Temporary Labor Certification for Foreign Workers


To assure that the admission of foreign workers into the United States will not adversely affect the job opportunities, wages, and working conditions of U.S. workers. To ensure that adequate wages and working conditions are provided for foreign and U.S. workers. To assist U.S. employers seeking to hire temporary 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
A - Formula Grants; J - Provision of Specialized Services; O - Federal Employment; Z - Salaries and Expenses
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2016 In FY 2016, the Department processed 647,852 H-1B LCA applications, 8,684 H-2A applications, 7,209 H-2B 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 675,548 labor certification and labor condition applications processed in FY 2018.
Fiscal Year 2019 In FY 2019, the Department of Labor issued 690,607 determinations relating to applications for temporary labor certification.
Fiscal Year 2020 In FY 2020, the Department of Labor adjudicated 14,063 applications for H-2A temporary agricultural labor certification, 9,401 applications for H-2B temporary non-agricultural labor certification, 6,957 applications for CW-1 temporary labor certification, 577,334 H-1B labor condition applications, and 20,968 prevailing wage determination requests relating to these programs.
Fiscal Year 2021 In FY 2021, the Department of Labor received the following application levels for Temporary Labor Certification: H-1B - 523, 447; H-2A - 16,546; H-2B - 9,964; CW-1 - 3,853
Fiscal Year 2022 In FY 2022, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued decisions on 19,088 applications in the H-2A temporary agricultural program, 14,401 applications in the H-2B temporary non-agricultural program, 626,084 in the H-1B specialty occupations program, and 2,492 in the CW-1 temporary program for the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands. DOL received a record number of applications and issued a record number of determinations in the H-2A and H-2B programs.
Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, as amended, Sections 101(a)(15)(H), 212(n), 214(c) and 214(i), Section 101, 212, 214, Public Law 82-414, 8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq, Statute 66,163
Immigration Act of 1990, Public Law 101-649, 8 U.S.C. 1182(n), 1184, Statute 104,4978
Omnibus Insular Areas Act of 1991, Public Law 102-232, 8 U.S.C. 1182, Statute 105,1733
Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, Public Law 99-603, 8 U.S.C. 1186, Statute 100,3359
Northern Mariana Islands U.S. Workforce Act of 2018, Public Law 115-218
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
U.S. employers may apply for temporary labor certification.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Not applicable.
In most temporary employment certification programs, U.S. employers seeking to hire foreign workers for a temporary period of need are required to obtain a labor certification from the Department of Labor. The certification, along with other necessary documentation, must be submitted in support of the respective I-129 nonimmigrant worker petition filed with the Department of Homeland Security's United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). In the H-1B1 and E-3 programs, however, a nonimmigrant worker petition is not needed for the initial visa issuance and the foreign national seeking to enter the United States may use proof of a labor condition application certification in support of the visa application filed with the Department of State.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. U.S. employers should submit applications for temporary labor certification through the Foreign Labor Application Gateway (www.flag.dol.gov). Additional information on program requirements and application procedures are available on the Department of Labor website at www.dol.gov/agencies/eta/foreign-labor/programs. States and U.S. territories receive grant funds to support foreign labor certification activities. Grantees submit work plans to obtain continued eligibility for the grant. U.S. employers who participate in temporary labor certification programs do not receive funding from these grants, but do benefit from the services offered by state agencies to recruit U.S. workers for positions before they apply to hire a foreign worker.
Award Procedure
If the Department of Labor approves the application for temporary labor certification, the Certifying Officer issues a certification to the employer that submitted the application (and/or their representative or agent). The temporary labor certification is then filed by the U.S. employer, along with other necessary documentation, in support of a nonimmigrant worker petition filed with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. State Workforce Agencies receive grant funds upon acceptance of their work plans.
Not applicable.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
H-1B: the application for temporary labor certification is processed within seven days. H-2A: The statute requires an initial acceptance by the Department of Labor within seven days of filing and a final determination 30 days prior to the employer's date of need.
There is no procedure for appealing Department of Labor determinations to accept or reject a Labor Condition Application submitted for the H-1B, H1-B1, and E3 Programs. Complaints regarding misrepresentation in connection with the attestation or failure of the U.S. employer to carry out the terms of the attestation may be filed with the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division.
Renewals and extensions are treated as the filing of a new application.
How are proposals selected?
Not applicable.
How may assistance be used?
U.S. employers may, upon meeting certain conditions of employment and regulatory immigration requirements, use this assistance to seek the admission of foreign workers for temporary positions in the United States, provided that the employment of such foreign workers does not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly-employed U.S. workers. This assistance may also be used by States and U.S. Territories to conduct required activities under the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 in support of the foreign labor certification programs. These activities include, but are not limited to, reviewing and placing job orders to recruit U.S. workers; assisting employers in the effective recruitment of U.S. workers; conducting safety inspections of employer-provided housing for H-2A agricultural workers; performing prevailing practice and wage surveys used to set the wages and working standards for occupations within the state; and conducting post-certification site visits to support employer compliance with H-2A and H-2B program requirements.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Not applicable.
Selected audits of employer applications are conducted by the Department of Labor. States are regularly monitored for compliance with grant requirements.
The U.S. employer is required to retain all supporting documentation for three years from the date of filing an application for temporary 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
Applications for temporary labor certification may be filed at any time. The Employment and Training Administration also issues grants to State Workforce Agencies for required activities supporting the labor certification programs. Applications are reviewed in the order they are received. Grants are provided to State Workforce Agencies on a fiscal year basis.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
Applications may be submitted via the Foreign Labor Application Gateway at www.flag.dol.gov.
Headquarters Office
John Ake
200 Constitution Ave., N.W.
Box 12-200
Washington, DC 20210 US
Phone: (202) 513-7350
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Salaries and Expenses) FY 22$44,000,000.00; FY 23 est $45,000,000.00; FY 24 est $45,000,000.00; FY 21$43,000,000.00; FY 20$41,000,000.00; FY 19$42,000,000.00; FY 18$37,000,000.00; FY 17$36,000,000.00; FY 16$36,000,000.00; - Congressional funding for temporary labor certification programs is not appropriated separately from funds for other federal labor certification activities.(Formula Grants) FY 22$21,000,000.00; FY 23 est $23,000,000.00; FY 24 est $23,000,000.00; FY 21$20,000,000.00; FY 20$14,000,000.00; FY 19$14,000,000.00; FY 18$14,000,000.00; FY 17$14,000,000.00; FY 16$14,000,000.00; - Congressional funding for temporary employment certification programs is not appropriated separately from funds for other federal labor certification activities.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Not applicable/available.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Further information concerning temporary labor certification programs may be found at 20 CFR 655. Additional information on applicable statutes, regulations, and Departmental guidance is available on the Department of Labor website at www.dol.gov/agencies/eta/foreign-labor/programs.
Examples of Funded Projects
Not applicable.


Related Federal Grants

Federal Grants Resources