The Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) system plays a crucial role in the journey of foreign nationals seeking an employment-based immigrant visa (Green Card) in the United States. This article provides a comprehensive overview of PERM Labor Certification, its requirements, and the application process.
What is PERM Labor Certification?
PERM is the official system used by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) for processing Labor Certification applications. For most EB-2 (except National Interest Waivers) and EB-3 employment-based preference categories, PERM Labor Certification is a mandatory step before an employer can file an immigrant petition for a foreign worker with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Purpose of PERM Labor Certification
The DOL, through PERM, aims to ensure that:
- There are not enough qualified U.S. workers available for the offered position.
- Hiring the foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.
PERM Application Process
The PERM application process involves the following key steps:
1. Conducting Recruitment Activities:
Before filing the application, the employer must conduct a series of recruitment activities to test the labor market. These activities may include:
- Advertising the job opening in various media outlets.
- Recruiting through various channels like job fairs and professional organizations.
- Placing job orders with state workforce agencies.
2. Filing the Application:
The employer files the PERM application electronically using Form ETA 9089. No supporting documents are required at the time of filing, but they must be readily available for potential audits or reviews.
3. DOL Processing:
The DOL processes the application and may request additional information or documentation if needed. The processing time for unaudited applications is currently around 90 days.
4. Audit (if selected):
Some applications are randomly selected for audits. The employer must submit all requested documents within 30 days or the case may be deemed abandoned.
Once processed, the DOL approves or denies the application.
6. Filing Immigrant Petition with USCIS:
Upon approval, the employer must file an Immigrant Petition related to the Labor Certification with USCIS within 180 days.
7. USCIS Adjudication:
USCIS reviews the Immigrant Petition and makes a final decision on the Green Card application.
Key Points to Remember
- PERM Labor Certification is a complex and time-sensitive process.
- Employers should be prepared to conduct thorough recruitment activities and maintain detailed records.
- Processing times can vary, and audits are possible.
- Consulting with an experienced immigration attorney is recommended.
Frequently Asked Questions about PERM
How long does the PERM process take?
The processing time for unaudited PERM applications is currently around 90 days. However, the total processing time can be significantly longer depending on several factors, including audits, delays, and USCIS adjudication.
What are the most common reasons for PERM applications to be denied?
Common reasons for denial include:
- Inadequate recruitment efforts.
- Inaccurate or incomplete information on the application.
- Failure to follow PERM regulations.
- Audit-related issues.
What type of documentation is required for the PERM process?
The specific documentation required will vary depending on the case. However, it may include:
- Recruitment advertisements and job postings.
- Resumes of all applicants interviewed.
- Evidence of the employer’s ability to pay the offered wage.
- Educational and professional qualifications of the foreign worker.
How long does PERM process take?
The average perm processing time takes about six to twelve months, depending upon the priority date assigned to each filed case.
How Rebecca Black Law Can Help
Rebecca Black Law offers comprehensive legal services to guide employers through the intricacies of PERM Labor Certification. Our team of experienced immigration attorneys will:
- Advise you on PERM requirements and eligibility.
- Develop a customized recruitment strategy to ensure compliance and maximize success.
- Prepare and file your PERM application accurately and efficiently.
- Represent you throughout the DOL process and address any audits or challenges.
- Coordinate with USCIS for a smooth transition to the Green Card application stage.