A labor certification may be required when a U.S. employer has a need for knowledge or skills that are not available in the U.S. workforce. If employers cannot find the talent they need in the U.S., immigration law provides a way for them to hire foreign workers to live and work temporarily or permanently in the U.S. Employers can bring temporary employees to the U.S. using various non-immigrant visa categories, such as H-1B, O-1 or L-1A. They can also bring permanent employees to the U.S. as legal permanent residents. Foreign workers who are already in the U.S. in another legal status may also be eligible to gain permanent residence through employer sponsorship. The law is designed to allow employers to hire talent from outside the U.S. to work permanently in the U.S. only if they have first attempted to find U.S. workers and are unable to do so. Employers must look for U.S. workers using the labor certification process.
There are some exceptions: U.S. employers who wish to hire foreign workers for permanent positions must go through a process called foreign labor certification. The labor certification process was created to protect U.S. workers. Its purpose is to allow employers to hire foreign workers only if there are no U.S. workers who are available, qualified, willing and able to perform the job
The Department of Labor (DOL) will approve a labor certification only if it is convinced that employment of the foreign worker will not displace or adversely affect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers who are employed in similar occupations. If the Department of Labor is convinced that these conditions are met, it will approve the labor certification, which allows the employer and employee to proceed to the next step of the employment-based Green Card. An employee cannot work in the U.S. based on the approved labor certification until all three (3) steps of the process have been completed. The employee may live and work in the U.S. if he or she is maintaining another legal status in the U.S. that allows him or her to work.
Applying for Labor Certification involves following strict regulatory requirements, including conducting recruitment. Find out what it takes to get a Labor Certification approved and download this e-book today!