Permanent Labor Certification for Foreign Workers

To protect the jobs of American workers; ensure the wages and working conditions of U.S.

workers will not be adversely affected by the admission of permanent foreign workers; and assist employers by supplementing the work force with needed skills.


Agency - Department of Labor

The Department of Labor fosters and promotes the welfare of job seekers, wage earners and retirees by improving their working conditions, advancing their opportunities, protecting their retirement and health benefits and generally protecting worker rights and monitoring national economic measures.

Office - The following addresses, phone numbers, and FAX numbers should be used by employers and by State Workforce Agencies for either inquiries or the forwarding of applications materials, as appropriate.

Please note, for all application materials, inquiries, and other correspondence sent to either the Atlanta or Chicago National Processing Center, envelopes should be clearly marked according to the appropriate program type.

Atlanta Processing Center Address: Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Harris Tower, 233 Peachtree Street, Suite 410 Atlanta, GA 30303, Telephone: (404) 893-0101 Fax: (404) 893-4642.

Chicago Processing Center Address: Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, 844 North Rush Street, 12th Floor, Chicago, IL 60611 Telephone: (312) 886-8000 Fax: (312) 886-1688.


Program Accomplishments

For fiscal year 2006, 112,345 new permanent labor certification applications were received.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Under Section 212 (a)(5)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, foreign workers who seek to immigrate to the United States for employment shall be excluded from admission unless the Secretary of Labor determines and certifies to the Secretary of State and to the Secretary of Homeland Security that there are not sufficient U. S. workers available for the position, and that the employment of such foreign workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of U. S. workers similarly employed.

The certified employer must hire the foreign worker as a full-time employee; there must be a bona fide job opening available to U. S. workers; job requirements must adhere to what is customarily required for the occupation in the U. S. and may not be tailored to the worker's qualifications.

In addition, the employer shall document that the job opportunity has been and is being described without unduly restrictive job requirements, unless adequately documented as arising from business necessity.

The employer must pay at least the prevailing wage for the occupation in the area of intended employment.



Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

(1) Any employer who is unable to find qualified U.S.

workers to meet his or her needs and seeks to hire a foreign worker to fill a given job vacancy on a permanent basis is eligible to file an application for permanent labor certification with the Department of Labor.

(2) An employer who seeks to employ a foreign worker whose category of employment is included in the Department of Labor, Schedule A list of precertified occupations contained in Part 656, Title 20, Code of Federal Regulations is eligible to file an application directly with the appropriate U.S.

Citizenship and Immigration Services Office.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Employers and foreign workers.

Credentials/Documentation

Employers seeking labor certification, and thereafter filing an immigration petition to sponsor a foreign worker for employment-based permanent residency, must document that worker's education, experience, and job qualifications to the satisfaction of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Prior to filing the application for permanent employment certification, the employer must request a prevailing wage determination from the State Workforce Agency (SWA) having jurisdiction over the proposed area of intended employment and must attest, in addition to a number of other conditions of employment, to having conducted recruitment prior to filing the application.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

Employers must file labor certification applications for permanent employment directly with the appropriate National Processing Center (except for Schedule A occupations). See http://workforcesecurity.doleta.gov/foreign/perm.asp for additional details.

Award Procedures

If the appropriate National Processing Center approves the application, the application form is "certified" (stamped) by the Certifying Officer and returned to the employer/agent who submitted the application. The labor certification is then filed by the sponsoring employer in support of its immigrant worker petition with USCIS.

Deadlines

None.

Authorization

Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, as amended, Sections 101 (a) (15) H (II), 214 (c) and 212 (a) (5) (A), Public Law 82-414, 66 Stat. 163, 8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From six months to one year.

Appeals

The permanent labor certification program provides for reconsideration by a Certifying Officer of denial of an application, upon the employer's request. Instead of or following a request for reconsideration, requests for administrative review of final determinations (denials of permanent labor certification applications) may be made directly to the Department of Labor's Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA).

Renewals

Not applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Not applicable.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Not applicable.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

Not applicable.

Audits

Selected audits are conducted by the Department of Labor.

Records

The employer is required to retain all supporting documentation for five years from the date of filing the Application for Permanent Employment Certification.

Financial Information

Account Identification

16-0172-0-1-504, 16-0180-0-1-504.

Obigations

(Federal salaries and expenses) FY 07 $50,000,000; FY 08 est $63,000,000; and FY 09 est $72,000,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Not applicable.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

References in the Code of Federal Regulations: For permanent employment-Title 20, CFR Part 656.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

The following addresses, phone numbers, and FAX numbers should be used by employers and by State Workforce Agencies for either inquiries or the forwarding of applications materials, as appropriate. Please note, for all application materials, inquiries, and other correspondence sent to either the Atlanta or Chicago National Processing Center, envelopes should be clearly marked according to the appropriate program type. Atlanta Processing Center Address: Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Harris Tower, 233 Peachtree Street, Suite 410 Atlanta, GA 30303, Telephone: (404) 893-0101 Fax: (404) 893-4642. Chicago Processing Center Address: Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, 844 North Rush Street, 12th Floor, Chicago, IL 60611 Telephone: (312) 886-8000 Fax: (312) 886-1688.

Headquarters Office

Administrator, Office of Foreign Labor Certification, Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, C-4312, Washington, DC 20210. Telephone: (202) 693-3010. Contact: William L. Carlson.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Not applicable.



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