University of California, Santa Barbara

Office of International Students & Scholars - Santa Barbara, CA 93106-7150 Telephone (805) 893-2929 Fax (805) 893-7132


Labor Certification


A First Step Toward U.S. Permanent Resident Status

When a UCSB Department wishes to sponsor an employee for Permanent Residence through the Employment Based category for “members of the profession's with an advanced degree”, they must first apply for Labor Certification. Labor Certification is not permission to work, but rather it is permission granted to an employer or prospective employer to apply for Permanent Residence for a foreign national employee with certification from the Department of Labor that:

  • for a UCSB tenure or tenure track position- the foreign national was the best qualified applicant for the position; OR,
  • for any other UCSB position - the foreign national was the only applicant who met the minimum requirements for the position.

Labor Certification Criteria:
The U.S. Department of Labor grants Labor Certification only for long-term and full-time employment for positions which meet the following criteria -

  1. The position is a 100% time continuing appointment as either:
    • a Career Staff position, or
    • an Academic position with an extendible title (i.e., a title that does not have a fixed maximum period).
      • Note: Student titles are not appropriate as they are limited to the individual’s student status.
  2. the salary for the position must meet or exceed the “prevailing wage” (as determined by the State Employment Development Department) for the position (if a range is indicated, the bottom of the range must meet or exceed the EDD “prevailing wage”;
  3. UCSB must demonstrate at least the qualifying level of recruitment:
    • Two Newspaper ads - placed in Sunday edition, at least one week apart, indicating the position description, name of employer, and means for obtaining application information, and a 30 day posting on the State Workforce Agency Website or - for a University teaching position - at least one advertisement placed in a national professional journal with the same information indicated as required in the newspaper ads;
    • Two Website ads (i.e., the UCSB department website, and the Academic Personnel website); and
    • One ad in a Professional Journal, Job Fair, Newsletter, Listserv notice , ethnic newspaper, or through trade or professional organizations;
  4. the job description must be appropriate for the position title;
  5. the evaluation of recruitment must show applicant’s qualification:
    • for a University teaching position - confirmation that the selectee was the best qualified of all the available applicants. UCSB’s application for Labor Certification must be submitted to the Department of Labor within 18 months of the date the person selected was notified of the selection, or -
    • for any other type of position- confirmation that the selectee was the only applicant who met the minimum requirements for the position. UCSB’s application for Labor Certification must be submitted to the Department of Labor within 6 months of the advertising for the position.
    • NOTE: In the case of a non-teaching position, the Department of Labor may require a second opening and recruitment for the position:

      • This second recruitment will be “witnessed” by the Department of Labor in order to prove that the individual is still the only available applicant who meets the minimum position requirements. This is a real University recruitment and it must go through all the usual University channels as well as meet the minimum qualifying level of recruitment required to qualify for sponsorship for the green card.
      • If a person who has better qualifications for the position applies, the individual in the position risks losing his/her job to the more qualified applicant.
      • If any U.S. National applicant meets the minimum requirements, then this will defeat the Labor Certification, even if the person we wish to sponsor is the best qualified.

Labor Certification Application Procedures:

A UCSB Department/Institute must provide the following documents for the Labor Certification application. The petitioner for this request is UCSB as represented by the applicant’s Department Chair/Institute Director:

  1. Photocopy of the EDD Prevailing Wage form (in draft) by which we will request the “permanent position” prevailing wage determination and a copy of the UCSB pay scale page for this person’s particular position title. PLEASE NOTE that OISS will have to do a "permanent" prevailing wage form even if we have already used this same type of form for the "H1-B" request.
  2. For non-teaching positions complete data sheet for State Workforce Agency posting. (HR or OISS must post to SWA for the department. (get SWA datasheet here).
  3. Data sheet for the ETA 9089 form. (data sheet here) NOTE: This is to be signed by the Dept Chair/Inst. Head. ALSO NOTE: Please fill in the form, with the information as requested rather than referring to attachments.

and... 4 copies each of the following:

  1. Photocopy of the two posted “Notice of Application for Alien Employment Certification”. These will have to be posted by your department for the required 10 business days (excluding weekends and holidays) before we can include the signed copies with this Labor Certification packet. NOTE: This completed notice must also be posted on the Department website for 30 calendar days. (form for posting)
  2. Photocopy of the signed memo from the Director of Academic Personnel authorizing the Dept. Chair/Inst. Director to sign form I-140. Please note that the sponsoring Department/Institute prepares the memo and obtains the signature. (example memo here)
  3. Letter (one signed original and 3 photocopies ) to Department of Labor detailing the recruitment for this position, and giving justification for the resulting selection:

  4. Photocopies of UCSB “Summary of Recruitment Activities” (this should be part of UCSB required documentation for this position search).
  5. Photocopies of all recruitment advertisements (not just the text, but copies of the actual ads showing the source, publication title and publication date. The tear sheets of the ads usually have all the required information. If posted on the web, print a copy from the web and indicate the date posted, and the date taken down from posting on the bottom margin of the copy of the posting page.
  6. Photocopies of a signed copy of the letter from the Department recommending selection to the Vice Chancellor (for academic appointment), or Photocopies of the “notice of selection” which was sent to Human Resources (for staff appointment.
  7. Photocopies of the applicant’s degree as required for the position, with translation into English, where appropriate. (translation information here)
  8. Photocopies of the applicant’s current Curriculum Vitae.
  9. Statement from the applicant of “true photocopies” of documents. (example here)
  • Optional - Photocopies of position recruitment related letters of recommendation which have been authorized for release.

When OISS has all the documentation, we will prepare and submit the on-line ETA 9089 to the Department of Labor. The Department of Labor will either grant the request or require an audit of the documentation packet before they make their decision.

Processing after Labor Certification Approval:

Approval of a Labor Certification request does not give a foreign national permission to work or to stay inside the U.S. Such approval gives the employer permission to sponsor the individual for Permanent Resident status. Once the Labor Certification is approved, the application for Permanent Residence status can be initiated. This application will consist of:

  1. The approved Labor Certification documents,
  2. UCSB’s I-140 petition to sponsor the applicant for Permanent Residence with $580.00 fee to Immigration;
  3. The selectee (and immediate family member’s) application for the green card (I-485 packet(s)) with Immigration application fees.

The selectee will need to meet with Tanya in the OISS office to obtain assistance with the green card application, and the I-140 petition.