PERM Labor Certification

Before a U.S. employer starts the immigration process for permanent employment of a foreign worker in the U.S., the employer must file an Application for Permanent Employment Certification for the position with the Department of Labor (DOL). An approved Employment Certification issued by the DOL certifies that there are no qualified U.S. workers available to take the job being offered and that employing the foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.

The Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) is the DOL's current Labor Certification for permanent employment of foreign workers in the United States. "PERM" regulations were issued in 2005 and was designed for a theoretically faster and more efficient attestation process that demands strict adherence. It is the employers burden to prove that all the regulatory requirements have been satisfied before labor certification can be granted. The DOL has established a goal of making decisions on such applications within 45-60 days. However, it can take up to six months or more.

PERM is a multi-step process in which an employer must submit a prevailing wage determination request to it's local state workforce agency. Once a prevailing wage determination is obtained, an employer must make honest efforts to recruit for the job position. If  no U.S worker is able, willing, qualified and available to take the job, the employer submits their application to the DOL seeking permanent labor certification. It should be noted that the employer must make bona fide recruitment efforts lasting between thirty days to six months before filing an application to the DOL. Once a labor Certification is approved by the DOL an immigrant petition should be filed with the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) before the labor certification expires 180 days after it is issued.  

There are different requirements for filing permanent Labor Certification for professional and non-professional occupations.Schedule A occupations lists those that the DOL has determined there are not enough U.S. workers available. It also establishes that the employment of foreign nationals will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers similarly employed. Occupations in Schedule A include physical therapists, nurses, those with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts and performing arts. 

Necessary Key Points of PERM

  • The job position must be open and available to a U.S worker
  • The employer must hire the foreign worker as a full-time permanent employee
  • The job duties must not be altered or tailored to the foreign worker's qualifications
  • The employer must offer 100% or more of the prevailing wages
  • The employer must keep documents pertaining to recruitment, including, but not limited to, the job order, recruitment through advertisement, recruitment report, and other documents showing they made bona fide recruitment efforts for five years.

At The Ahluwalia Firm, our emphasis is on:

  • providing zealous representation before the USCIS
  • providing careful review of your personal circumstances
  • providing careful coordination of all correspondence with the government agencies
  • ensuring a service-delivery model that meets and exceeds your satisfaction

For additional information about our ability to help, prepare, and file all the necessary documents required to apply for Labor Certification under PERM regulations, contact us for reliable advice.