Step 1 of the Green Card Process:
The Labor Certification
The Purpose of the Labor Certification Requirement
The purpose of the labor certification requirement is to demonstrate to the U.S. Department of Labor that there are no able, willing, qualified, and available U.S. workers for a particular position in a specific geographic location, so that a foreign national will not displace a U.S. worker by permanently occupying a particular job. The sponsoring employer is required to test the labor market through a specific advertising regime and the evaluation of potential U.S. candidates.
The labor certification requirement is also meant to ensure that employment of the foreign national will not have an adverse effect on the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers. By filing the labor certification application, the employer commits to pay the prevailing wage for the position once the green card is approved.
The Labor Certification Process
The labor certification process entails the testing of the U.S. labor market to determine whether there are qualified and willing U.S. workers available for the job. The employer must advertise the position in several different venues (newspaper of general circulation, state job bank, work site posting, etc.) over a specific period of time, evaluate applicants, and determine whether they meet the minimum requirements of the job. If no qualified U.S. workers apply for the job, the employer may file an Application for Permanent Employment Certification with the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”). Click here for more information on the labor certification process.