What Is the PERM Labor Certification Process?

There are many steps on the path to obtaining lawful permanent residence status in the U.S. The different paths to a green card, lawful permanent residence status, have different steps to consider. If you are a foreign worker looking to come to the U.S. and obtain lawful permanent residence status, the labor certification process (PERM) will be a major step on your path. Here is what you need to know about the labor certification process.

The Labor Certification Process (PERM):

An employer looking to bring a foreign worker to the U.S. for employment will need to obtain a labor certification. The sponsoring U.S. employer will need to submit an immigration petition to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) branch of the Department of Homeland Security. Before this petition can be submitted, however, the employer will usually need to obtain the labor certification from the Employment and Training Administration branch of the Department of Labor.

A labor certification is essentially the Department of Labor certifying to USCIS that there are not sufficient workers in the U.S. who are qualified and available to accept the job opportunity in the employment area that the sponsoring employer is looking to fill. The labor certification also means that the employment of the foreign worker will not have an adverse effect on either the wages or the working conditions of those U.S. workers who are similarly employed.

To obtain the labor certification, the employer must go through a fairly involved process. It begins with the employer preparing for the labor certification process. To do this, the employer must create a job description that includes the minimum requirements of the position. The employer must also strategically plan what steps will be taken in an attempt to recruit qualified U.S. candidates for the job position. Any potential issues in the recruitment process must also be addressed at this time. This process can take up to one or two months for an employer to complete. Next, the employer must get a prevailing wage determination from the Department of Labor. This can take around four months.

After preparing and receiving the prevailing wage determination, the employer needs to conduct recruitment in an attempt to hire a qualified U.S. worker for the job. Once recruitment begins, the employer is granted 60 to 180 days to file for a labor certification. Additionally, the employer is required to observe a 30-day cooling-off period. During the cooling-off period, the employer is not to post any job notices or conduct any recruitment. After the cooling-off period, the employer can attest that no qualified U.S. workers were found to fill the job opening. The labor certification application is filed and the Department of Labor will render a decision as to whether or not the labor certification should be granted.

Immigration Law Attorneys

The necessary steps, the required documentation, the mandatory waiting times, and so much more can make a pathway to permanent residence status in the U.S. seem impossible. At Nachman, Phulwani, Zimovcak Law Group, P.C. are committed to our clients and helping them with any immigration law issue they may face. 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