Labor Certification

A Labor Certification is required for a person who wishes to be legally permitted to work permanently within the United States. In most instances, before the U.S. employer can submit an immigration petition to the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the employer must obtain a certified labor certification application from the Department of Labor (DOL)’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA).

The DOL must certify to USCIS that there are not sufficient U.S. workers able, willing, qualified, and available to accept the job opportunity in the area of intended employment and that employment of the foreign worker will not have an adverse effect on the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers similarly employed. The Labor Certification process requires the petitioning employer to conduct a series of recruitment activities to test the job market prior to filing the application. If no qualified and willing applicant (U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident) is found through the recruitment process, the employer will be able to submit the Application for Permanent Employment Certification or ETA Form 9089. Generally, Labor Certification is the first step in filing most employment-based petitions. With a few exceptions, immigrant petitions involving professionals with advanced degrees or exceptional abilities (EB-2), and professionals with bachelor degrees, skilled workers, and unskilled workers (EB-3) require a labor certification.