Frequently Asked Questions on PERM

What is PERM?
PERM stands for Program Electronic Review Management. It is the system used by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to process labor certification applications for certain employment-based immigrant visa categories.
What is the purpose of the PERM process?
The purpose of the PERM process is to ensure that there are no qualified U.S. workers available to fill a particular job position before an employer can sponsor a foreign national employee for a green card based on employment.
Who is eligible to apply for PERM labor certification?
Employers seeking to sponsor foreign national employees for permanent residency (green card) through certain employment-based immigrant visa categories, such as EB-2 and EB-3, are required to obtain PERM labor certification.
What is the process for obtaining PERM labor certification?
The process for obtaining PERM labor certification involves several steps, including conducting a recruitment process to test the labor market, filing a PERM application with the DOL, and waiting for the DOL to approve the application.
What is the role of the employer in the PERM process?
Employers are responsible for conducting recruitment efforts to test the U.S. labor market for available and qualified U.S. workers for the job position they intend to sponsor a foreign national employee for. They must also file the PERM application with the DOL and comply with all regulatory requirements.
What is the prevailing wage requirement in the PERM process?
As part of the PERM process, employers are required to obtain a prevailing wage determination from the DOL for the job position they intend to fill with a foreign national employee. The prevailing wage is the average wage paid to similarly employed workers in a specific occupation in the geographic area where the job is located.
How long does the PERM process take?
Processing times for PERM applications can vary depending on factors such as the volume of applications at the DOL, the complexity of the case, and whether the application is selected for audit or review. Generally, it can take several months to over a year for a PERM application to be processed.
What happens after the PERM application is approved?
Once the PERM application is approved, the employer can proceed with filing an immigrant visa petition (Form I-140) with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on behalf of the foreign national employee. If the employee is in the United States, they may be eligible to file an adjustment of status application (Form I-485) to become a lawful permanent resident.
Can the PERM process be audited or reviewed by the DOL?
Yes, the DOL may audit or review PERM applications to ensure compliance with all regulatory requirements. If selected for audit or review, employers must provide additional documentation and information to the DOL within the specified timeframe.
Can I appeal a denial of a PERM application?
Yes, employers have the option to appeal a denial of a PERM application to the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) if they believe that the denial was incorrect or unjustified.


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