When your business is unable to fill jobs with U.S. workers, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) offers various programs to enable employers to hire foreign workers. We are here to help North Carolina businesses with that process.

Workers from other countries are essential to a wide range of industries, and their skills can make important contributions to your bottom line and to our state’s economy. But, in order to protect American workers, employers must follow procedures to obtain permission to hire foreign workers, generally through the Permanent (“PERM”) visa program or the H-2B visa program for temporary non-agricultural jobs.

However, if you're interested specifically in agricultural foreign labor, we have information elsewhere on our site.

For North Carolina businesses, the Foreign Labor Certification (FLC) process generally involves three agencies:

  • N.C. Division of Workforce Solutions (part of the NCWorks system)
  • U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Employment & Training Administration
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

Our professionals can help guide you to the appropriate resources on how to obtain H-2B Foreign Labor Certification.

The H-2B (Non-Agricultural) Program

This visa program permits employers to hire nonimmigrant foreign workers to perform temporary non-agricultural services or labor on a one-time, seasonal, peak load, or intermittent basis.  The federal government can provide labor certifications to employers when it can be demonstrated that there are insufficient qualified U.S. workers available and willing to perform the work at wages that meet or exceed the prevailing wage rate for the occupation in the area of intended employment. The North Carolina Department of Commerce, as the State Workforce Agency (SWA), works in conjunction with federal partners to assist with the review of job orders submitted by employers who participate in the H-2B Temporary Non-Agricultural Program. 

If you are an employer seeking H-2B certification, your first step will be to submit an application to the U.S. Department of Labor. For more information about that process, visit the U.S. DOL site here.

Your next step will be to submit an NCWorks job order form (this link will open up a new Word document) to h2b.joborders@commerce.nc.gov. Once your application has been accepted, we will post the job(s) on NCWorks.gov for you.

North Carolina requires that all employers provide their Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) and their NC Unemployment Tax Number/Employer Tax Account Number (EAN) to process their H-2B job order.  The EAN must be linked to the FEIN account.  Information on how to apply for a North Carolina EAN is available on the DES website.

Also, remember that the N.C. Department of Commerce does not receive or process the actual applications for the H-2B program.  Employers must submit H-2B program applications to the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Office of Foreign Labor Certification, CNPC, either electronically through the FLAG System or by mail to:

U.S. Department of Labor
Employment and Training Administration
Office of Foreign Labor Certification
Chicago National Processing Center
536 South Clark Street, 9th floor
Chicago, Illinois 60605-1509

You may also contact the CNPC by email at TLC.Chicago@dol.gov or by phone at (312) 886-8000.    

Contact Information

For more information about Foreign Labor Certification, contact us at:

Attn:  Foreign Labor Program Manager
N.C. Division of Workforce Solutions
N.C. Department of Commerce
4316 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-4316
Phone: (800) 562-6333 
Email:  BusinessServices@ncworks.gov