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Blandon Law Immigration

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Labor Certification -- what it is and what it is not

     Labor Certification is the first step in a long process for a foreigner to obtain legal permanent residency based on employment. The employer submits information to the Department of Labor (DOL). Through labor certification, the DOL verifies that there are not sufficient U.S. workers available and that employment by a foreigner will not adversely affect the wages or working conditions of U.S. workers. Once an employer has a Labor Certification for a job opening, the employer can petition a foreign worker with Citizenship and Immigration Services.
     Labor Certification does not give the foreign employee any status in the United States. It does not give work authorization or permission to travel abroad. Fortunately, some jobs do not require a Labor Certification process at all. For example, foreigners with extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, and certain multinational executives and managers do not need the certification of the Department of Labor.
     The Labor Certification process affects whether and when a foreigner will be able to apply for residency. Although a Labor Certification for someone with only a bachelor’s degree level of education and experience might be approved, it would be wise to obtain a different kind of certification. At that level of education, the foreigner may not obtain residency for many years because visas are not available for persons with only a bachelor’s degree. In order to make sure that the Labor Certification is not only approved, but also approved in a way that will enable the foreigner to obtain legal permanent residency as soon as possible, please contact a professional immigration specialist.

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