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The Labor Certification Process


The labor certification process can be complicated and time-consuming. Below is a brief description of the process. 

  1. The employer must complete an application for Alien Employment Certification (Form ETA 750).  The application describes in detail the job duties, educational requirements, training, experience, and other special capabilities the applicant must possess to do the work, and a statement of the prospective immigrant's qualifications.

  2. The employer must then submit the application to the SWA responsible for the specific job location. The SWA date stamps the application when it is received (priority date) and completes a preliminary review of the application. The SWA also notifies the employer of potential problems, including if the minimum requirements for the position are reasonable and job-related, and determines that the wage offered meets minimum prevailing wage standards.

  3. The SWA will then work with the employer to develop a job advertisement for placement in either a journal or newspaper of general circulation in the area of intended employment (depending on the nature of the job). The ad must contain a complete description of the vacancy including job responsibilities, duties, salary, and minimum qualifications (education, training, and experience). The employer must interview all candidates who apply and meet the position requirements.

  4. The employer will evaluate job candidates against the job criteria (as established in Form ETA 750), and must submit a recruitment report to the SWA after applications have been received and qualified applicants interviewed. The recruitment report is a summarization of the applicants received and the candidates interviewed, including any decisions made to hire or not hire the candidates.

  5. If any qualified U.S. workers are identified, the SWA will inform the employer that the application will likly be denied by the Certifying Officer in the regional office.

  6. The information gathered by the SWA will be collated and forwarded to the regional office for review and a decision. Generally, the SWA will notify the employer when the application and all associated documents have been forwarded to the certifying officer in the regional office.

  7. Once the certifying officer has reviewed the recruitment report and accompanying documentation, the certifying officer will issue a final determination granting or denying the application. The DOL may require additional information, interviews or advertisement if it feels the employer has not met all conditions for certification. The DOL may issue a Notice of Findings (NOF) indicating the certifying officer's intent to deny the application and identifying all reasons for the intended denial. The NOF will also offer the employer an opportunity to rebut the NOF within 35 days. The letter will also provide guidance to the employer regarding their right to appeal the final decision.
This process can sometimes take several years depending on the state in which the job is being offered. States that are popular sites for immigrant hiring, such as New York, Texas, or California, may take much longer than states with less such activity.




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