Georgia Foreign Labor Certification Information
The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) is the State Workforce Agency (SWA) responsible for helping Georgia employers hire foreign workers in accordance with federal regulations. GDOL has offices located throughout the state that help employers recruit qualified U.S. workers through the GDOL's Labor Exchange System Employ Georgia. GDOL provides employers with other U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) mandated foreign labor certification process services and helps employers complete the SWA related segments of the temporary foreign labor H-2A and H-2B process.
Process and Postings
Agricultural Recruitment System (ARS)
The Agricultural Recruitment System (ARS), through GDOL, can help employers find temporary agricultural or food processing workers. The automated system Employ Georgia links employers who have temporary agricultural and food processing jobs with U.S. workers who are interested in these positions. Using a network of GDOL offices, the ARS is able to help employers locate and recruit interested and qualified workers wherever they may be in the U.S.
The ARS should not be confused with the H-2A Program. The H-2A Program is a separate program that allows agricultural employers to request approval to recruit and hire nonimmigrant foreign workers for temporary agricultural work. The H-2A Program may be accessed only when it is anticipated that there will be a shortage of domestic agricultural workers. The two programs are related, in that, the H-2A Program requires that employers requesting H-2A Certification first attempt to recruit U.S. workers through the ARS Program. Contact your local GDOL career center to begin posting your local agricultural order.
Agricultural - H-2A
The H-2A Foreign 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 labor or services of a temporary or seasonal nature. Employers can view the complete version of the H-2A regulations and a detailed description of how to hire foreign workers at www.dol.gov/agencies/eta/foreign-labor. This site provides answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ), related Internet links, (e.g. an online wage library), and the necessary forms and instructions for submitting an application to the Chicago National Processing Center (CNPC) through the USDOL's Foreign Labor Application Gateway (FLAG) System.
The H-2A Program may be used only when it is anticipated that there will be a shortage of U.S. agricultural workers at the time the work needs to be performed. The H-2A Program requires employers requesting H-2A certification to first attempt to recruit U.S. workers through the ARS, posting your position with the local career center. Contact your local GDOL career center to begin posting your local agricultural order. Wages and working conditions must comply with applicable federal and state employment laws.
To begin the process with USDOL
First, has recruitment been attempted through the ARS? If so, employers should then pre-file on USDOL's Foreign Labor Application Gateway (FLAG) System all job orders to be placed in connection with a future Application for Temporary Employment Certification for H-2A workers. If we accept the job order for recruitment, GDOL will recruit qualified U.S. workers during 50 percent of the clearance order contract period, as required by federal regulations.
Refer to USDOL's H-2A Foreign Labor Certification for current instructions for submitting your H-2A job order to the U.S. Department of Labor.
When to Pre-File for H-2A in Georgia
GDOL can process H-2A agricultural job orders only 60 to 75 calendar days prior to the date workers are needed. The 60-to-75-day pre-filing timeframe is calculated from the date we receive your Agricultural and Food Processing Clearance Order to the beginning date of the anticipated period of employment you specify on the form.
If you do not pre-file with Georgia 60 to 75 days before workers are needed, you can contact the U.S. Department of Labor to inquire about emergency filings.
Review of Pre-filed Job Orders
GDOL's Foreign Labor Certification Unit reviews the Agricultural and Food Processing Clearance Order ETA Form 790 and other submitted documents and will contact the employer for verification of the housing, if required.
After review, GDOL will notify the employer or employer's agent of one of the following outcomes:
- Recruitment - GDOL accepted the Agricultural and Food Processing Clearance Order for recruitment and entered the job order into GDOL's online labor exchange system Employ Georgia, for intrastate recruitment in the area of intended employment. Once the job order is added to Employ Georgia, you are required to accept GDOL's referrals.
- Deficiencies - GDOL found deficiencies in the employer's pre-filing, detailed in a Correction Deficiency Checklist. To continue the pre-filing process, you must submit a response to GDOL's Coordination and Support Unit within five calendar days, complete with amendments or documents for all requests as itemized on the deficiency checklist.
Filing with the U.S. Department of Labor
Once GDOL has approved the employer's job order for recruitment, the GDOL will change the application's status on FLAG to show that the job order has been approved and will notify the employer that we have begun recruitment. The employer may then use the DOL FLAG system to complete and submit their 9142 to DOL.
Filing for Occupations Covered by Special Procedures
If you are submitting an H-2A application for occupations covered by special procedures, refer to the appropriate USDOL Training and Guidance Letter (TEGL) for additional information on wages, working conditions, and other job requirements.
Non-agricultural - H-2B
The H-2B Foreign Labor Certification program allows employers to hire workers temporarily or permanently when there are not sufficient U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available to perform the job. In addition, the program ensures that the employment of the foreign workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers that are similarly employed.
The employer must test the labor market and attempt to recruit U.S. workers through advertisement on Employ Georgia with the Georgia Department of Labor. The program process is broken down by USDOL on H-2B, Temporary Labor Certification for Non-Agriculture Workers. When filing the application with CNPC via USDOL's Foreign Labor Application Gateway (FLAG) System, a copy of the job posting must be submitted.
To begin with USDOL
Obtain a Prevailing Wage Determination from the National Prevailing Wage Center for the occupation in the area of intended employment by submitting an Application for Prevailing Wage Determination via USDOL's Foreign Labor Application Gateway (FLAG) System
Refer to USDOL's H-2B Foreign Labor Certification for current instructions for submitting your H-2B job order to the Department of Labor.
Note: Employers are prohibited from shifting costs of any kind for any activity related to obtaining the labor certification, such as "the employer's attorneys' fees, application fees, or recruitment costs."
To start the posting process with GDOL
- An employer or their Point of Contact must begin the process by creating an account and listing a job order on GDOL's Labor Exchange System Employ Georgia. Select "Foreign Labor Certification H2B non-agriculture" on the details page of the job posting under "job conditions" to identify your posting as an H-2B job posting.
- Submit a copy of the posting with your application to CNPC via USDOL's Foreign Labor Application Gateway (FLAG) System.
- Wait for the approval.
- For all H2B job postings the status will remain pending and in the draft tab of your account until the GDOL's Coordination and Support Unit receives a Notice of Acceptance Letter from the Chicago National Processing Center (CNPC) through the USDOL's Foreign Labor Application Gateway (FLAG) System.
- Once approved, begin searching for candidates.
- Once approval is received from the CNPC, employers or their agents can now search for qualified job applicants. View the Employer Video Tutorials for assistance with using Employ Georgia or contact Employ Georgia Support for additional assistance. The job order should remain "open" or left active for the mandatory duration required by the USDOL.
- Before closing the job order, employers must view the applicants list and enter the contact results (not hired, hired, not qualified, etc.) to indicate whether the job applicants were hired or not. At the conclusion of the recruitment period, simply close the job order or allow it to automatically close.
Permanent Labor Certification
Information regarding the process for Permanent Labor Certification may be obtained on the USDOL's Permanent Labor Certification.
For PERMANENT JOB orders only, go to Employ Georgia to submit online. Select "Foreign Labor Certification Other" on the details page of the job posting under "job conditions" to identify your posting as a Permanent Labor Certification job posting.
Hiring foreign workers for employment in the U.S. normally requires approval from several government agencies. First, employers must seek labor certification through the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL). Once the application is certified, the employer must petition the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for a visa. Approval by USDOL does not guarantee a visa issuance. The Department of State will issue an immigrant visa number to the foreign worker for U.S. entry. Applicants must also establish that they are admissible to the U.S. under the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Overview and Worker Rights
The foreign labor certification process is the responsibility of the employer, not the employee; however, the employee can benefit from understanding these programs. The actual procedures depend on the nature of the visa being requested.
Please visit the USDOL's Foreign Labor Certification for more information and for forms and additional instructions.
Immigration Issues: Visit the Bureau for Citizenship and Immigration Services website at uscis.gov.
View Equal Opportunity Employer/Program – Complaints for information on how to speak with a complaint specialist or the State Monitor Advocate regarding the provision of services for agriculture job seekers or businesses.
Worker Rights Information:
Protections for U.S. Workers under the H-2A Program (English)
Protections for U.S. Workers Under the H-2A Program (Spanish)
H-2A Worker Rights Card (English)
H-2A Worker Rights Card (Spanish)
Farm Worker Rights Flyer (English & Spanish)
Employee Rights Under the H-2B Program Poster (English)
Employee Rights Under the H-2B Program Poster (Spanish)
Employee Rights - H-2B Workers and COVID-19 (English)
Employee Rights - H-2B Workers and COVID-19 (Spanish)