Foreign Labor Certification Programs
[Programs & Services by DCS]
Prior to bringing foreign workers into the U.S., an employer must file a labor certification application. In connection with filing the labor certification application, the employer must offer and pay wages that are no less than the prevailing wage for the occupation in the area of intended employment, and to initiate a work search to recruit qualified U.S. workers to the job opening. The employer can reject U.S. applicants only for job-related reasons. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issues determinations for certification or denial of employers' applications. The DOL has centralized the processing of temporary program applications in the Chicago National Processing Center (NPC). Employers filing temporary applications must submit their applications to the Chicago NPC at the address listed below, effective the dates outlined below:
U.S. Department of Labor
Employment and Training Administration
Chicago National Processing Center
844 N. Rush Street
12th Floor
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: (312) 886-8000
Fax: (312) 353-3352
Regulations for H2B (non-agricultural) Temporary Labor Certifications: Effective January 18, 2009
Regulations for H2A (agricultural) Temporary Labor Certifications: Effective January 18, 2009
Full implementation of H2A (Agricultural) Temporary Labor Certifications: Effective July 1, 2009
Click here for more information and filing instructions.
Questions regarding the programs can be directed to:
For H-2B employers:
For H-2A employers:

Prevailing Wage Information
In connection with the filing of all labor certification applications, the state is required to determine the prevailing wage for the occupation in the area of intended employment.
For purposes of foreign labor certification, a prevailing wage is defined as the average wage paid to similarly employed workers in the requested occupation in the area of intended employment. Agricultural Foreign Labor Certification: Agricultural employers who anticipate a shortage of U.S. workers may file an application requesting temporary foreign agricultural labor certification.
Among other conditions that need to be satisfied the employers are required to pay the highest of Federal/State minimum wage, Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AWER) or the Prevailing Wage Rate. In order to establish the prevailing wage rate surveys must be conducted for each agricultural crop activity in which certification is sought.
Non-Agricultural Foreign Labor Certification: Prevailing wages are established by the U.S. Department of Labor and published on their web site. Wage determinations are made by the DCS Foreign Labor Certification Unit using Form 2418, Prevailing Wage Request Form.
Click here to go to the Online Wage Library Web site
MassPWForm_Instructions.pdf (Adobe Acrobat file)
PW_Request.doc (Microsoft Word document)
Email instructions (Microsoft Word document)
Contact: John Lalumiere
Call: 617-626-5333