Updated October 26, 2020

ETA 9089

ETA 9089 is the form distributed by the United States Government Department of Labor so foreign employees can get permanent work approval. It replaced ETA Form 750 as of March 28, 2005.

Requirements to Obtain Permanent Employment Certification

The requirements are that the employer needs to fill a full-time permanent job offering fair market value compensation. The employer must show that they have made a good faith effort to hire a United States citizen prior to filing ETA 9089. Additionally, employers cannot change the job requirements in order to match the applicant’s qualifications.

How Does An Employer File ETA Form 9089?

This form can be filed electronically at the Department of Labor or through the mail. Supporting documents including financial records, proof of residency and payroll records for verification purposes. There is no application fee.

What Happens After The Application Is Filed?

Once the application is filed, it will be processed by the Department of Labor. Typically, this will take around three months. The Department of Labor will verify that no qualified US citizen was available for the job, wages for the job, and proper working conditions.

Electronic Filing

Employers may file ETA 9089 electronically through the Department of Labor’s website. Frequent applicants may setup permanent files within the system to expedite applications. This will ensure that all common information about the applications will be entered automatically. Only unique information will need to be entered.

Filing by Mail

Processing for applications by mail is done in Atlanta or Chicago depending on the position’s location.

For positions located in Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi,  New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, and West Virginia, applications should be sent to the United States Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Atlanta National Processing Center, Harris Tower, 233 Peachtree Street, N.E., Suite 410, Atlanta, Georgia 30303.

For positions located in  Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, applications should be sent to the United States Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Chicago National Processing center, Railroad Retirement Board Building, 844 N. Rush Street, 12th Floor, Chicago, Illinois 60611.


Forms must be filed within 18 months after selection. Notice must be given to the Department of Labor between 30 and 180 days prior to filing. Additionally, all recruitment efforts for United States citizens for the position must be conducted between 30 and 180 days prior to hiring.

Labor Certification Step One: PWD Request

The initial part of the application is a “prevailing wage request”. This contains information about the position including location, responsibilities, and skills. The Department of Labor uses this to ensure that employers are paying fair wages for the position.

Labor Certification Step Two: Placing Ads and Recruiting

Employers must demonstrate that no willing or qualified US citizen or green card holder was available for the position. This means providing proof of recruitment efforts such as advertisements in newspapers on two different Sundays and a listing with the state workforce agency where the job is located. These advertisements need to be placed 180 days prior to filing the application. 

Labor Certification Step Three: Filing ETA Form 9089

Once steps one and two are complete, then the employer may file ETA Form 9089 with the Department of Labor electronically or by mail. The Department of Labor will approve, deny, or audit the application.

If the application is audited, then the employer will be asked to provide more supporting documents. Once these documents are provided, the Department of Labor will once again process the application.

If the application is approved, then the employer will file i-140 visa petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Common Mistake #1 – Failing to Double Check EVERYTHING on ETA Form 9089

Employers must be diligent in ensuring that there are no errors within the application in regards to missing, incorrect, or incomplete information. Additionally, all forms submitted to the Department of Labor need to be consistent in terms of biographical details.

Common Mistake #2 – Putting Advertisements on the Incorrect Dates

Another common mistake by inexperienced employers is not placing advertisements for the job in different newspapers and appropriately spaced out. Ads need to be placed in three different newspapers and on two different Sundays. Applicants who do not show a good faith effort to recruit domestically for the position will be rejected.

Common Mistake #3 – Failing to Include the Alien’s Present and Past Supervisors

Employers must also include information about the foreign applicant’s employment history. This includes their details about their work history, previous supervisors, and their supervisors’ contact information. An absence of this information will result in immediate dismissal of the petition.

Common Mistake #4 – Failing to Reply to Emailed DOL Questionnaire

Upon receipt of the application, the Department of Labor will send an email to the applicant with a simple questionnaire. This is to ensure that the form was submitted by the employer. If this questionnaire is not returned within seven days, the application will not be processed.

Common Mistake #5 – Failing to Remember PERM Documentation

Employers must hold onto all relevant documentation for five years after filing. Even after the application is approved or rejected. These documents may be required during future audits.

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