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Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: What is the Foreign Labor Certification Process for hiring foreign workers?

Answer: Hiring foreign workers for employment in the U.S. normally requires approval from several government agencies. In most instances, employers first seek labor certifcation from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Once the application is certified by DOL (approved), the employer must petition the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for a visa. Approval of labor certificate does not guarantee a visa issuance. The Department of State (DOS) will issue an immigrant visa number to the foreign worker for U.S. entry. Applicants must also establish that they are admissible to the U.S. under the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

The foreign labor certification process is the responsibility of the employer, not the employee; however, the employee can benefit from understanding these programs. The actual procedures depend on the nature of the visa being requested: Permanent, H-1B, H-2A, H-2B, D-1.



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