PERM stands for “Program Electronic Record Management” and is the current process for application for labor certifications (LC) with the U.S. Department of Labor. The PERM LC process is the first of a three-step process for most employment-based green card cases. PERM is governed by regulations that impose exacting requirements and requires meticulous attention to detail and deadlines. PERM is unforgiving of what may otherwise appear to be minor errors, and therefore the entire process can be derailed by a technicality.
The purpose of the PERM LC process is to ensure that no qualified, willing, and able U.S. workers will be displaced by the intending immigrant and that wages for similarly situated employees will not be negatively impacted.
Prior to proceeding with an immigrant visa petition for an alien worker, an employer must have an approved LC confirming that a test of the labor market found no qualified U.S. workers available for the position. The following is a general summary of the basic steps that must be taken:
- Craft a job description for the offered position that meets the minimum qualifications (education and experience) in order to perform the job competently.
- Obtain a prevailing wage determination (PWD) from the Department of Labor. The PWD establishes the minimum wage level for the offered position.
- Engage in recruitment activities, which includes internal posting, newspaper advertisements, and a posting with the state workforce agency. For professional positions, three additional forms of recruitment efforts are required and must be chosen from a list of 10 options. The employer must respond promptly to any interested applicants, who may be rejected for lawful reasons only. If a qualified U.S. worker applies for the position, the employer can either hire the applicant or halt the PERM process and test the labor market again later.
- Once the recruitment period has concluded, there is a 30-day “quiet period” or “hold period” before the LC may be filed. Any applications received during the 30-day period must be considered promptly.
- At conclusion of 30-day quiet period, LC is filed electronically with DOL.
- If LC is approved by DOL, employer may then file immigrant visa petition on Form I-140.
- Some immigrants might be eligible to file their green card applications on Form I-485 concurrently with the employer’s Form I-140 petition. Most immigrants will need to wait until a visa number is available for their category before becoming eligible to file for the green card.
How We Can Help
- We assist with drafting the job description to ensure compliance with the “actual minimum requirements” rule mandated by DOL regulations.
- We draft the content of your recruitment postings and ensure compliance with deadlines and timing requirements.
- We create a detailed “audit file” for your business.
- Upon LC approval, we prepare and file the I-140 immigrant visa petition.
- PERM is a labor-intensive process and requires strict attention to detail and timelines. While it is undeniably a tedious process, we strive to simplify your role as much as possible.
We welcome you to contact the Brian M. Wang | Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP to schedule a consultation about how we may be of service in your immigration matter. Based in the Albany, NY Capital District area, we assist clients throughout New York, in all 50 states, and worldwide with United States immigration law.