When it comes to seeking new job opportunities in the United States, Employment-Based Visas become a promising path for skilled foreign workers. However, before embarking on this exciting journey, it is essential to understand the crucial role Labor Certification plays in the process.
Employment-Based Visas provide a pathway for skilled and talented foreign workers to contribute their skills and expertise to the U.S. labor market. These visas are designed to cover a wide range of professional categories and skills, and they are divided into numbered preferences from EB-1 to EB-5
Labor Certification: Labor Certification is an essential requirement for some categories of Employment-Based Visas. Before a U.S. employer can file a petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), they must obtain an approved Labor Certification from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).
DOL’s Labor Certification has two fundamental objectives:
1. Verify that there are not enough available, qualified, and willing U.S. workers to fill the offered position at the current wage. This ensures that hiring a foreign worker does not negatively impact U.S. workers with similar jobs.
2. Labor Certification ensures that hiring a foreign worker does not harm the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers. This protective measure is established to maintain a fair balance and ensure that foreign employees are not hired as an economic alternative to local workers.
Process and Benefits:
The process of obtaining Labor Certification involves the employer submitting an application to the DOL, which evaluates the labor situation and determines if the required criteria are met. Once Labor Certification is approved, the employer can proceed with the visa petition to the USCIS.
Recruitment Process in the PERM Program:
Once the U.S. employer or company has obtained the Prevailing Wage Determination (PWD), the recruitment process can begin to assess the labor market. It is important to note the following:
Filing the PERM Labor Certification Application with the DOL:
If the previous step has been completed without finding a qualified and willing U.S. worker, the U.S. employer or company can file the PERM Labor Certification application with the Department of Labor (DOL). They must follow these steps:
1. File the DOL ETA Form 9089 online with the DOL.
2. Wait for the DOL’s response.
3. The processing time for this stage can be approximately 6 months, although it can be extended if the case is selected for an audit.
The employer must file Form I-140, which is the petition for an alien worker, with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
This form should only be filed with the USCIS if the PERM Labor Certification approval notice has been received. The Form I-140 filing has a validity period of 180 days from the date of receiving the PERM Labor Certification approval notice.
The processing time is generally 6 to 8 months, but it can be expedited by filing Form I-907, which is a request for premium processing.
Usually, there is no immediately available immigrant visa number, so it is important to stay informed through the Visa Bulletin. If the priority date is current when the Labor Certification is approved, Form I-485, which is the application for permanent residence or adjustment of status, can be filed with the USCIS.
Exceptions: Some categories of employment visas, such as “Extraordinary Ability” visas (EB-1) and investor visas (EB-5), do not require labor certification.
Filing Form I-485:
Form I-485 is filed by the foreign worker to obtain the Green Card. It can be filed along with Form I-140 or after the latter has been approved, provided that the priority date is available.
The worker who will receive the Green Card must meet requirements such as having no criminal record or other factors that make them ineligible to obtain it. The adjustment of status process allows the foreign worker to apply for travel or employment authorization while Form I-485 is pending.
Employment-Based Visas and Labor Certification are key elements for those seeking job opportunities in the United States. These processes allow talented foreign workers to contribute to the U.S. economy and society while protecting the rights and working conditions of local employees.
At Oasis Legal Group, we understand the importance of these processes and are committed to providing you with the necessary support and guidance in your search for a new opportunity in the United States. Our experienced team will be by your side every step of the way, guiding you and ensuring that you follow the right path towards a successful work life in the United States.