Permanent Labor Certification for Foreign Workers


To ensure that the admission of foreign workers into the United States does not adversely affect the wages, working conditions, and employment opportunities of U.S. workers. To ensure that adequate working and living conditions are provided for foreign and domestic workers. To assist U.S. employers seeking to hire foreign workers when no able, willing, and qualified U.S. workers are available.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Employment and Training Administration, Department of Labor
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
J - Provision of Specialized Services; Z - Salaries and Expenses
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2016 In FY 2016, the Department processed 126,143 PERM applications and 133,242 Prevailing Wage Determination requests.
Fiscal Year 2017 In FY 2017, the Department of Labor processed 97,603 PERM applications, 624,650 H-1B applications, 10,097 H-2A applications, 8,970 H-2B applications, and 173,859 Prevailing Wage determination requests.
Fiscal Year 2018 119,779 PERM applications processed and 150,514 prevailing wage determinations issued in FY 2018.
Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, as amended, Sections 212 (a) (5) (A) and 214 (c). 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., Public Law 82-414, 8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq, Statute 66,163
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
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 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 similarly-employed U.S. workers. 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; and 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.
Beneficiary Eligibility
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. An employer who seeks to employ a foreign worker whose category of employment is included in the Department of Labor, Schedule A list of pre-certified 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.
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.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is required. 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, the employer must attest, in addition to a number of other conditions of employment, to having conducted recruitment prior to filing the application.
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 Office of Foreign Labor Certification 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 United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Not applicable.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Timeframe for processing of permanent labor certification applications varies with the circumstances of each case.
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
How are proposals selected?
Not applicable.
How may assistance be used?
Employers may, upon meeting certain conditions of employment, use this assistance to seek the admission of foreign workers for positions in the United States, provided that the employment of such foreign workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly-employed U.S. workers.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Not applicable.
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 formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Employer applications may be filed at any time. Assistance is provided to employer applicants based on the order in which the applications are received.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
All application materials, inquiries, and other correspondence regarding the Permanent Labor Certification Program should be sent to sent to: Office of Foreign Labor Certification 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, DC 20210 US
Phone: (202) 513-7350
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Salaries and Expenses) FY 18$12,000,000.00; FY 19 est $14,000,000.00; FY 20 est $14,000,000.00; FY 17$12,000,000.00; FY 16$12,000,000.00; - Funds for the Permanent Labor Certification Program are not appropriated separately from other foreign labor certification funds.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Not applicable/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 Employment and Training Administration, Office of Foreign Labor Certification website at .
Examples of Funded Projects
Not applicable.


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