- What is Permanent Labor Certification?
- Requirements of PERM Labor Certification
- What is the Validity Period of Permanent Labor Certification?
- Process of PERM Labor Certification
Every year, approximately 140,000 employment-based visas are made available for noncitizens of the U.S. who seek immigration on the basis of their job skills. Expatriates who have the right education, work experience, and education may also be eligible to get a Green Card and live permanently in the country. But certain types of immigrant visas require you to have a valid job offer from a U.S.-based employer before you can apply. In such cases, the employer should obtain an approved permanent labor certification (PERM) from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).
What is Permanent Labor Certification?
The U.S. Department of Labor runs the PERM program. It helps determine whether the hiring of a noncitizen employee would affect the employment of an equally skilled U.S. worker from similar job positions. The DOL assesses whether employing an expatriate would have unfavorable effects on the wages or working conditions of U.S. employees in a similar field.
Thus, a PERM allows a U.S. employer to recruit a non-citizen worker to live and work permanently in the United States. The employer must get the labor certification before they can apply for an immigration petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Through this certification, the DOL verifies the following to the USCIS:
- There are not sufficiently available, willing, and qualified U.S. employees to fill the job position and for the prevailing wage.
- Employing a non-citizen worker will not affect the working conditions and wages of U.S. employees working in similar job positions.
Foreign workers seeking EB-1 visa does not require permanent labor certification. However, expatriates seeking employment-based EB-2 or EB-3 immigrant visas must first obtain a PERM.
Requirements of PERM Labor Certification
To apply for PERM, both the foreign employee and the U.S. employer need to fulfill the following requirements –
- The employee must already have a permanent job offer from an authorized U.S. employer.
- The employer must validate that the offered wages are equal to or above the prevailing wage as specified by the DOL. The latter will evaluate this based on the specific job position applied for.
- The employer must also validate that they have analyzed the local job market for qualified U.S. workers. This is important to prove there aren’t enough competent U.S. workers to fulfill the job position. The former will require providing additional documentation proving sufficient recruitment efforts have been made in this regard.
- The employer must present an audit file providing supplementary proof of recruitment attempts.
What is the Validity Period of Permanent Labor Certification?
The validity of PERM labor certificates is 180 days. This means you have 180 days after the approval of the application to submit PERM labor certification to USCIS. The latter will reject your petition if the certification has expired, or you have filed the petition without the approved labor certification.
Process of PERM Labor Certification
Here is an overview of the PERM process:
1. Get a Prevailing Wage Determination
Before applying for PERM, the employer must get a Prevailing Wage Determination from DOL’s National Prevailing Wage and Helpdesk Center. The wage the employer offers for the job position must not be lower than the existing wage.
2. File ETA Form 9089
The employer must conduct all permissible recruitment efforts to find U.S. workers who are qualified, willing, and able to fulfill the job position. In absence of the same, the employer may file the ETA Form 9089 – the application of Permanent Labor Certification. At the same time, they should prepare and maintain a report as evidence of your recruitment efforts.
The application should include details of the job position, its duties and responsibilities. It should also include the educational requirements, experience, training, or special capabilities the applicant should have for the work. The employer must also submit a statement mentioning the immigrant’s qualifications.
The employer must file the form within 180 days of the first recruitment method or ad placed and not less than 30 days from the last ad.
3. DOL Assesses the Application
Next, the DOL will verify that the job position cannot be fulfilled by a U.S. worker or that the latter does not have the skills, willingness or ability to perform the duties. Based on various regulations, the DOL may approve or deny the application. They can also send the application for further auditing.
After the application gets approved and you receive the permanent labor certification, you can move forward with the process of filing employment-based Green Card petition with the USCIS. Seek consultation from the best immigration lawyer to move forward with the process.
Onal Gallant & Partners PC is a law office specializing in Real Estate Law, Intellectual Property, Corporate and Business Law, Immigration Law, and the US Visa Processes. We deliver reliable advice on a large variety of subjects ranging from forming a corporation and buying a house in the US to trademark registration and Green Card applications (e.g., EB3 Visa or DV Lottery). With exceptional knowledge and insight into immigration law, our experienced lawyers at Onal Gallant and Partners are ready to help and respond to all of your inquiries.
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