H1B professionals or any one else who doesn’t work for an international organization or who does not possess exceptional skills who wants a green card invariably must seek labor certification in order to qualify for a green card.
Labor certification requires the employer to prove that no American workers are available who meet the minimum job requirements at the prevailing wage. The process prohibits employers from offering below market salaries and from creating ridiculously restrictive job restrictions in order to exclude US workers. If no US workers are available the US Dept of Labor certifies the job as being available for foreign workers.
The employer must negotiate a job description and salary with the state job service. Each state has a separate job service. The Job Service will tell the employer where to advertise the position and review the employers recruitment results. Assuming the Job Service agrees that no US workers meet the minimum job requirements, the file is forwarded to the US Dept of Labor for final approval.
With Labor Certification in hand the applicant may then apply to the Immigration and Naturalization Service for the green card.
The process takes one to two years unless the employer has recruited for the same position during the six months period prior to the Labor Certification application. In the later case expect a one year processing time.
The priority date for green card petitions is the date of filing the labor certification. This means labor certification processing times count toward the quota waiting periods if applicable.
We utilize labor certification as a last resort. Its prudent to explore all other options before going down this road. You won’t like the process, employers hate the process, and it’s expensive. How would you like to interview job applicants you have no intention of hiring?