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What is labor certification?

If you have come or want to come to the U.S. to work but are not a citizen, you will need to go through several steps to do so in accordance with the law. Depending on the type of work you will be doing, you will need to secure a visa that will allow you work in this country temporarily or permanently.

Some people will be required to also have labor certification to work here. Labor certification is an acknowledgement by the Secretary of Labor that an employer's request for immigrant labor is appropriate and approved. Not every person will need to have labor certification, however. In this post we will look at those who typically will not be required to go through this step.

According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services:

  • Workers with extraordinary abilities who qualify for EB-1 visas will not need labor certification
  • "Special immigrants" who qualify for EB-4 visas will not need labor certification
  • Business investors will not need labor certification as long as they are investing a certain amount of money in new or targeted areas that will have at least 10 full-time employees in the U.S.

If you already have a job offer from an employer in the U.S., it will be up to that employer to secure the labor certification. In order to do this, he or she will need to show that the request for labor is justified based on insufficient employee prospects in the U.S. and that hiring from outside the U.S. will not negatively affect workers in this country who are already doing similar jobs.

Failure to secure all the appropriate documentation for an employment-based visa can lead to denied applications and costly delays. Rather than run the risk of missing out on critical job and residency opportunities in the U.S., it can be crucial for people with concerns or questions about working in this country to speak with an attorney.

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