Prior to bringing foreign workers into the U.S., an employer must file a labor certification application. In connection with filing the labor certification application, the employer must offer and pay wages that are no less than the prevailing wage for the occupation in the area of intended employment, and to initiate a work search to recruit qualified U.S. workers to the job opening. The employer can reject U.S. applicant only for job-related reasons. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issues determinations for certification or denial of employers’ applications.
- Permanent (PERM) applications are filed only with the U.S. Department of Labor.
- Temporary or Seasonal worker applications are filed with the U.S. Department of Labor, Chicago National Processing Center.
The DOL has centralized the processing of temporary program applications in the Chicago National Processing Center (NPC). Employers filing temporary applications must submit their applications to the Chicago NPC at the address listed below, effective the dates outlined below.
U.S. Department of Labor
Employment and Training Administration
Chicago National Processing Center
844 N. Rush Street
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: (312) 886-8000
Fax: (312) 353-3352
Regulations for H2B (non-agricultural) Temporary
Labor Certifications: Effective January 18, 2009
Regulations for H2A (non-agricultural) Temporary
Labor Certifications: TBD
Click here http://www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov/ for more information and filing instructions.
Questions regarding the programs can be directed to:
For H-2B employers: H-2B.Regulations@dol.gov
For H-2A employers: H-2A.Regulations@dol.gov
Prevailing Wage Information
In connection with the filing of all labor certification applications, the Department of Labor is required to determine the prevailing wage for the occupation in the area of intended employment.
For purposes of foreign labor certification, a prevailing wage is defined as the average wage paid to similarly employed workers in the requested occupation in the area of intended employment. Agricultural Foreign Labor Certification: Agricultural employers who anticipate a shortage of U.S. workers may file an application requesting temporary foreign agricultural labor certification.
Among other conditions that need to be satisfied the employer are required to pay the highest of Federal/State minimum wage. Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AWER) or the Prevailing Wage Rate. In order to establish the prevailing wage rate surveysmust be conducted for each agricultural crop activity in which certification is sought.
Non-Agricultural Foreign Labor Certification: Prevailing wages are established by the U.S. Department of Labor and published on the DOL web site. Wage determinations are made by the Chicago National Processing Center (NPC).
Click to go to the Online Wage Library Web site.