Foreign Labor Certification

Certification for companies hiring foreign workers


The Foreign Labor Certification program qualifies an employer to hire foreign workers if an employer cannot find qualified and available U.S. workers to fill vacancies.

H-2A Temporary Agricultural Program

The H-2A Temporary Agricultural Program allows agricultural employers who anticipate a shortage of domestic workers to bring nonimmigrant foreign workers to the U.S. to perform agricultural labor or services of a temporary or seasonal nature. Employment is of a seasonal nature when it is tied to a certain time of year by an event or pattern, such as a short annual growing cycle and requires labor levels above what is necessary for ongoing operations. Employment is of temporary nature when the employer’s need to fill the position with a temporary worker will, except in extraordinary circumstances, last no longer that one year.

H-2B Certification

The H-2B Temporary Non-agricultural Program permits employers who meet the program requirements to hire non-immigrant workers to temporarily come to the U.S. and perform non-agricultural services or labor based on the employer’s temporary need. The employer applicant must establish that its need for non-agricultural services or labor is temporary in nature, regardless of whether the underlying job is permanent or temporary. 

Temporary need must be established as one of the following:

  • One-time occurrence
  • Seasonal need
  • Peakload need
  • Intermittent need

With the exception of a one-time occurrence need, which can last up to three years, temporary need will not be approved for longer than nine months. 

H-2B Requirements 

In order to issue an H-2B certification to an employer, the U.S. Department of Labor must determine that:

  • There are not sufficient U.S. workers who are qualified and who will be available to perform the temporary services or labor for which an employer desires to hire foreign workers
  • The employment of H-2B workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers

To participate in the H-2B program, an applicant must:

  • Be an employer possessing a valid Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)
  • Be a place of business (i.e. a physical location) in the United States
  • Possess a means by which it may be contacted for employment

The employer’s job opportunity must be:

  • Temporary (9 months or less, except one-time occurrences)
  • Full-time (35 or more hours per week)
  • Non-agricultural employment within a specific area(s) of intended employment
ETA 9141
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Prevailing Wage
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Temporary Agricultural Employment of H-2A Aliens in the United States
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