DOL Issues FAQ on Foreign National Qualifications

A permanent labor certification issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) allows an employer to hire a foreign national to work permanently in the United States. The application for a labor certification is filed via the DOL’s Permanent Case Management System (PERM) using the ETA Form 9089. The ETA Form 9089 must be completely and accurately filled out.  Failure to do so may result in an audit or even a denial.

DOL had been denying PERM cases where the job position required a license, but the beneficiary’s acquisition of the license appeared nowhere on the ETA Form 9089.  Neither the form nor the instructions indicated where to put a license or similar qualification.  Furthermore, the issue started to spread beyond licensure to include other types of qualifications such as certifications, post graduate diplomas, board certifications, passage of exams, knowledge gained through coursework, and other professional qualifications.

DOL recently issued a Frequently Answered Question (FAQ) which answered the question: “Where on the ETA 9089 Form should I enter the foreign worker’s qualifications, such as certifications, licensure, or other credentials,  to show that he/she meets the actual minimum requirements?”  The answer directs employers to put this information in Section K for “experience.”  This answer creates additional issues when completing the ETA Form 9089.  However, the guiding principle is that if a qualification for the job is listed in Section H, it must also appear somewhere in Section K.

It is not recommended that you or your employer pursue labor certification alone. Please contact one of our experienced attorneys who will guide you through PERM process.

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