The labor certification process can be
complicated and time-consuming. Below is a brief description of the
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.
- 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
- The employer must then submit the application to
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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.