Foreign Labor Certifications (FLC)

The Massachusetts Department of Career Services (DCS) in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) works to assist employers with the filing and processing of temporary labor certifications in two program areas:

1. H-2A Certification for Temporary Agricultural Workers
The Department of Career Services (DCS) accepts and processes Agricultural and Food Processing Clearance Orders (ETA 790) including the posting of all H-2A related job orders into the state’s job bank system. DCS also conducts agricultural Prevailing Wage and Practices Surveys in order to determine wages and employment related practices affecting the employment of agricultural workers. Also, in cooperation with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Community Sanitation Program; DCS conducts pre-occupancy housing inspections of employer provided facilities.

Program Overview
The H-2A temporary agricultural program establishes a means for agricultural employers who anticipate a shortage of domestic workers to bring nonimmigrant foreign workers to the U.S. to perform agricultural labor or services of a temporary or seasonal nature. Employment is of a seasonal nature where it is tied to a certain time of year by an event or pattern, such as a short annual growing cycle or a specific aspect of a longer cycle, and requires labor levels far above the necessary for ongoing operations. Employment is of a temporary nature where the employer's need to fill the position with a temporary worker will, except in extraordinary circumstances, last no longer than 1 year.

Detailed Program Description available here

How to file:
In Massachusetts, the Department of Career Services (DCS) is the first point‐of‐contact for the H-2A labor certification process. Employer (s) will need to prepare and submit to the DCS an Agricultural and Food Processing Clearance Order (ETA Form 790) containing a description of the job duties including any experience requirements, number of workers, anticipated period of employment, and the benefits, wages, and working conditions that will be offered to U.S. and H‐2A workers.

What to File:
• File a completed ETA Form 790 ( including all the attachments explaining the benefits, wages, and working conditions of the job; and,
• A cover letter stating that the job order will be used in connection with a future H2A application and requesting that an inspection of your housing be scheduled.

When and Where to File:
The agricultural job order (s) must be filed with DCS no more than 75 calendar days and no less than 60 calendar days prior to the first day of need for the workers. If the work to be performed is located in more than one state within the same geographic area, Job Orders may be submitted to any one of the state agencies covering the anticipated locations.
The employer may file the ETA 790 application package at the following address:

By Mail:
Department of Career Services
19 Staniford Street, 1st Floor
Boston, MA 02114
Attn. Foreign Labor Certification Unit


2. H-2B Non-Agricultural Processing

On April 29, 2015, the Departments of Labor and Homeland Security jointly published new regulations governing the H-2B Temporary Non-agricultural Labor Certification Program. This interim final rule became effective April 29, 2015. Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on this interim final rule on or before June 29, 2015.

The H-2B Temporary Non-agricultural Program allows U.S. employers who meet specific regulatory requirements to bring foreign nonimmigrant workers to the United States to fill temporary non-agricultural jobs.

How to File for H-2B Certification

    1. Obtain a Prevailing Wage Determination from the National Prevailing Wage Center for the occupation in the area of intended employment by submitting an Application for Prevailing Wage Determination (form ETA 9141).
    2. Refer to DOL’s website on H-2B Foreign Labor Certification for details about the new H-2B Interim Final Rule on how to submit your application and job order for the H-2B process during the transition period.

H-2B Resources

    • DOL’s website on H-2B:
    • I-Cert Portal:
    • Filing Tips from the U.S. Department of Labor pdf format of H-2B Employer Filing Tips


Posting a Job Order with the Department of Career Services (DCS):
Currently, employers have two options for filing a job order with DCS. The first option allows employers to post their job orders in the State’s JobQuest system. The JobQuest web-portal is available at no cost for both the Job Seeker and the Employer and is designed to assist match job seekers with employers who are hiring.

Once in JobQuest employers can:

Post Job Openings (login required)
Find Candidates - Review resumes of qualified job seekers
Check out Activities and Workshops at Massachusetts One-Stop Career Centers(sample topics include: employment law, labor market information, hiring trends, etc…).

The second option is for you to visit or contact the One-Stop Career Centers in the area of intended employment and ask to for the Business Service Representative (BSR) who will be able to assist you place the job order in our system. The job order must state that it is filed in connection with a future H-2B application; it should be filed no more than 120 days before the employer's anticipated date of need and must be posted for a period of no less than 10 full calendar days or as per U.S. DOL instructions.


Employers may submit their H-2A or H-2B applications to the Chicago National Processing Center (CNPC) electronically via the DOL’s iCERT Portal System OR submit their application via mail directly to the CNPC. The employer must choose only one method of submission. Duplicate applications, where the employer or authorized representative files electronically and submits that same application via U.S. mail, will be rejected.

Massachusetts Contact Information
For questions about MA Department of Career Services role in the Foreign Labor Programs, call (617) 626-5300.