FAQ » Labor Certification (1st Step)

How long does this process take?



A: Pre-filing preparation of the Labor Certification Application varies from 3 to 6 months. Once the Labor Certification Application has been filed with the U.S. Department of Labor, adjudication time may vary from 1 to 5 or more months.

What happens if a qualified U.S. worker applies for my position while my Labor Certification application is pending?



A: The purpose of the Labor Certification is to prove to the U.S. Department of Labor there are no able, willing and/or qualified U.S. workers for the position offered. If the company is able to show this, the labor certification will be granted. If there is a qualified U.S. worker for the position, the application will not be approved. The employer, however, can initiate another application after 6 months has elapsed.

How do I get into the EB2 category?



A: The minimum requirements listed in items H.4 and H.6 of form ETA Form 9089 of the application must be a MS degree or, in the alternative, a BS degree and 5 years progressive related experience. The applicant must also qualify for the job by possessing the requirements listed.

If I have an approved EB3 petition, can I reapply for an EB2?



A: Yes, so long as the new position requires a BS and 5 progressive years' experience or a MS degree and you possess such qualifications.

Can I leave the company after the Labor Certification Application is filed?



A: Yes, however, you will no longer be able to benefit from the Labor Certification. Your employer can substitute in another beneficiary to use your Labor Certification.

Can I change jobs or worksite within the company after Labor Certification is filed?



A: A new labor certification would need to be filed for you if there are any material changes in employment (e.g. job description or worksite location).

Can I take a promotion before I actually get a green card?



A: Again, any material change in the terms and conditions of employment will require the filing of a new Labor Certification. If you are promoted from Engineer I to II and the job duties are essentially the same, a new application should not be required. If, however, the change in job functions are material (e.g., Engineer to Engineering Manager), a new application is needed.

Why do some company's cases get processed faster than others?



A: Each case is adjudicated on its own merits. Also, if the job requirements used are excessive and/or unjustifiable, that may lead to delays as the DOL will request more information about the business necessity of these requirements.

How will a reduction in workforce affect the Labor Certification process?



A: The process could be delayed or the application could even be denied if the DOL is not persuaded there are no able, willing and qualified U.S. workers for the position. The company may need to show that those employees terminated were not qualified for the job.