Temporary Labor Certification for Foreign Workers


To ensure that the admission of foreign labor 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 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
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.
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
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
H-2A Program: An agricultural employer who anticipates a shortage of U.S. workers needed to perform agricultural labor or services of a temporary or seasonal nature may apply to the Department of Labor under the H-2A program. The employer may be an individual proprietorship, a partnership, or a corporation. An association of agricultural producers may file as a sole employer, a joint employer with its members, or as an agent of its members. An authorized agent or attorney, whether an individual or an entity (e.g., an association), may file an application on behalf of an employer. Associations may file master applications on behalf of their members. H-2B Program: The job and the employer's need must be one-time, seasonal, peak load or intermittent; the job must be for less than one year; and there must be no qualified and willing U.S. workers available for the job. An employer must file an application for employment certification with the Department of Labor. The National Prevailing Wage Center issues prevailing wage determinations to employers considering whether or not to hire foreign workers on a temporary or permanent basis.
Beneficiary Eligibility
In the major temporary employment certification programs, employers sponsoring foreign workers to fill a temporary need file the certification from the Department of Labor as documentation in support of their respective I-129 nonimmigrant worker petitions with the Department of Homeland Security, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). In the H-1B1 and E-3 programs, a USCIS petition is not needed for initial visa issuance and the foreign national may use proof of a labor condition application certification in support of the visa application.
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. Employers should file foreign labor certification applications for temporary positions with the Chicago National Processing Center. Please see www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov for further details on application procedures. States and U.S. territories receive grant funds to support federal foreign labor certification activities. The grantees submit work plans each year to obtain continued eligibility for the grant. Employers who participate in foreign labor certification programs do not receive funding from these grants, but do benefit from the services offered by these state agencies to recruit U.S. workers for positions before they apply to hire a foreign worker. See https://www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov/ for more information on specific programs.
Award Procedure
Employers must prove they qualify for foreign labor certification before they can move to the next step of the employment-based immigration process. Certifications are sent to the employer in support of the petition to be filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services which determines admissibility and visa classification. The employer, via the ETA Form 9142, advises as to the type of visa supported by the application. Certified copies of accepted attestations for the D-1 Crewmember program are returned to the employer and the USCIS is notified of the filing in writing. State Workforce Agencies receive grant funds upon acceptance of their annual work plans.
Not applicable.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
H-1B: From one to seven days. H-2A: Statute requires an initial acceptance by ETA within seven days of filing and a final determination 30 days prior to the employer's date of need. 8 U.S.C. Section 1188(c).
There is no procedure for appealing Employment and Training Administration determinations to accept or reject a Labor Condition Application submitted for the H-1B, H1-B1, and E3 Programs. Complaints regarding misrepresentation in the attestation or failure of the employer to carry out the terms of the attestation may be filed with the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor.
Treated as the filing of a new labor condition application.
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. Assistance may also be used by States and U.S. Territories to conduct required activities under the Immigration and Nationality Act 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; providing assistance to employers in the effective recruitment of U.S. workers; conducting safety inspections of employer-provided housing for workers in the H-2A Temporary Agricultural Program; and performing the prevailing practice and wage surveys used to set the wages and standards for a number of occupations within their state.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Not applicable.
States are regularly monitored for compliance with grant requirements. Employers may make a filed labor condition application and necessary supporting documentation available for public examination at the employer's principal place of business in the United States or at the place of employment within one working day after the date on which the labor condition application is filed with the Employment and Training Administration. The employer may post a hard copy notice or an electronic notice. The employer may post a completed copy of the LCA or may post all the information required in 20 CFR 655.734(a) (1) (ii). Complaints concerning misrepresentation in the attestation or failure of the employer to carry out the terms of the attestation may be filed with the Wage and Hour Division, Employment Standards Administration, Department of Labor. The Administrator, Wage and Hour Division, performs the investigative and enforcement functions detailed in 8 U.S.C. 1182(n) and subparts I and K of 29 C.F.R. Part 504.
Program-related records, including financial records. Employer shall make the Labor Condition Application (LCA) and necessary supporting documentation available for public examination at the employer's principal place of business in the United States or at the place of employment within one working day after the date on which the LCA is filed with Employment and Training Administration.
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. The Employment and Training Administration also issues grants to State Workforce Agencies for activities supporting the federal labor certification programs. These grants are issued on a fiscal year basis. Applications are reviewed based on the order in which the applications 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
All application materials, inquiries, and other correspondence regarding the Temporary Labor Certification Program should be sent to sent to: U.S. Department of Labor Office of Foreign Labor Certification Chicago National Processing Center 11 West Quincy Court Chicago, IL 60604-2105 Phone: (312) 886-8000 Fax: (312) 353-3352 Please note, for all application materials, inquiries, and other correspondence envelopes should be clearly marked according to the appropriate program type (i.e. H-1B, H-1B1, E-3, H-2A, H-2B, or D-1).
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
(Provision of Specialized Services) FY 18$37,000,000.00; FY 19 est $42,000,000.00; FY 20 est $42,000,000.00; 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 18$14,000,000.00; FY 19 est $14,000,000.00; FY 20 est $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 the program may be found at 20 CFR 655. Additional information on applicable statutes, regulations, and Departmental guidance is posted on the website of the Employment and Training Administration, Office of Foreign Labor Certification at www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov.
Examples of Funded Projects
Not applicable.


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