Labor Certification requires approval by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) before an immigrant petition (I-140) can be filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). For college and university teachers, cases are filed under what is called "Special Handling" procedures. Labor certification may be granted if it can be demonstrated that at least a prevailing wage is being paid and that there are no "equally qualified" U.S. workers available and willing to take the job.
The Office of Global Services generally files Labor Certifications for junior rank faculty who have recently received their Ph.D.s since the Outstanding Professor and Researcher category requires that an applicant have, among other things, at least three years of independent teaching or research experience.
Labor certifications must be filed with the DOL within 18 months of the offer letter. DOL processing time varies but scholars should expect at least three to four months.
Scholars for whom the Office of Global Services is applying for Labor Certification must supply us with the appropriate DOL forms, updated c.v., and copy of highest degree diploma. We work closely with the department to document the recruitment process for the DOL.
Once a Labor Certification is approved, the Office of Global Services can submit an immigrant petition (I-140) to USCIS on behalf of the scholar. Processing times vary widely on approvals of I-140s.
While a Labor Certification and the I-140 are pending, scholars and their dependents may remain in H, O or E status.