Kolken & Kolken. Results-oriented immigration lawyers - specializing in Green Card, Deportation Cases and Temporary Visas.

Labor Certification

Does your employer want to sponsor you for a Geen Card?


Employment based immigration involves a number of government agencies within the Federal Department of Labor, the State Department of Labor, the United States Citizenship and Immigrant Services (USCIS) and the Department of State.

A permanent labor certification issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) allows an employer to hire a foreign worker to work permanently in the United States. In most instances, before the U.S. employer can submit an immigration petition to the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the employer must obtain an approved labor certification request from the DOL's Employment and Training Administration (ETA).

The DOL must certify to the USCIS that there are no qualified U.S. workers able, willing, qualified and available to accept the job at the prevailing wage for that occupation in the area of intended employment and that employment of the alien will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.

To obtain a labor certification the U.S. employer must complete a labor certification request (Form ETA 750) for the applicant, and submit it to the Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration. The DOL must either grant or deny the certification request.

If the DOL grants Labor Certification, the next step in the process is to obtain USCIS approval of an immigrant visa petition, Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker (the Green Card Petition), for the person wishing to immigrate to the United States. However, until your employer receives Department of Labor certification the Green Card process may not be started. The employer acts as the sponsor (or petitioner) for the applicant (or beneficiary) who wants to live and work on a permanent basis in the United States.  Thankfully, a new procedure allows you to file your Green Card application (I-485) at the same time your employer files their petition to sponsor you (I-140). Unfortunately, it could take a year + to obtain labor certification and it is also impossible to predict immigrant visa availability.

Assuming you are inside the United States working for your employer when your employer receives labor certification from the DOL you may then apply to adjust to permanent resident status after a visa number becomes available (apply for your Green Card).

If you are outside the United States when an immigrant visa number becomes available, you will be notified and you must complete the process in your home country.

Although labor certification and visa availability is an uncertainty in most cases it is advisable to commence the labor certification process in order to put your employee in a position to apply for a Green Card if you obtain certification, and if a visa is available at the time of certification.

We welcome the opportunity to speak to you about labor certification, and the Green Card process.  To speak directly to one of the partners of the firm regarding your immigration issue you may contact us via email at immigration@sackskolken.com or call the office at (716) 854-1541.

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