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LABOR CERTIFICATION (for employment-based permanent residence)
Labor certification is a statement from the US Department of Labor (USDOL) that a particular position at a particular company is
"open" because no US workers who satisfy the minimum requirements for the job are available. An alien seeking to immigrate to the US
on the basis of employment must obtain an offer of permanent full-time employment from an employer in the US. Such alien cannot be
admitted as a permanent resident unless, among other things, the employer obtains a labor certification from USDOL that qualified US
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 US workers.
The labor certification process requires the employer to recruit US workers at prevailing wages and working conditions through the
State Employment Service, by advertising, posting notice of the job opportunity, and other appropriate means. A USDOL 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 USDOL regulations. Most employers of unskilled workers, for skilled workers, and for professional workers need
to obtain labor certification before petitioning USCIS for for permanent residence for those workers based on for employment.
for aliens in shortage occupations (for registered nurses, physical therapists, sheep herders and those demonstrating "exceptional ability" in business, science, or arts), aliens demonstrating to USCIS that they possess extraordinary ability, aliens who are
multinational executives or managers, aliens whose work is deemed in the "national interest," and aliens who are outstanding
university level teachers and researchers in tenure-track jobs. Petitions naming beneficiaries who hold such positions, which are
considered unique and do not displace American workers, do not require labor certification.
The Law Office of Paul B. Christensen would be pleased to assist your company with securing labor certification for a prospective alien employee. Oftentimes, the key to DOL approval of labor certification rests with a carefully-drafted labor plan. The state's DOL confirms that the wage offered for the position is the "prevailing wage" and reports
whether the salary must be increased to satisfy prevailing wage requirements. The state DOL then approves an advertising strategy
and sends the application to the local DOL. At the local DOL office, the job is listed as "open" in the state computerized job bank
and the employer is instructed to place an ad in a specified journal or newspaper. The ad will ask applicants for the position to
apply directly to the local DOL. The local DOL screens applicants and refers seemingly qualified applicants to the employer. The
employer must promptly interview all seemingly qualified applicants. The employer must also consider and interview if necessary any
other applicants who, through the job bank listing or pure chance, apply for the position. The employer then files a recruitment
report with the local DOL explaining why the ad placement was appropriate, the names of persons who applied for the job (if any),
and why such applicants were not qualified.