What Happens After the PERM Application Is Filed and Processed?

When seeking employment-based permanent residence status in the U.S. using the PERM Labor Certification Process, there will usually be three main steps. First, your sponsoring employer will need to obtain PERM labor certification. To obtain the labor certification, your employer will need to file a PERM application with the Department of Labor (DOL). This is done on Form ETA 9089. The application requires the employer to go through a rather extensive recruitment process and to obtain a Prevailing Wage Determination. Once the application is filed with the DOL, it may take up to several months for it to be processed.

In some cases, the DOL will want to audit the PERM application. The employer has 30 days to respond to the audit notice. An audit may result in having to potentially wait an additional year of wait time while DOL goes through an extensive processing queue. Once the PERM application is filed and processed, the second and third major steps in the process can be pursued.

The Second Step in the PERM Labor Certification Process

After the PERM application is filed and processed, the second major step on the road to obtaining an employment-based green card is submitting the I-140 Application for Immigrant Visa and Proof of Ability to Pay. The employer must file an I-140 Immigrant Worker Petition with USCIS. This must be done within 6 months (180 days) of the PERM application being approved. The employer must demonstrate the “ability to pay“ the wage they are prospectively offering to pay the employee. The employer must also show that the immigrant applicant meets the education and other requirements set forth in the PERM application. To show that the employer has the “ability to (prospectively) pay” the offered wages, proof may be submitted in the form of things like balance sheets and profit and loss statements. The USCIS usually processes an I-140 Petition within four to six months. Generally this can be premium processed when the premium processing program is available. USCIS may request that the employer submit additional evidence that could increase the processing time.

The third and final step in the process, for most, is the I-485 Adjustment of Status application that is filed by the immigrant seeking permanent resident status. An I-485 is filed when the immigrant applicant is already in the U.S. This is the case with most immigrants filing for employment-based permanent resident status. If the immigrant applicant is outside of the U.S. He or she can request consular processing and can file a DS-260 Immigration Visa Application with a U.S. consulate office abroad. An interview at the U.S. consulate is also required in the applicant’s home country. Third country processing may be possible under special circumstances. Once either the PERM Labor Certification (ETA 9089) is completed and filed, the foreign national is given a priority date. The priority date is, essentially, the applicant’s “place in line.”

Immigration Law Attorneys

The trusted immigration attorneys at Nachman, Phulwani, Zimovcak Law Group, P.C. are here to help and provide sound legal counsel to those seeking employment-based green cards. The process can seem especially complex and inaccessible for those not familiar with it. We will answer any questions you may have and help you every step of the way. Contact us today.

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 info@visaserve.com or by calling us at 201-670-0006 (x107). You can also visit our Law Firm’s website at www.visaserve.com