DOL FAQ on Placement of Employee’s Qualifications for the Job Offered

The Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC), which is part of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), maintains an online resource with frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the foreign labor certification process. A July 2014 update to these FAQs clarifies where to include information on the application for permanent employment certification (ETA form 9089) about certain types of credentials held by the foreign worker, when needed.

Confusion over Where to List Credentials Unrelated to Prior Work Experience

In a PERM labor certification case, the DOL requires that the foreign worker’s qualifications meet the minimum requirements for the position, and that the worker’s qualifications be listed on the ETA 9089. Under Section K of the ETA 9089, which is labeled “Alien Work Experience,” the individual’s relevant work history should be listed. The information in this section is used to establish that the applicant meets certain requirements for the offered position. For each prior (or current) job recorded, questions 1 through 8 ask for various details about the position, while question 9 of this section asks for “Job details (duties performed, use of tools, machines, equipment, skills, qualifications, certifications, licenses, etc.).” If that previous position required certain credentials held by the applicant, such as certifications or licensures, and these credentials are also necessary to fill the offered position, than the information should be listed here. However, if the individual holds a required license or certificate that was not a requirement of a previous position listed on the ETA 9089, it was not entirely clear where or how to provide this information on the form.

OFLC FAQ Update Resolves Issue

The updated FAQ provides some clarity to this scenario. In it, the OFLC explains that:

“If not listed elsewhere, the list of certificates, licenses, professional coursework, or other credentials held by the foreign worker and required in order to perform the job opportunity, should be entered after all jobs held in the past three years are listed, under Question 9 …; Question Numbers 1-8 requesting information about the job can be left blank.”


When filing a labor certification case, each question must be answered accurately and completely. Failure to do so may result in an audit, or worse, a denial. Those with questions about navigating through the PERM process are encouraged to schedule a consultation with a Murthy Law Firm attorney.

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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.