Labor Certification Compliance

Overview of the Labor Certification Process

There are three main requirements to qualify for labor certification:

  • the job must be full-time (not part-time);
  • the job must be a permanent one (not temporary or seasonal); and
  • the employer must pay the employee at least the prevailing wage for that position in the intended area of employment.

The prevailing wage is determined by Department of Labor wage statistics, or by data from a qualifying salary survey of employers in the geographical area of the job.

Standard Labor Certification Process

Under the “standard” labor certification filing procedure, the employer files the labor certification application with the foreign labor certification unit of the appropriate state workforce agency (typically in the state in which the job is located). The state workforce agency provides the employer with instructions for advertising the position. The employer places the required advertising, completes the recruitment and interviewing, and forwards its recruitment report to the state workforce agency.

The state workforce agency reviews and forwards the application to the regional office of the U.S. Department of Labor. The regional office of the U.S. Department of Labor then makes a decision about whether to “certify” (i.e., approve) the labor certification application. If the U.S. Department of Labor certifies the labor certification application, then the employer becomes eligible to file a green card application for the foreign worker at the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (CIS).