Labor Certification Definition

Cite this article as:"Labor Certification Definition," in The Business Professor, updated March 21, 2019, last accessed October 28, 2020,


Labor Certification – Definition

Labor Certification is an idea of the US immigration services in which the employers have to take part in the Department of Labor, United States in order to certify that the qualified American employees are not available for placement in vacant seats. For this, the employers devise a policy to sponsor an overseas worker based on the long term and legal accommodation.

It has become a requirement for the employers of the United States to give jobs to foreign eligible workers. Their immigration is based on their expertise. They stay in the US just because of their employment status. They can be called non-immigrants or temporary employees. They are appointed when there is no other alternative US citizen available for the same position. The Secretary of Labor issues a Labor Certification for the attestation of the employers of the United States. The availability of labor in the US is determined when visa applications are received. For the appointment, the location is selected where the foreign worker wants to serve.

A Little More on Labor Certification

Labor Certification is a step of a process by the USA immigration. Its objective is to provide protection to the workers of the United States and its labour market. It ensures that the overseas employees, who are in search of classification for the immigrant visa, are not going to fire equally eligible workers of the United States.

The employers of the United States have many available options, who want to get the services of non-immigrant foreign workers based on the temporary as well as long term employment, such as H-1B visas, TN status and L-1 Visas, etc. The temporary employment option is mostly sufficient to measure up to the requirements of the employer and worker. However, if an employer of the United States wants to hire a foreign employee, the process of sponsorship is complicated. First, a green card is issued and it takes many years to complete the process. Normally, (not always) Labor Certification is the 1st step. It is a process of giving evidence that the eligible workers of the United States are not there for the proposed position. If they are eligible, generally speaking, even the least eligible, the employer cannot hire foreign workers on that position based on permanent employment. It does not mean that they will replace the overseas worker with a qualified worker of the United States immediately. The foreign employee will still be able to serve out the rest of his existing temporary visa of the United States. Similarly, he can apply again in case of Labor Certification. He will get approval. But it is significantly inconvenient for the employer of the United States, who wants to get the services of an overseas worker. Thus, it ensures protection to the workers of the United States. However, the process is arguably criticized.

Since the Labor Certification has several immigration procedures, it is considered controversial. The ones who speak in support of Labor Certification, give an argument that it is a strongly accurate procedure to determine that just those overseas workers will be hired, who are having the true skill set, the labour market of the United States requires and not promptly available on a local level.

However, the opponents are of the view that the employers of the United States will employ a foreign worker first on a category of visa which is temporary but long term. Then, they will modify the job description. The purpose is obvious that the foreign employee is the only man who might be appointed. So, they involve in gaming on the name of Labor Certification to ensure a favourable result.

The Department of Labor established a system for Labor Certification known as PERM (Program Electronic Review Management) on 28th March 2005. This is indeed the 1st step in the application process of legal permanent accommodation on the basis of a job to the green card holder. PERM aims to defend workers of the United States and the employment market. It means PERM was established to guarantee that overseas employees are not going to fill the job vacancies that the workers of the United States might fill otherwise.

References for Labor Certification

Academic Research on the Labor Certification

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