Hiring Foreign Labor
Foreign labor certification programs permit U.S. employers to hire foreign workers on a temporary or permanent basis to fill jobs essential to the U.S. economy. Certification may be obtained in cases where it can be demonstrated that there are insufficient qualified U.S. workers available and willing to perform the work at wages that meet or exceed the prevailing wage paid for that occupation in the area of intended employment.
Foreign labor certification programs are designed to assure that the admission of foreign workers into the United States on a permanent or temporary basis will not adversely affect the job opportunities, wages, and working conditions of U.S. workers.
Employment based immigration is a complex process that may involve a number of government agencies within the Federal Department of Labor, the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation (DLR), the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) and the Department of State.
H-2A Temporary Labor Certification (Agricultural)
The H-2A labor certification program establishes a means for agricultural employers who anticipate a shortage of domestic workers to bring nonimmigrant foreign workers to the U.S. to perform agricultural labor or services of a temporary or seasonal nature. Learn more about H-2A (including forms needed).
H-2B Temporary Labor Certifications (Nonagricultural)
The U.S. Department of Labor is making available Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding its implementation of the Northern District of Florida's March 18, 2015 decision to temporarily stay its earlier judgment in Perez v. Perez, No. 3:14-cv-682 (N.D. Florida, Mar. 4, 2015). As a result of this stay, the Department has temporarily resumed processing of requests for H-2B prevailing wage determinations and applications for H-2B temporary non-agricultural labor certification until April 15, 2015. See the FAQs (in Adobe PDF format) on the U.S. Department of Labor website.
The H-2B labor certification program establishes a means for U.S. nonagricultural employers who anticipate a shortage of domestic workers, to bring temporary nonimmigrant foreign workers into the U.S. H-2B eligibility requires the job and the U.S. employer's need for the foreign worker be of a temporary nature. The need must be for one year or less and can be either a one-time occurrence, seasonal, peak load or intermittent. While regulation may allow up to 364 days of employment, the certifying officer will deny a request for an H-2B Registration or an Application for Temporary Employment Certification where the employer has a need lasting more than nine months, unless the employer's need is based on a one-time occurrence. Learn more about H-2B (including forms needed).
For questions regarding the H-2A or H-2B Foreign Labor Certification program, contact DLR's Foreign Labor Certification Program Specialist, Mary Fleming.
For questions regarding the PERM or H-1B, Foreign Labor Certification programs, please contact the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Foreign Labor Certification.
South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation
Foreign Labor Certification Program
700 Governors Drive
Pierre, SD 57501