U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) provides for about 140,000 visas each fiscal year for individuals, and their spouses and children, who wish to immigrate to the U.S. and remain there permanently based on their job skills. For some visa categories, you are required to have a job offer from a U.S. employer. An employer also may be required to obtain labor certification if the employer wants to employ foreign workers based on their job skills or nonimmigrant temporary workers to perform services for which there are no qualified authorized workers available in the United States. Before a prospective employee can even qualify for a visa, the employer must successfully go through the labor certification process. To obtain labor certification, the employer must certify the following to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL):
· There are insufficient numbers of currently available, qualified, and willing U.S. workers to fill a particular position in a certain U.S. location.
· Hiring a foreign worker’s employment will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers in similar positions.
The employer then submits the application to the U.S. Department of Labor, which must issue the approved labor certification.
The visa categories for which labor certification is required include the following:
· Second Preference EB-2 – persons who are holding advanced degrees in their professions or persons with exceptional abilities in the arts, sciences, or business (unless the applicant can obtain a national interest waiver)
· Third Preference EB-3 – professionals, skilled workers, and other workers
As indicated above, there are circumstances in which an immigrant can request that labor certification be waived because it is in the interest of the United States. Waiver requests normally are granted to those individuals who have exceptional ability and whose employment would greatly benefit the nation. To qualify for a waiver, you must meet at least three out of several criteria, which includes evidence of a college degree or its equivalent in your area of exceptional ability, letters documenting at least 10 years of full-time employment in your occupation, membership in a professional association, and similar criteria.
Peek & Toland dedicates a large part of its practice to helping both individuals and businesses resolve their immigration-related issues. Immigration law is a complex, ever-changing area of the law that necessitates legal advice from experienced immigration lawyers who keep up-to-date with all relevant changes in law and policy. We will work with you to achieve the most positive outcome possible in your situation. Call our office today and set up a consultation with our skilled immigration attorneys today.