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 more than 763 ​farmers and more than 3,500 guest workers. For more information, contact Jeff Gatewood at 502-782-3079 or

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 (OET), 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 U.S. 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, go 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 (USDOL). Once the application is certified, the employer must petition the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for a visa. Approval by USDOL does not guarantee a visa issuance. The Department of State 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.
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: Visit the Bureau for Citizenship and Immigration Services website at
For prevailing wage requests, go to:
For complaints regarding the provision of services for agriculture job seekers or businesses, contact the state monitor advocate:

Jeff Gatewood
275 E. Main St., 2WA
Frankfort, KY 40621
Phone: 502-782-3079 

Labor market information
Labor market information is available to assist employers, job seekers, students, economic developers, planners and researchers understand Kentucky’s economy and make informed labor market decisions. There is a wide range of economic planning information, industry and occupational information, and social and demographic information, along with other pertinent data and information available to assist many varied private and governmental customers. 
The primary location where labor market and workforce information is housed is on the Workforce Kentucky Internet website. Click here to access this information. Contact the Research and Statistics Branch at 502-564-7976 for additional assistance.

Federal contract job listings
All employers who have contracts (or subcontracts) with the Federal Government of $100,000 or more are required by federal law to list their job openings with the state employment agency in the state where the job openings exist or list their job openings on America’s Job Bank. These employers are required to use affirmative action in hiring certain veterans to fill those job openings and must file an annual report with Veterans Employment and Training Services showing the number of campaign veterans and special disabled veterans on their workforce.
OET will assist employers with a federal contract with meeting recruitment requirements of the federal contractor job listing. In accordance with federal law, veterans automatically receive priority in referral on all job openings. Employers will greatly benefit from hiring hard working, disciplined, job-ready veterans who bring valuable skills and experience in the latest technology to industries and businesses each day.
Employers may list openings online using Focus Talent or call the nearest KCC office​ to post job openings.

Unemployment insurance
Funded by employers’ Federal Unemployment Tax Act taxes, unemployment insurance provides income to those who lose their jobs through no fault of their own or are on temporary layoff until they find new employment or are recalled by their previous employer to return to work.
A claimant will need to bring identification, preferably a picture identification when filing a claim. Claimants also will need to provide former employer’s address and the dates worked for each employer. Once an initial claim has been filed, the Automated Benefits Exchange, often referred to as the Voice Response Unit (VRU), may be used to claim benefits.

Office of Employment and Training
275 E. Main St., second floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
Phone: 502-564-7456; Fax: 502-564-7459
Kentucky Relay Service:  800-648-6057