Permanent Labor Certification for Foreign Workers


To protect the jobs of American workers; ensure the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers will not be adversely affected by the admission of permanent foreign workers; and assist employers by supplementing the work force with needed skills.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Agency: Department of Labor
Office: Employment Training Administration
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2014: Budget Performance Information is available at Fiscal Year 2015: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2016: No Current Data Available
Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, as amended, Sections 101 (a) (15) H (II), 214 (c) and 212 (a) (5) (A)

Unless otherwise stipulated, recipients are subject to Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards; Final Rule on December 26, 2013 and found at 2 CFR Part 200 along with the OMB approved exceptions for DOL at 2 CFR Part 2900 published on December 19, 2014 in the Federal Register.

, Section 101, 212, 214, Public Law 82-414, 66 Stat. 163, 8 U.S.C 1101 et seq.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
(1) Any employer who is unable to find qualified U.S. workers to meet his or her needs and seeks to hire a foreign worker to fill a given job vacancy on a permanent basis is eligible to file an application for permanent labor certification with the Department of Labor. (2) An employer who seeks to employ a foreign worker whose category of employment is included in the Department of Labor, Schedule A list of precertified occupations contained in Part 656, Title 20, Code of Federal Regulations is eligible to file an application directly with the appropriate U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Office.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Employers and foreign workers.
Employers seeking labor certification, and thereafter filing an immigration petition to sponsor a foreign worker for employment-based permanent residency, must document that worker's education, experience, and job qualifications to the satisfaction of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Prior to filing the application for permanent employment certification, the employer must request a prevailing wage determination from the National Prevailing Wage Center (NPWC). When filing, must attest, in addition to a number of other conditions of employment, to having conducted recruitment prior to filing the application. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Employers must file labor certification applications for permanent employment directly with the Atlanta National Processing Center (except for Schedule A occupations). See for additional details.
Award Procedure
If the Atlanta National Processing Center approves the application, the application form is "certified" (approved) by the Certifying Officer and returned to the employer/agent who submitted the application. The labor certification is then filed by the sponsoring employer in support of its immigrant worker petition with USCIS.
Not Applicable.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Timeframe for processing of permanent labor certification applications varies with the circumstances of each case.
The permanent labor certification program provides for reconsideration by a Certifying Officer and/or administrative review by the Department of Labor's Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) of a denial of an application, upon the employer's request.
Not Applicable.
How are proposals selected?
Not Applicable.
How may assistance be used?
Under Section 212 (a)(5)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, foreign workers who seek to immigrate to the United States for employment shall be excluded from admission unless the Secretary of Labor determines and certifies to the Secretary of State and to the Secretary of Homeland Security that there are not sufficient U.S. workers available for the position, and that the employment of such foreign workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers similarly employed. The certified employer must hire the foreign worker as a full-time employee; there must be a bona fide job opening available to U.S. workers; job requirements must adhere to what is customarily required for the occupation in the U.S. and may not be tailored to the foreign worker's qualifications. In addition, the employer shall document that the job opportunity has been and is being described without unduly restrictive job requirements, unless adequately documented as arising from business necessity. The employer must pay at least the prevailing wage for the occupation in the area of intended employment.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Activity reports and workload data. Cash reports are not applicable. Quarterly reports from states on progress of spending against the total grant. Quarterly reports from states on progress of spending against the total grant. Performance monitoring is not applicable.
In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503. Selected audits are conducted by the Department of Labor.
The employer is required to retain all supporting documentation for five years from the date of filing the Application for Permanent Employment Certification.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program.
Matching requirements are not applicable to this program.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
The Employment and Training Administration issues formula grants to State Workforce Agencies for activities supporting federal labor certification programs. Grants are issued on a fiscal year basis. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Fiscal year basis.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
None. The following addresses, phone numbers, and FAX numbers should be used by employers and by State Workforce Agencies for either inquiries or the forwarding of applications materials, as appropriate. Please note, for all application materials, inquiries, and other correspondence regarding the Permanent Labor Certification Program are to sent to the Atlanta National Processing Center, at the following address: Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Atlanta National Processing Center, Harris Tower, 233 Peachtree Street, Suite 410 Atlanta, GA 30303, Telephone: (404) 893-0101 Fax: (404) 893-4642.
Headquarters Office
John Ake 200 Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, District of Columbia 20210 Email: Phone: 202-693-2865
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Salaries) FY 14 $24,000,000; FY 15 est $24,000,000; and FY 16 est $31,000,000 - Funds for the Permanent Labor Certification Program are not appropriated separately from other foreign labor certification funds.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
No Data Available.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
References in the Code of Federal Regulations: For permanent employment-Title 20, CFR Part 656. Applicable statutes, regulations, and policies are described on the website of the Employment and Training Administration, Office of Foreign Labor Certification.
Examples of Funded Projects
Not Applicable.