What is a Labor Certification?
All foreigners who wish to enter and work in the United States must be hired by a firm in the US. Before an employer in the US can hire foreign workers, there must be a finding or certification issued by the Department of Labor that the job skills of the foreigners seeking to be hired by the employer are skills which workers in the US do not possess or that there are no workers in the US who can do the same job as that foreigner that the US employer wishes to hire. The Department of Labor then, is required to make a finding as to the availability of US workers.
The Labor Certification issued by the Department of Labor becomes a way of alerting workers in the US to apply, if qualified, for the same job that the foreign worker is applying for. In this way, there will be less competition for workers in the US because US employers will have to hire US workers before resorting to the hiring of foreign workers. The Certification will list the number of workers already in the US who are qualified to do that very job for which a certification is being requested. The Labor Certification will also explain the effects and consequences to US workers of the hiring of a foreign worker. Particularly, the wages offered to a foreign worker must be equal to the wages offered a US worker.
The US employer has the obligation to apply for and obtain a Labor Certification. If the Department of Labor approves the certification, then the employer will file a petition with the Citizenship and Immigration Services for the issuance of a visa for the foreign worker. The employer is the sponsor for the foreign employee. Once the Commission on Immgration Services approves the visa application, the Department of State will issue the foreign worker a visa number.