute and Departmental regulations provide for numerous worker protections and employer requirements with respect to wages and working conditions that do not apply to nonagricultural programs. The Department's Employment Standards Administration (ESA) has responsibility for enforcing provisions of worker contracts.
Further Information on H-2A program and how to apply.

Permanent Labor Certification

An alien seeking to immigrate to the United States on the basis of employment must obtain an offer of permanent full-time employment from an employer in the United States. The alien cannot be admitted as a permanent resident unless, among other things, the employer obtains a labor certification from the Department that qualified U.S. workers are not available for the employment offered to the alien, and that the wages and working conditions offered will not adversely affect those of similarly employed U.S. workers.

The labor certification process requires the employer to recruit U.S. workers at prevailing wages and working conditions through the State Employment Service, by advertising, posting notice of the job opportunity, and by other appropriate means. A Departmental regional certifying officer makes a decision to grant or deny the labor certification based on the results of the employer's recruitment efforts and compliance with Departmental regulations.To view the regulations governing this program click on the title of this program.
Information on application form ETA 750 and how to apply for a Permanent Labor Certification

H-1B Specialty (Professional) Workers

Employers who intend to employ alien workers for a temporary period in professional occupations or as fashion models must file labor condition applications with the Department stating that they will pay the appropriate wage rate to the alien, that they have notified the bargaining representative or otherwise posted notice of their intent to employ alien workers, and that there is no strike or lockout at the place of employment. Aggrieved parties may file complaints with the Department regarding misrepresentation or failure to comply with the statements attested to in the application.

Where the complaint is successful, the Wage and Hour Division of the Employment Standards Administration may assess penalties and the employer may be barred from filing petitions for permanent and temporary workers for at least 1 year. Labor condition applications may be approved for periods of up to 3 years, renewable for a total of 6 years, the maximum allowable period of stay in the U.S. under H-1B status.

ETA is beginning the process of implementing nationally a New Automated Fax-In/Fax-Out System for processing Labor Condition Applications for H-1B nonimmigrants.
How to apply for a Labor Condition Application.

H-2B Temporary Labor Certification

Under the H-2B nonimmigrant visa classification, aliens may come temporarily to the United States to perform temporary nonagricultural work. The process for obtaining an H-2B labor certification is very similar to that required for permanent labor certification, but is not as extensive or time consuming. The labor certification may be issued for a period of up to one year, renewable for a maximum of three years. To view the regulations governing this program click on the title of this program. You will need a form ETA 750 part A and B to apply for this program.
Information on how to apply Temporary Labor Certification