Some employers in Atlanta and elsewhere in the United States may wish to hire an employee from abroad. For example, they may find that the position they wish to fill is very specialized and there simply aren’t any American candidates that qualify for it and are willing to accept the job. Thus, they may wish to sponsor an immigrant for a work visa.

Some types of work visas require that an individual from abroad already have a job offer from an employer in the U.S. In this situation, the sponsor-employer must obtain a labor certificate approved by the U.S. Department of Labor. There are several points that a labor certificate verifies regarding employment immigration.

First, a labor certificate verifies that there are not enough U.S. employees who are qualified and willing to accept the job offer. The DOL will determine the availability of American workers at the time that the employment-based visa is applied for and the location where the job is being offered. In addition, a labor certificate verifies that hiring a worker from abroad will not have a negative effect on the wages and job conditions of U.S. workers in similar positions.

Labor certification is not required for first preference EB-1 employees, such as those with extraordinary abilities or who are multinational executives. However, it is required for second preference EB-2 employees, such as those with advanced degrees or who have exceptional abilities, and third preference EB-3 employees, which include professionals and skilled workers. Those who need more information on labor certification will want to seek professional guidance, as this post does not contain legal advice.