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Labor Certification

Overview: Foreign labor certification programs permit U.S. employers to hire foreign workers on a temporary or permanent basis to fill jobs essential to the U.S. economy. Certification may be obtained in cases where it can be demonstrated that there are insufficient qualified U.S. workers available and willing to perform the work at wages that meet or exceed the prevailing wage paid for that occupation in the area of intended employment.


Labor Certification Program: Following visa program requires Dept. of Labor to issue permanent or temporary labor certifications:

Application Process: Hiring foreign workers for employment in the U.S. normally requires approval from several government agencies.
  • DOL: Employers must seek labor certification through the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).
  • USCIS: Once the application is certified, the employer must petition the USCIS for a visa.
  • DOS: The Department of State will issue an immigrant visa number to the foreign worker for U.S. entry.
  • Applicant: Applicants must also establish that they are admissible to the U.S. under the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
DOL typically certifies more than 3 times the number of foreign work requests than the number of H-1B visas issued by USCIS. So there is no one to one relationship between the number of workers certified by the DOL and the number of H1B work visas issued by the USCIS.

Last Updated: 6/29/2013.


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