How can an employer obtain a permanent labor certification to be allowed to hire foreign workers in the U.S.?

Employers who want to hire foreign workers to work permanently in the United States will need to obtain a permanent labor certification (PERM) through the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). A permanent labor certification can greatly assist U.S. employers in filling open positions, as well as bringing foreign individuals who are seeking new opportunities to our country. The PERM process is multi-faceted and an experienced immigration lawyer can be critical for employers filing for and receiving certification, as well as foreign workers in obtaining a green card.

Requirements for PERM Certification.

Obtaining a green card in the U.S. is a multiple step process that will involve efforts by the foreign worker and U.S. employer. If you are a foreign worker, your first step will generally be obtaining a job offer within the U.S. From there, your employer will seek a labor certification on your behalf. Preparing the job description takes time and often several iterations since it is a fusion of the employer’s needs, what the DOL wants and what skillset the prospective employee actually has.

To obtain a PERM, an employer will need to prove that he or she has been unsuccessful in recruiting a qualified United States worker for the position they wish to fill. Evidence of bona fide recruiting must include placing a job order with the state workforce agency, as well as several newspaper advertisements in a newspaper of general circulation. Three other advertisements, including ads at the workplace, are also necessary.

The employer must seek to hire the foreign worker on a full-time and permanent basis, and be willing to pay at least the federally mandated prevailing wage for the region which is the prospective employee’s area of employment. Further, the job requirements must be those that are customarily required for the occupation and not tailored to the foreign worker’s qualifications.

Foreign Workers Should Be Aware of the PERM Process.

While obtaining PERM certification is the obligation of the employer, foreign workers seeking to come to the U.S. can benefit from an understanding of the PERM process. Employment-based immigration is one of the most effective ways to obtain a green card to live and work in the United States and a PERM labor certification can provide needed employees for U.S. businesses that cannot find u.s. workers who are able to take the job. Talk to an immigration lawyer today to explore the PERM certification and green card process.

If you should have any questions or need more information about the way that 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 Nachman Phulwani Zimovcak (NPZ) Law Group – VISASERVE – U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers by e-mail us at or by calling us at 201-670-0006 (x107) or by visiting our Law Firm’s website at