What Is the PERM Certification Process?
PERM certification refers to the permanent labor certification that permits an employer to hire a foreign worker to work in the U.S. permanently. It is issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and is, in most cases, required prior to a U.S. employer submitting an immigration petition to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Essentially, the PERM labor certification is the DOL certifying to USCIS that there are no able, willing, qualified, and available U.S. workers for a particular employment position. It also certifies that employing the foreign worker in the U.S. will not have an adverse impact on the wages or the working conditions of U.S. workers who are similarly employed.
What is the PERM Certification Process?
The PERM certification process is both detailed and filled with specific requirements that an employer must meet. The employer works through the PERM certification process on behalf of the foreign worker seeking an employment-based green card pursuant to a job offer made by the employer. The successful completion of the PERM certification process is a prerequisite to the green card application.
The PERM process begins with the employer making a “prevailing wage request” to the DOL. The request must detail information about the job including its requirements, duties, and location. The DOL uses this information to generate a prevailing wage determination. Essentially the prevailing wage is the commonly paid wage for the type of job relative to the job location. It helps ensure that the employer will pay the foreign worker a fair wage and prevent employers from simply looking to hire underpaid foreign labor.
The next step in the certification process is recruitment. The recruitment process is required in order to prove to the DOL that there truly are no able, willing, qualified, and available U.S. workers for the job. To fulfill the recruitment requirement, the employer must conduct recruitment in “good faith.” Advertisements must be place with the relevant state workforce agency located in the state of intended employment. Two Sunday newspaper ads must be placed in newspapers of general circulation in the area of intended employment. There are additional requirements if the job position is categorized as “professional” as opposed to “non-professional. Generally speaking, “professional” jobs have a minimum education requirement of a Bachelor’s degree.
After these steps have been completed, the employer must file the ETA Form 9089. The form outlines the specifics of the employment position, provides the details of the recruitment process undertaken by the employer, and also states information about the foreign worker. It usually takes several months for the DOL to process the PERM application. Once approved, the employer can proceed in filing the I-140 petition with USCIS on behalf of the foreign worker.
The PERM labor certification process is complex, involved, and critical to obtaining many of the most popular employment-based green card types. Talamantes Immigration Law Firm will answer any of your questions and guide you through the detailed steps of the PERM process. Contact Talamantes Immigration Law Firm today.
Posted in: Employment Based Immigration