The Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) is a system that allows people to get labor certification. Anyone seeking employee-based immigration in the United States must acquire this certification as the first step. There are specific steps in the PERM labor certification process and completing those steps at the appropriate timeframe is critical in securing a PERM Labor Certification.
Therefore, this article will discuss how to go about acquiring a PERM labor certification, allowing you to appropriately seek employee-based immigration/permanent residency in the United States.
The Background Process – Several Months for Filing
Applicants will have about 7 or 8 months from the moment they begin their case until the time when the PERM labor certification is filed with the US Department of Labor (DOL). All requirements must be met before the PERM Labor Certification can be filed with the US Department of Labor.
The Minimum Requirements for Qualifying for the Labor Certification
The requirements and duties of the applicant will have to be established first. Therefore, these requirements will be the basis for the PERM Labor Certification, and even minor irregularities can render the application useless. Thus, all job qualifications and requirements for the applicant must be accurate.
It is incumbent upon the employer sponsoring the employee-based immigration case to clearly define the job description and the experience and education the employee must have to qualify for the specific position. The sponsoring employer must ensure that the position’s requirements meet the rule of the “actual minimum requirements” set forth by the DOL. Therefore, in setting forth the minimum requirements, any applicant will need to cover at least those requirements to perform the job competently—not in the best possible way.
If the employer has not performed this step already, it could take a few days to a week or possibly more to finalize these requirements with the DOL. The employer’s availability and efficiency could ultimately determine how long this step takes.
More time may be spent in the process of confirming if the applicant meets the specific requirements set by the employer. Therefore, the applicant may have to acquire and provide educational documents, experience letters, and evaluate foreign educational credentials for the prospective employee. This part of the process may take up additional time, and it will again depend on the efficiency of the applicant and the sponsoring employer.
Why It Is Important to Obtain Prevailing Wage Before Recruiting
An employer can only file a PERM application after obtaining a prevailing wage determination (PWD) from the DOL. This essential part of the PERM labor certification process can take about 5 to 8 months. PWD aims to ascertain a minimum wage level that is needed for the position in question.
It is best to obtain a PWD before the recruitment process to minimize delays and finish the process within deadlines. The PERM labor certification will need to be filed during the timeframe that the PWD is valid. Therefore, the employer may have to start the PERM labor certification case again if it is unable to complete the recruitment process while the PWD is still valid. It is important, therefore, to understand that all recruitment processes have a limited time frame. That said, obtaining a PWD can occur during the recruitment process as well, but there is a risk of missing the deadlines and starting all over.
In addition to effectively avoiding delays by obtaining a PWD before the recruitment process, it is beneficial because it can reduce the potential hassle of the PERM labor certification process. Thus, errors in the PWD by the DOL do happen, and the fact that they can be provided weeks or months after application can become a problem