ETA Form 9089 and Its Role in the Hiring of Foreign Workers

If you wish to live and work in the United States, one of the easiest ways to make that happen is through employer sponsorship. This starts with ETA Form 9089. Your employer will need to fill this out and submit it before you can secure your work visa. Here is a general overview of how these matters are handled.


ETA Form 9089 is the Application for Permanent Employment Certification, which is available through the U.S. Department of Labor. It is always completed and filed by the employer seeking to employ the foreign worker.

Once completed, the form contains basic information like the name of the worker, his or her address, the employer’s contact information and other details. It also includes details that could derail the visa approval. Sections F, G, H and I discuss wages and recruitment. There is also Section J, which shows how the foreign worker is qualified for the position.


If there is a place where an employer can make a big mistake, it is in the wage and recruitment section. Basically, employers cannot bring in a foreign worker if U.S. workers are left unconsidered or as a means to forgo market wages. The information in Sections F, G, H and I in Form 9089 help assess that situation.

That is why accuracy on the form is of the utmost importance. Employers need to keep records of recruitments and double check dates and facts on the form. If you are an employee waiting for authorization, make sure you keep any documentation in your control, as well, in case it comes in handy if your employer must appeal.

Also, employers are advised to research prevailing wages in their field very thoroughly, since misrepresenting it can result in a denial. If there is a dispute over the wage information, that research will be instrumental in settling it and allowing the visa process to move forward.

It can take several months before an employer hears back on the application, and if it is denied, there is an appeal process. This can take several more months before the visa is approved and the foreign worker can start in his or her new position.

If you are an employer looking to hire a foreign professional or an employee awaiting a resolution, please contact us.

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