PERM Labor Certification

PERM LABOR CERTIFICATION

Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) is the system used to process labor certifications, which is the first step certain foreign nationals must take in order to obtain an EB-2 or EB-3 visa immigrant visa. PERM was first implemented on March 28, 2005, and since then, all labor certification applications are required to be filed with PERM. Forms used beforehand (i.e. ETA Form 750) as well as Reduction in Recruitment (RIR) are no longer available for new labor certification filings. The employment-based preference categories that require PERM labor certifications are EB-2 (with the exception of National Interest Waivers) and EB-3.

Requirements

In order to qualify to begin the PERM process, the following requirements must first be met:

  1. You must have an existing permanent job offer by a U.S. employer
  2. The offered wages are required to be equal or above the DOL prevailing wage. DOL will subject this to the specific position.
  3. The local job market has been analyzed for qualified candidates. This is required to provide evidence that U.S. workers are unable to complete the requirements of the position, meaning that no qualified native workers are available for the position. Supplementary documentation relating to recruiting efforts must be made available if requested.
  4. The U.S. employer is obligated to construct and maintain an audit file with additional proof of attempts at recruitment.

Recruitment Steps

PERM regulations mandate that recruitment steps for both professional and non-professional positions be completed within 6 months of filing the PERM application. Professional vs. Non-Professional Professional occupations usually require a bachelor’s degree or higher. You could also possess the foreign equivalent of a degree to qualify. Speak with your immigration attorney to determine if your degree qualifies for the professional occupation category. Mandatory Steps:

  1. Placing a Job order with the State Workforce Agency for a period of 30 days;
  2. Placing a job ad in 2 consecutive Sunday editions of a local newspaper with wide circulation in the area of intended employment OR an ad can be placed in a relevant professional journal in lieu of 1 Sunday newspaper ad. (NOTE – if the job opportunity is located in a rural area that does not have a newspaper with a Sunday edition, the employer may then use the edition with the “widest circulation” in the area of intended employment.)

A combination of any 3 additional recruitment methods outlined below can meet the additional recruitment requirement for professional positions:

  1. Job fairs
  2. Employer’s website
  3. Job search website other than your employer’s (e.g. monster.com, indeed.com)
  4. On-campus recruiting
  5. Trade or professional organization
  6. Private employment firms
  7. Employee referral program with incentives
  8. Campus placement offices
  9. Local and ethnic newspapers
  10. Radio and television

Your employer should always remember to keep a diligent record of all payment receipts and online correspondence to provide sufficient evidence of the effort put into this recruiting process. This will help avoid a lengthy and potentially costly audit. Non-Professional Jobs In order to satisfy the recruitment process for non-professional positions (positions that do not require a degree an employer is required to only comply with the following 2 steps:

  1. Placing a Job order with the State Workforce Agency for a period of 30 days;
  2. Placing a job ad in 2 consecutive Sunday editions of a local newspaper with wide circulation in the area of intended employment

The steps must be conducted at least 30 days but no more than 180 days before the filing of the application. For both professional and non-professional positions, the employer must wait 30 days after the end of the recruitment period before filing the ETA 9089. This is to ensure that any qualified U.S. workers have a reasonable time period in which to respond to your ads or job order.

Documentation

Local Labor Market Analysis (evidence that U.S. workers are incapable/ineligible of performing this employment).

  1. Approved Documented Evidence:
  2. Prevailing Wage Request – the DOL uses the location and requirements for the position to determine the prevailing wage.
  3. Job Orders
  4. Newspaper Ads
  5. Prints of website job ads
    • U.S. Employer Audit File
    • Immigrant Petition
    • Completed Form ETA 9089

Process

  1. The U.S. employer conducts a series of permissible recruitment efforts to analyze the current U.S. labor market. All efforts must be documented and ready for DOL inspection.
  2. U.S. employer submits Labor Certification application to Department of Labor. (Form ETA 9089). This can be done electronically or by mail.
  3. The DOL must then verify that the applicant possesses a skill that is unobtainable in U.S. workers or that the employment required cannot be completed by a U.S. worker. The U.S. employer is obligated to provide evidence that the applicant’s employment will not affect U.S. workers in related fields. This may take 120-180 days unless it is selected to be audited by the Department of Labor.
  4. If the petition by the U.S. employer is selected for auditing, the employer must respond with supplementary documentation within 30 days of the request.
  5. Once the Labor Certification is approved, the U.S. employer must file an immigrant petition with the USCIS before the Labor Certification expires.
  6. If the employer fails to complete the immigrant petition before the deadline, the case will be labeled as abandoned.
  7. When the I-140 is approved the applicant must register for Permanent Residence by filing Form I-485 with USCIS.

How We Can Help Obtain Your PERM Labor Certification

There is a common misconception about the PERM Labor Certification. Many people tend to call it a PERM visa. However, the PERM is not a visa and does not by itself grant you access to the U.S. Instead, it is merely the first step in obtaining an immigrant visa (green card). Once your PERM is approved, your employer can file a petition for a green card on your behalf. After your I-140 petition is approved, you must wait until a visa number is available for your priority date. Depending on which employment-based green card you are applying for, this wait can be as little as not time at all or as long as 20 years. Applying for a PERM Labor Certification is a complicated process. Before beginning your PERM Labor Certification petition, an experienced Rai & Associates attorney will first evaluate your situation. You can always start this process by sending us your resume either by e-mail to info@hsrai.com or by fax to +1 415-693-9135. After reviewing your resume, we’ll have a frank discussion with you regarding your ability to secure PERM Labor Certification.

Our PERM Labor Certification attorneys experience benefits you in several key areas. We:

  • Clarify options and potential scenarios surrounding your case.
  • Assist you in collecting the proper information and documentation.
  • Correctly classify the application and ensure requirements are met.
  • Prepare and submit all USCIS and Department of Labor (DOL) forms and documentation.
  • Communicate with the DOL and USCIS throughout the process.
  • Monitor the entire PERM Labor Certification application process.

PERM Labor Certification Attorney Experience & Responsiveness that Makes a Difference. Our PERM Labor Certification Attorney Pledge:

  • 100% commitment to processing your PERM Labor Certification quickly & successfully.
  • Strong PERM Labor Certification attorney experience & knowledge.
  • Open PERM Labor Certification Attorney communication & responsiveness is among our top priority.
  • Highest level of PERM Labor Certification Attorney service at an affordable FLAT rate.
  • Some PERM Labor Certification applications can be submitted in as little as 1-2 weeks.
  • To discuss your case call: (415)-693-9131 or Mail Us.
Something very important you may want to know

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. 1
    What is a labor certification?

    Foreign persons who have been offered permanent employment in the U.S., and who do not meet the criteria for exemption from labor certification, must obtain Alien Employment Certification, commonly referred to as labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). A permanent labor certification issued by DOL allows an employer to hire a foreign worker to work permanently in the United States.

  2. 2
    Which government agencies are involved in PERM labor certification applications?

    DOL is the government agency involved. Unlike in the past, neither individual State Wage Agencies (SWA) nor U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) plays a role in PERM labor certification process.

  3. 3
    Who needs a labor certification?

    In most cases under the EB-2 and EB-3, the employer must obtain “labor certification “ from the DOL for the foreign national.

  4. 4
    What is USCIS?

    The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the federal agency responsible for matters involving aliens in the U.S. Such responsibility includes jurisdiction over immigrant petitions, such as those requiring a labor certification, although DOL itself still oversees the labor certification process. Prior to March 2003, USCIS was called the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). For a brief period, it was known as the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS). It is also sometimes simply called CIS. In our practice and online, we use the current accepted name: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or USCIS.

  5. 5
    What does the Department of Labor do in the labor certification process?

    DOL adjudicates PERM labor certification applications. State agencies no longer participate in the adjudication process.

  6. 6
    Who is the petitioner in a PERM labor certification application?

    Getting a PERM application approved must be filed by a U.S. employer, not by the foreign national employee. The foreign national employee is only the beneficiary of the application. The employer files the application on the alien’s behalf.

  7. 7
    When is the filing date and what does it mean?

    The date the labor certification application is received by the DOL is known as the filing date and is used by USCIS and the Department of State as the priority date for I-485 filing.

  8. 8
    Is there a difference between electronically submitting the application and sending it by mail?

    Yes. Filing the application electronically will ensure that the application arrives at the Atlanta National Processing Center faster, resulting in an earlier priority date. Sending an application by wail will prolong the processing time, as the Atlanta center first has to physically receive it, and then a data entry clerk will thereafter have to manually enter the application into an electronic system. Once entered into the system, the mailed-in application receives the same automated analysis and manual scrutiny as an application submitted electronically would. If a case is filed by mail, then it is not unlikely that processing the application will take longer than two or three months. Ultimately, however, neither method of submitting an application for labor certification is necessarily more conducive to winning approval.

  9. 9
    Is the PERM labor certification process complex?

    In a word, yes. A PERM application requires both substantive legal knowledge and practical experience. Further necessary is experience in dealing with recruitment activities, which are regulated by law. We recommend you consult with experienced PERM attorneys if you are interested in filing a PERM labor certification application.

  10. 10
    How long does the PERM process take from start to finish?

    Usually, most PERM cases take around eight to 12 months total. The recruitment process, which includes designing the job description, obtaining a prevailing wage determination, interviewing applicants, and completing the recruitment report, has a typical duration of three months. From that point, the DOL review and adjudication process can last an additional three to seven months, depending on the number of pending cases at its processing centers.

  11. 11
    For how long is an approved labor certification valid?

    An approved labor certification is valid for 180 days post-approval. USCIS will reject any I-140 filings made by employers after labor certifications have “expired.” If a labor certification is filed in support of a Form I-140 petition within the 180-day validity period, however, it will remain valid for future I-140 petitions, too. So, if a labor certification is approved but a timely filed I-140 is denied, the labor certification will nonetheless remain valid indefinitely for the associated position.

  12. 12
    I just filed a PERM application and only now discovered that I made a mistake. Can I go back and correct this mistake?

    Unfortunately, no. Once you’ve submitted an application, DOL considers it final, and you’re prohibited from making any changes. The only remedy available in your situation is to withdraw the application and submit a new one. Because such mistakes can be costly in terms of both expenses and time, we urge you to retain the services of experienced PERM attorneys. When you retain our firm, an individual attorney will prepare your case, and then one of our most senior lawyers will review it a second time before filing, ensuring your application is accurate and complete.

  13. 13
    Does an approved labor certification give me the legal right to work in the U.S.?

    No. An approved labor certification only allows your employer to file an EB-2 or EB-3 immigrant petition on your behalf.

  14. 14
    What type of job position requires a PERM labor certification application?

    Any position may qualify for PERM, provided that the employer demonstrates that there is, in fact, a shortage of qualified and willing U.S. workers for the position in question.

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