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PERM Labor Certification
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What Is PERM Labor Certification?
Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) is an integral part of the system for obtaining a labor certification in the United States. A labor certification is a prerequisite for a foreign national who plans to immigrate to the U.S. for employment-based purposes. It is critical when it comes to green card eligibility. Employers must file a labor certification with the Department of Labor (DOL) with employment-based green cards.
There are generally three phases involved in the process of employment-based permanent residency:
- PERM Labor Certification: Selecting a candidate and determining the prevailing wage with DOL
- Form I-140: Application for Immigrant Visa and Financial statements as Proof of Ability to Pay the employee with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
- Form I-485: Adjustment of Status with USCIS
Purpose of PERM Labor Certification
PERM was designed to protect the job market and U.S. workers by ensuring that foreign workers are not filling the positions that qualified U.S. workers could otherwise fill. Hence, this certification ensures that no qualified Americans are available to do the job. It also ensures that the prevailing wage determination is met. In other words, the wage being paid is equal to or higher than what would be paid to U.S. workers.
PERM Labor Certification Requirements
A reputable immigration lawyer can help you determine whether you meet PERM labor certification requirements. Employers must meet specific criteria to be eligible to sponsor a worker for an employment-based green card.
- Valid job offer: There must be a valid offer of employment, and the occupational requirements should be based on what is common in the U.S. for that occupation and may not be tailored to the worker’s skills.
- Fair wages: Pay the prevailing wage or higher and offer benefits that are at least equal to those offered by the average American employer in that occupation.
- Fair working conditions: Offer working conditions that will not adversely affect other workers
- No Americans for the job: Attempts to recruit American workers must have been made.
Labor certification applications must meet all PERM regulations and be submitted before the priority date.
Submitting Your Labor Certification Application
An employer wishing to hire a foreign employee must file the ETA Form 9089 electronically or through the mail. The application must clearly state the following:
- Job duties
- Educational requirements,
- Other special skills required for the job
- Description of the prospective immigrant’s qualifications.
DOL examines the application to determine if it is complete and if the wage and requirements are met. DOL regulations specify that applications may be approved, denied, or audited.
PERM Application Audit
Audits can be random or targeted if the DOL has concerns about an application. The DOL will perform targeted audits whenever there is an inconsistency in the documentation provided or insufficient information to prove eligibility for PERM certification.
If an application is audited, the DOL is required to ask for a copy of the recruitment report and details of the recruitment process if an audit is conducted and may request for additional information or clarification if there is an issue with the PERM application. The DOL may require a supervised recruitment process if the employer is not satisfied with the recruitment process.
Steps Included in the Employment-based Visa Process
There are three steps to completing the process of obtaining permanent labor certification before intended employment. They are:
- Preparation for the application
- Submission of the labor certification application and supporting documentation
- Petition for a visa in the United States
For additional information and assistance with applying for permanent employment certification before the filing date, contact the ImmiVisa Law Group.
Processing Time for PERM Labor Certification
Several factors affect the approval time for PERM labor certification applications. These include the time of year, your case, and if your application is audited.
The processing time for a general permanent labor certification application is six. However, applications that are subject to audit take up to twelve months.
PERM Labor Certification Cost
There is no filing for free for a PERM labor certification. There may be additional costs, including the cost of hiring a lawyer, the Form I-140 filing fee of $580, and fees for posting job advertisements, photocopying, and translating. The employer is responsible for all fees incurred during the PERM process.
The ImmiVisa Law Group can estimate how much your PERM certification and employment immigration visa application will cost you.
Should You Get Professional Legal Assistance?
Many legal issues can arise in a business, and it is essential to have a lawyer on your side. Hiring a lawyer is not always necessary, but knowing when you should is essential.
Hiring foreign nationals is more complicated than employing U.S. citizens. To qualify for a visa based on employment, a person must meet certain strict criteria, which can be overwhelming for anyone.
Consult with a business immigration attorney if you are considering hiring a foreign national employee in addition to or instead of qualified U.S. workers. The ImmiVisa Law Group can help you through the entire process.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Happens After My PERM Application Is Certified?
Following your PERM application’s approval, your employer must file a Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers at USCIS, within 180 days of the approval.
What If My PERM Certificate Application is Rejected?
After the Department of Labor has issued a PERM denial, your employer has 30 days to either request a reconsideration of the decision by the officer or a review by the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA). The decision will become final if your employer does not act and they cannot challenge it.
Can I change Jobs After My PERM Certification Is Approved?
In the case of your PERM, you are applying for a specific position with a specific employer in a specific city. If any of those things change, then PERM can no longer do its job, which is to protect the jobs of U.S. workers. Therefore, if you change jobs and employers before your I-140 approval, you will need to submit a new PERM petition and I-140 application.