Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

Labor Certification – Ever Heard of It? – Part I

Many of our clients would love to find employment and live in the US. Of course that would be great. However, at about the same time our clients are thinking about this, half the planet is thinking the same thing!  America is the place where millions of people want to emigrate to every year so there is a lot of pressure for US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to filter the number of people wanting to move to America down to a more manageable size.   Over the course of the next few weeks and months, I’ll be writing about how various aspects of US Immigration works so that our readers and future clients can better prepare themselves to move to America. In this first article on the subject, I’d like to talk about Labor Certification and how it works.   Did you know that you can qualify for a green card if you can find an American employer to hire you? USCIS has five tiers of green cards, but I’m going to focus on the first three as being the most relevant for the purpose of this discussion.  USCIS calls these green cards EB1, EB2 and EB3.

The EB1 green card is reserved for those aliens who are at the very top of their profession. EB1 aliens are actually exempt from Labor Certification and do not even need a job on offer. This begs the question,  ‘how do you know if you are at the top of your profession?’ USCIS has set up a number of ways you can test yourself to see if you might measure up. For example, in business, it would be looking for qualities such as industry awards, leadership in the field, peer recognition, commanding a high salary and being written about in trade or general publications and so forth. You get the idea. The more of these qualities you can prove, the more likely you’ll have a great case for EB1 consideration. The EB1 is available to almost any one in business, science, education, arts, entertainment and sports.   The EB2 green card is reserved for those aliens who have an advanced degree and/or a Masters Degree or PHD. In America it is not possible to take a Law degree unless you already have some other degree. This is because a Law degree is considered to be an Advanced degree. A Master of Arts degree and PHD are other types of advanced degrees.   The EB3 green card is reserved for all those who have a Bachelors degree, Associate degree (half a BA) or is a skilled worker whose job would require at least two years of training, such as a Nurse, Electrician, Plumber, Carpenter and so forth.   EB2 and EB3 applicants are subject to Labor Certification. In a nutshell, Labor Certification is where a US employer has to establish, to the satisfaction of the Department of Labor (DOL), that after ‘extensive efforts’ they were unable to find a ready, willing and able US citizen / US resident to take up the job vacancy.

Extensive efforts basically means that the US employer has advertised the vacancy in the local papers, at the job site, online, and after (typically) one month of effort has still not found anyone. The US employer submits those efforts online to the DOL and they in turn issue a certificate that will allow them to go ahead and hire an alien.   In Part II, I’ll discuss quotas, the prevailing wage and processing times for these straight-to-green card visas. If you can’t wait and want to get in on this opportunity right now, then please do not hesitate to contact our office for a free consultation.   Chris M. Ingram., LL.M. ESQ. ECI

US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram
Chris M. Ingram LL.M., ESQ – Immigration Attorney
Admitted in New York.
Practice Specializing in US Immigration Law
401 Wilshire, 12th Floor
Santa Monica,
California 90401
Tel: 310 496 4292