What Are The Job Requirements For A Labor Certification?

When an employer based in the United States is interested in hiring an employee who is not a citizen, they are able to do so by applying for and obtaining a labor certification. This process is just one of the many ways that a person can obtain lawful permanent residence, though the process can take some time. It involves the potential employer filing an application for the labor certification with the Department of Labor indicating that though they have made the effort there are no workers who are citizens who are both qualified for the employer’s job and interested in it.

Getting a Labor Certification approved is a process that has changed in the last several years following the introduction of a system known as the PERM, or Program Electronic Review Management. Where the previous process required a good deal of intervention from both the Department of Labor and state agencies and took a full two years to complete, the new process requires much less in the way of intervention from these agencies and is completed much more quickly.

Under the newly introduced process, all of the recruitment steps are completed by the potential employer, with no intervention from federal or state agencies other than the determination of an appropriate and acceptable wage for the position that has been described within the recruitment process. The employer does all of the recruiting, attesting to the fact that it has been unable to identify any citizen workers who are interested in or qualified for the position based on the job description and minimum requirements described by the employer. The process of describing the position and then recruiting for it can generally take about half a year, including time for a federally mandated “cooling off” period during which no job notices or recruitment efforts can be processed. If during the time between the job being posted and recruitment is completed, a large number of responses are received, it makes the process take longer, particularly if qualified workers are identified or the company goes through a layoff.

Once the recruitment process has been completed and the cooling off period is through, the employer can file the labor certification. In most cases, the process takes between half a year and nine months, following which the Department of Labor makes a decision on whether to approve the labor certification for the proposed employee. This process can also take some time, usually about four months, though some certifications can be obtained in a matter of a few weeks.

If you are interested in pursuing a noncitizen employee or are a person looking to obtain a green card through labor certification, our law firm can help. Contact us today to learn more about the labor certification process.