Labor certification to complete your workforce with Milwaukee immigration attorneys

Labor Certification to Complete your Workforce - Milwaukee Immigration Attorneys

Our law firm supports employers to build successful workforces at their companies with diverse and international employees. Therefore, our Milwaukee immigration attorneys represent companies who need a PERM labor certification to meet their workforce needs. Specifically, we support both employers and prospective employees to fulfill professional aspirations.

Helping Companies Build Diverse and International Workplaces

Our staff speak several foreign languages. However, we also have experience working through interpreters when needed. Moreover, we maintain involvement in our community and with international organizations. If you need assistance hiring foreign labor, your lawyer will provide clear and timely information. Our law firm and staff dedicate themselves to providing professional service from our team of Wisconsin immigration lawyers.

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FAQ about Hiring International Workers

  • ​Does my business need to have a PERM labor certification to hire a foreign employee?
  • What is the process to obtain a PERM labor certification for my company?
  • What is the processing time to obtain a PERM labor certification?
  • How can my company review the status of our PERM labor certification application?
  • How long is a DOL Foreign labor certification valid?
Does my company need a labor cert to hire foreign workers?

A foreign labor certification is required for many I-140 immigrant petitions for alien workers, except for certain classes of workers.  The employment based petition exceptions to certification requirements include the following:

  • priority workers 
    • priority workers include: EB1 – employment first preference. Employment first preference include: persons with extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, or multinational managers or executives.
  • professionals holding advanced degrees or of exceptional ability
    • professionals with advanced degrees or exceptional ability include: EB2 – employment second preference applicants. These applicants receive an exemption in the national interest
  • special Immigrants (EB4 – employment fourth preference applicants)
  • immigrant investors (EB5 – employment fifth preference applicants).

There are several programs available for a company to obtain temporary or permanent foreign labor certification. The DOL may grant a certification only when it will not adversely affect domestic employees. Specifically, considerations whether the labor cert will adversely affect domestic employees include domestic employees’ job opportunities, wages, or working conditions. Once DOL approves your company’s foreign labor certification your business may file visa petitions on behalf of prospective employees.  Our Milwaukee immigration attorneys are proud to assist companies to meet their hiring needs through the labor certification process.

Do my company’s employment needs require a permanent labor certification?

A permanent labor certification issued by the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) authorizes an employer to hire foreign workers for permanent employment in the United States. The prospective employer must file an Application for Permanent Employment Certification with the DOL. According to the DOL, to receive a foreign labor cert the employer must demonstrate all the following:  

  • A real, full-time, permanent job opening available to US workers
  • The job requirements must comply with normal requirements for that occupation in the United States. An employer may not tailor the job requirements to foreign workers’ qualifications. Similarly, the requirements of the job may not present unduly restrictive job requirements unless necessary for the business.
  • The employer must pay, at a minimum, the prevailing wage. The prevailing wage is the average wage paid to similarly employed workers in a specific occupation in the area of intended employment.

​Labor certifications required for nonimmigrant employment sponsored visas authorize foreign workers for temporary employment in the United States.  Non-immigrant employment based visas include H-1B, H1-B1, E-3. While not required to obtain labor certifications, prospective employers of nonimmigrant visa beneficiaries still have filing requirements. Specifically, prospective employers of non-immigrant work based visas must file a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.  ​

What is the process to obtain permanent (PERM) labor certifications for my business?

Generally, employers hiring permanent foreign workers would expect to need a labor certification. There are some exceptions, however, to the labor certification requirement. Specifically, an exception exists for occupations if the Department of Labor (DOL) determined insufficient U.S. workers exist to meet employment needs. In this instance DOL must have determined the market lacks prospective domestic employees who are able, willing, qualified, and available for employment. The DOL must also find the professions for which they authorize hiring foreign workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.

If your business has openings for an occupation that qualifies for a labor certification exception contact Milwaukee immigration attorneys for assistance. We can ensure that your foreign worker is eligible for an employment based immigrant visa without your company obtaining labor certifications for that position. For everyone else, however, the process to obtain labor certifications is as follows:

  • The employer must request and obtain a prevailing wage determination from the National Prevailing Wage Center (NPWC).  You must obtain a prevailing wage determination must prior to applying for a labor certification. Further, the employer must include the response from NPWC in the permanent employment labor certification application.
  • Conduct domestic employment recruitment as required by 20 CFR section 656.17. Additionally, the employer must maintain records of the recruitment within 6 months prior to applying for a labor certification.
  • Prepare a recruitment report.
  • ​File an Application for Permanent Employment Certification with DOL.
  • ​Receive your labor certifications from the DOL. If DOL approves your labor cert, a certifying officer will sign it and return it to the employer.
How long does it take to obtain a permanent (PERM) labor certification?

The filing date is the date the DOL receives the labor certification application. The Department of State and USCIS use the filing date as the priority date.  According to the Department of Labor, the process can take several months. You can expect to receive a response several months after completing the recruitment steps and filing the application.  The Department of Labor publishes current processing times monthly.

How can we check the status of our company’s labor certification application?

If you filed PERM labor certification applications electronically then you can check its status online. To check the status online click the following link: iCert Visa Portal System. Then, determine the status of your application by comparing the date you filed the application to the current processing date.  If you filed your application by mail or electronically and more than 30 days have passed between the application filing date and current processing time shown, then the National Processing Center should be contacted for an update.

How long are foreign labor certifications valid when issued by DOL and is it renewable?

An employer may file immigrant petitions for alien workers within 180 days of issuance of the employer’s PERM labor certification.  Labor certifications authorizing non-immigrant foreign workers for employment sponsored H-1B and H1-B1 visas are valid for up to 3 years. However, a worker can be in H1-B status for a maximum of 6 continuous years unless extended.  Certifications authorizing employment sponsored E-3 visas are valid for up to 2 years but can be renewed indefinitely. 

In conclusion, contact Milwaukee immigration lawyers to assist you with any of your United States immigration law needs today. You could also check out our areas of practice to see all the ways our law firm can assist you.