The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) permanent labor certification requirements are designed to ensure U.S. employers have done their best to find and are willing to hire qualified U.S. workers. For college and university teachers, UH simply needs to show that the international employee is the best qualified applicant, even if minimally qualified U.S. workers applied for the position.
A UH department intending to sponsor an international employee has the option of conducting a labor market test (“reselection”) to meet DOL requirements. A labor market test cannot be conducted if the position is subject to an ongoing strike or labor-related work stoppage. Labor certification is required for both the EB-2 and EB-3 immigrant categories before UH can file a Form I-140 petition on behalf of an employee.
Labor certification applications for teaching positions must be submitted to DOL within 18 months after the selection date, which is the date of the offer letter. However, FSIS must complete several pre-filing steps that can take three to four months, so departments must complete the recruitment or reselection process detailed below and submit the EB-2 or EB-3 request to FSIS within one year after the selection date.
UH department holds a permanent residence sponsorship meeting.
The department chair and/or direct supervisor, HR specialist for college/school/unit, international employee who will be sponsored, and FSIS meet to go over the permanent residence process. This meeting is optional, but recommended.
|Takes about 1 hour|
The department confirms the position and advertisements meet the DOL criteria or, in the case of reselection, revises the position description (if necessary).
The position and ad content must conform to all of the following specifications:
A best practice is to recruit only one rank at a time — that is, avoid running one ad for the Assistant, Associate, and Full levels. If this cannot be avoided, then the department must set up a very clear way of distinguishing who’s applying for which rank(s) by ensuring each applicant explicitly states the rank(s) for which they are applying.
For reselection, FSIS can review a draft of the PD to identify known potential issues before the ads are posted.
|Takes about 1 week or less|
The department confirms the position was advertised in a national professional journal or, if undergoing reselection, posts a print ad in a national professional journal.
Ads must be posted in a national professional journal (e.g., Chronicle of Higher Education or journal in the specific field) either in a print issue or as an electronic ad posted on a qualifying journal’s website for at least 30 calendar days.
Important: If more than one ad is posted, all ads must be identical to each other in job title, MQs, DQs, and duties so that all applicants are offered the same opportunity. Do not include a specific salary amount in any of the ads, though it is fine to provide links to salary schedules and to collective bargaining agreement minimum thresholds.
|Advertising period is usually 30 days; may be posted longer|
The department compiles hard copy documentation of all ads and sends a copy to FSIS. FSIS submits a prevailing wage determination request to DOL.
FSIS must submit the prevailing wage request to the DOL prior to receiving the request packet. To submit the wage request, we will need the information contained in the ads.
Ad documentation must conform to these standards (see samples):
|Takes about 1 week or less (must be done while the ads are still posted)|
DOL reviews the prevailing wage request and issue the prevailing wage determination
Before issuing the determination, DOL may request further information from FSIS and set a 7-day deadline for a response. FSIS will submit the additional information to DOL within the 7-day deadline.
|DOL takes 7 to 8 months to issue the PWD|
The department confirms the committee evaluated the applications and conducted interviews according to DOL requirements or, if undergoing reselection, review applications (if any) to determine if the foreign national is still the best qualified.
Selection committees must adhere to the following guidelines when reviewing applications and conducting interviews:
|Takes about 2 weeks – 1 month|
The department verifies there were no equally or more qualified U.S. workers in the pool and the employee meets all MQs and DQs.
To proceed with labor certification sponsorship, the international employee must be the best qualified applicant, which means there can be no equally or better qualified U.S. workers who were able, willing, and available to take the position. If there was such a U.S. worker applicant, UH cannot move forward with sponsorship. The employee can remain in the position, but the labor certification process will end here.
If there are no equally or more qualified U.S. applicants, the department must ensure the employee meets all MQs and DQs; DQs are MQs in the labor certification context. Note that any experience the employee gained in a substantially comparable UH position may not count toward meeting an MQ or DQ in the labor certification context (though they can still be selected for the job). Prior UH jobs can be used to meet an MQ or DQ for labor certification purposes only if different duties were performed at least 50% of the time in those positions.
After confirming the above two requirements are met, the department can proceed with sponsorship.
|Takes about 1 week|
The department submits its portion of the EB-2 or EB-3 request to the HR specialist for the college/school/unit.
|Takes about 1 to 2 weeks|
The committee or department mails out rejection letters to all rejected candidates via certified mail in a timely manner.
The department must keep copies of each letter and proof of delivery of all letters with the rest of the recruitment documentation. DOL may request these items later on.
|Should occur 1 to 2 weeks after selection|