Issues to Consider Before Starting the PERM Process

If an employer is looking to sponsor an employee who is a foreign national who may be looking for an employment-based green card, the employer will most likely need to go through the PERM labor certification process.

PERM, the Program Electronic Review Management, certification must be obtained through the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The PERM process is in place so that the DOL can verify that hiring a foreign national will not have a negative impact on the U.S. labor markets. It also shows the DOL that the employer will pay the prevailing wage for the position in the relevant geographic area.

This helps ensure that the foreign national receives a fair wage and the employer is not simply trying to take advantage of the immigration system by attempting to hire foreign labor that may work for lower wages.

The PERM process offers valuable safeguards for both foreign nationals looking to work in the U.S. and also for U.S. workers. The process, however, can be involved and lengthy. Prior to starting the PERM process, the sponsoring employer needs to be aware of several things.

Things for Employers to Consider Before Starting the PERM Process.

First of all, it is important for both the employer and the prospective foreign national employee to know that if a qualified U.S. worker or workers apply for the job position for which PERM labor certification is being sought, the whole PERM process will hit a dead end. It will come to an automatic halt.

If there are qualified U.S. workers who are willing and able to take the job position, then the DOL will not issue the PERM labor certification. A new PERM application may be submitted by the employer, but there needs to be a six month waiting period observed.

The requirements of the PERM labor certification process are specific and extensive. The steps can be time-consuming, especially if you are not clear on the requirements. It can take several months to complete all of the PERM requirements. Additionally, the employer carries all costs associated with the process as the DOL does not allow the employee to take on any financial burden associated with PERM. Costs of PERM may include advertising costs, such as those associated with the requisite recruitment that the employer must do, and legal fees. For the initial part of the process these costs must be borne only by the employer.

The time and financial commitment of the PERM process make it even more important for the employer to realize that the employer is responsible for ensuring the PERM certification will be valid for years to come. This is because the green card process can take years and the PERM certification needs to be valid up until the point of green card approval. Maintaining a valid PERM labor certification means that the employee must perform the job position as it was outlined in the PERM application. Changes to the job responsibilities, employee wage, or location of employment jeopardize the validity of the PERM certification.

If you should have any questions or need more information about the ways in which the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Laws may impact you, your family, your friends or your colleagues, please contact the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers at the NPZ Law Group – VISASERVE – U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers by e-mailing us at or by calling us at 201-670-0006 (x107). You can also visit our Law Firm’s website at