If a U.S. employer wants to hire a foreign worker on a permanent basis, a complex, lengthy sponsorship process for a green card begins.


Generally,  the first step in that process is Labor Certification (the process of proving that there are no qualified U.S. workers for the positions being offered).  If there are qualified U.S. workers for the positions an employer is trying to fill, then foreign workers cannot be offered the position on a permanent basis.


The intent of Labor Certification is to ensure that admitting foreign workers does not adversely affect job opportunities, wages, and working conditions for Americans. Foreign workers can still serve out the remainder of their existing U.S. temporary visa, and may be able to re-apply for Labor Certification. 



In March, 2005, a completely electronic labor certification system, PERM (Program Electronic Review Management) came into use.


PERM is intended to reduce Labor Certification processing times.



Labor Certifications are relevant to the E-B2 and EB-3 employment based preference categories.


Generally, the EB-2 category, or Second Employment Based preference category is for foreign nationals holding a Master's degree or greater.


The EB-3 category or Third Employment Based preference category is for those holding a Bachelor's Degree or greater.

Labor Certification

  • Generally the first step in hiring a foreign worker on a permanent basis is the labor certification.
  • Labor certification is the process of proving that there are no qualified U.S. workers for the positions being offered.

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