To qualify for the green card in the EB-2 or EB-3 green card categories, the immigrant worker must obtain approval of a labor certification for the job he/she is being offered by a U.S. employer.
Labor certification is the process by which the intending immigrant attempts to show that he will not displace a U.S. worker by accepting the job which is being offered by a sponsoring U.S. business, non-profit organization, or educational institution. The job opening must be advertised locally, and the employer must show that there is no U.S. worker in the local community sufficiently qualified or available to accept the job.
In this process, it must be shown that the immigrant’s acceptance of the job would not serve to lower local wages. The sponsor must offer the job at what is called the “prevailing wage,” which is the average wage paid to workers in the same or similar jobs in the sponsor’s local region, based on the statistics of the Department of Labor.
Under some conditions, certain occupations or certain individuals, based on their specialized skills or experience, are exempt from the labor certification requirement.
Two occupations which can qualify in the EB-2 category without labor certification are: Scientists and artists can obtain exemption from the labor certification if they qualify in the so-called Schedule A, Group II category.