Foreign Labor Certification

Agricultural - H2A

The H-2A work visa 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. Kentucky will process approximately 553 contracts and serve over 763 farmers and more than 3,500 guest workers. For further information, contact Jeff Gatewood at (502) 782-3079. Email address is

Non-Agricultural - H2B

The Kentucky 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 Office of Employment and Training, in connection with the Department of Labor, is employer driven and is designed to assist in meeting employment needs. The employer must test the labor market and attempt to recruit US workers through advertisement and Focus Talent job orders with the Kentucky Career Center.

PERMANENT: Information regarding PERMANENT may be obtained at the following websites: or

For PERMANENT JOB Orders Only, you may go directly to and submit one online.

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 (DOL). Once the application is certified (approved), the employer must petition the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) for a visa. Approval by DOL does not guarantee a visa issuance. The Department of State (DOS) 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 (INA).

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: Permanent, H-1B, H-1C, H2-A, H-2B, D-1.

Please go to Department of Labor’s Foreign Labor Certification website for more information and for Forms and Instructions to get started.

Immigration Issues: Please visit the Bureau for Citizenship & Immigration Services website at

For prevailing wage requests please go to:

If you have a complaint regarding the provision of services for agriculture job seekers or businesses please contact the state monitor advocate:

Jeff Gatewood
275 East Main Street, 2WA
Frankfort KY 40621
Phone: (502) 782-3079

Labor Market Information
Federal Contract Job Listings
Unemployment Insurance