A permanent labor certification issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) allows an employer to hire a foreign worker to work permanently in the United States. In most instances, before the U.S. employer can submit an immigration petition to the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the employer must obtain a certified labor certification application from the DOL's Employment and Training Administration (ETA). The DOL must certify to the USCIS that there are not sufficient U.S. workers able, willing, qualified and available to accept the job opportunity in the area of intended employment and that employment of the foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.
To improve the operations of the permanent labor certification program (PERM), ETA published a final regulation on December 27, 2004, implementing a new, re-engineered permanent labor certification program, effective March 28, 2005. This new electronic program has improved services to our various stakeholders.
As of March 28, 2005, ETA Form 750 applications were no longer accepted under the regulation in effect prior to March 28, 2005, and instead new ETA Form 9089 applications had to be filed under the new PERM regulation at the appropriate National Processing Center (NPC). Applications filed under the regulation in effect prior to March 28, 2005, continued to be processed under the rule in effect at the time of filing at an appropriate Backlog Elimination Center until such time as the backlog was eliminated. Where an employer chose to withdraw an application filed under the regulation in effect prior to March 28, 2005, and still in process, and to refile an application for the identical job opportunity under the refile provisions of the PERM regulation, the employer was permitted to use the previously filed ETA Form 750 application filing date.
DOL processes Applications for Permanent Employment Certification, ETA Form 9089, with the exception of Schedule A and sheepherder applications filed under 20 CFR § 656.16. The date the labor certification application is received by the DOL is known as the filing date and is used by USCIS and the Department of State as the priority date. After the labor certification application is certified by DOL, it should be submitted to the appropriate USCIS Service Center with a Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. The certification has a validity period of 180-days and expires if not submitted to USCIS within this period.
Requirement for U.S. employers seeking to employ certain persons whose immigration to the United States is based on job skills or nonimmigrant temporary workers coming to perform services for which qualified authorized workers are unavailable in the United States. Labor certification is issued by the Secretary of Labor and contains attestations by U.S. employers as to the numbers of U.S. workers available to undertake the employment sought by an applicant, and the effect of the alien’s employment on the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers similarly employed. Determination of labor availability in the United States is made at the time of a visa application and at the location where the applicant wishes to work.