What is labor certification?

A labor certification is essentially an approval or certification issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) which verifies that the permanent hiring of a foreign worker to a particular position will not displace U.S. workers. The labor certification process requires that the U.S. employer show a good faith recruitment effort to determine whether there are any able, willing, qualified and available U.S. workers for the position offered to the foreign worker. Upon completion of the labor market test, the U.S. employer will submit the application for permanent employment certification (e.g., labor certification application) to the DOL for processing. Once approved, the labor certification constitutes verification from the DOL that the U.S. employer has met its burden of proof that it has a regular, full-time job, offered at the prevailing wage rate, which the employer has tried to fill with a U.S. worker and has been unable to do so. Upon the issuance of the labor certification by DOL, the U.S. employer may then proceed with the next step of the green card process on behalf of the foreign worker, which is filing an Immigrant Petition, Form I-140, petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).