Labor Certification is a step of immigration process regulated in United States. Its prime objective is to distinguish U.S. workers and the U.S. labor market with foreign workers while ensuring citizen rights. Its purpose is that the government of the United States is not displacing equally qualified U.S. workers with foreign workers who are seeking an immigration visa for the sake of employment. PERM Labor Certification (Program Electronic Review Management) is the system used to obtain Labor Certification. It‘s the first step of the whole process for certain overseas nationals in obtaining an EB-immigrant visa (Green Card) or an employment-based immigration visa.
The fee for the PERM process costs from $3000 to $3500. Charges for PERM attorney fees are only $3000 for the PERM Labor Certification filing process. The PERM attorney fee for arranging and monetizing the I-140 petition is $1500. The lawyer fee for filing I-485, EAD, and AP is $1000 for the chief applicant and $800 for each dependent family member. PERM Attorney prepares and manages all files for the said petition. He takes care of all data for the relevant procedures.
Perm Processing Time:
It can take up to 6-24 months for the whole process completion of PERM Approval by average. While the Labor Certification Process usually varies from state to state depending upon the number of pending cases.
Perm Process Steps
There are three necessary steps to get an Employment-Based Green Card through PERM:
1) Labor Certification through the PERM process.
2) I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker.
3) I-485 Application to register yourself for Permanent Residence
Above all, labor certification is the principal and first to be accomplished; after getting labor certification, you can process your file for the remaining procedure.
Overview of Entire Process
To get an approved PERM Labor Certification, first of all, the US employer must advertise through a newspaper or other recruiting method that the company was unsuccessful in recruiting a qualified U.S. worker for a specific position.
Also, there must be a bonafide job opening accessible to U.S. workers.
Job requirements must stick on to what is customarily required for the occupation in the U.S. and may not be tailored to the worker’s qualifications. The employer must pay at least the prevailing salary for the trade in the area of intended employment. After satisfying all these necessary conditions, one can apply for the PERM certification and all filing process.
Guidelines for Application Form
- For completion of the PERM process,
- U.S. employer requests for a permanent labor certification by the implementation of an Application for PEC (“ETA Form 9089”).
- This application describes the job responsibility, qualification requirements, skills, experience, and other exceptional capabilities that the foreigner must have to do the work.
- Applications that are submitted via e-mail must contain the original signature of the employer, foreigner.
- Applications must be filed electronically, leading with receipt of the permanent labor certification issued by ETA. It should be signed without delay by the employer, foreign worker, and filer (if applicable) to be a compelling one.
Prevailing Wage Request
Prevailing Wage Request is necessary for the hiring of a foreign worker to ensure that it will not negatively affect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers comparably employed by the Immigration and Nationality Act of the United States. To meet the terms of this law, the DOL regulations necessitate that the payments offered to a foreign worker must be the customary payment rate for the occupational sorting in the area of employment. The prevailing wage rate is the salary paid to similarly employed workers in a specific work in the field of proposed employment by average. It can take almost six weeks to get completed. Yet it can be delayed if the employer either misunderstands the prevailing wage purpose or purposefully chooses to pay a salary that is less than the PERM prevailing wage. It will take a suitable delay for the whole process. But once you get a valid wage determination, it’s valid upto 90 days. This determination of wage request is the surety for foreign workers that the employer wouldn’t underpay the immigrant worker.
Recruiting and Testing Process
After getting permission and certification from the United States Department of Labor, follow the below steps to hire an employee.
Take the Interview of foreign workers.
Once the Department of Labor has approved your certification for a foreign worker, you can go for the hiring process. Do your work with sincerity while going through international resumes. Because international resumes can be varied and include information that would not be present in the U.S. resumes. Make sure to have plenty of time for the hiring process. Just after you have chosen the perfect candidates for the relevant job, you can start process of interview. If you are hiring workers who are currently living in their home country, you can use any video conference tool for interviews.
No.of Advertisements to Display and Time Taken for Process Completion
Three precise types of advertisements are required to be placed: a job order with the state’s workforce agency and two ads in a newspaper for a wide-ranging spread in the area of intended employment.
While the advertisements are running, the employer should review all of the resumes received for the job position. After the recruitment process completion, employer completes ETA Form 9089 and put forward it to the department of labor unites states via email. PERM application processing time is upto 30 days.
Employer Applies Using ETA Form 9089
ETA Form 9089 is issued by the. Department of Labor (DOL), the United States, allows employers to find a potential employee. Once the employer got the prevailing wage request and gone through a careful process of advertisement and recruitment for the job, that process concludes in the employer determines that no qualified U.S. workers are willing and available to take your responsibility, the employer will then fill out and submit application form 9089 to the DOL United States.
If everything is ok at both ends, then the department of labor will issue a permanent labor certification of the acceptance of the application. It allows the employer to submit a petition to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on Form I-140. Then, once the I-140 petition is accepted, you will be allowed to move further with your portion of the application for Green card; yet some people may be advised submitting both forms at the same time (the condition can vary with time). No fee is required for the whole application and submission of ETA form 9089. There are two options for filing; you can file the form electronically or via email. But the US department of labor prefers the online filing process. It almost takes 4 to 6 months from the very start of the procedure to the submission of ETA form 9089.
Randomized Application Audits
After submission and acceptance of form ETA 9089, a PERM audit is held. In this audit, an employer could be asked for some documents, including:
- Applicant’s resume
- Signed statements
- Proof of job advertisements
Each selected applicant for a PERM audit will receive a DOL Certifying Officer (CO). The CO responds to application requests, linked with supplementary recruitment credentials.
If there is anything contradictory with the content of the application, documentation, or job requirements, the CO has the authority to request a targeted audit. It is also required for COs to randomly select PERM applications to confirm the reliability of the process.
Applications are selected randomly for the auditing process, yet certain factors can boost the chances of an application being chosen for an audit.
- The forthcoming immigrant is related to the employer.
- The approaching immigrant has the intent of taking company ownership.
- There are less than ten employees suitable for the employer’s needs.
- The position requires foreign language suitability.
- The qualifications for the post are excellent.
- The expected immigrant obtained professional skills and experience from the employer
- The position requires multiple occupations and fields of interest
- The prospective immigrant had made the payment to the employer for the filing process of the PERM application.
Usually, it takes six months from filing to get selected for an auditing process. However, a Permanent labor certification audit is based upon the order of registration or application number. If you want to check specific audit process dates, you can visit the Department of Labor website.
An audit of immigrants can either be random or targeted manually, but all supervised recruitments are targeted. A supervised recruitment is more disciplinary than a targeted audit. During supervised recruitment, the certifying officer will look after every step of the recruitment process. Supervised recruitment often happens when an employer has received various targeted audits or has made any attempts to take advantage of the PERM system. Supervised Recruitment is just for the sake to ensure that your employer executes all recruitment processes according to valid terms and conditions.
If anyone is chosen for supervised recruitment, the U.S. employer must submit an advertisement. Within that advertisement, applicants are informed to send documents or resumes directly to the CO with their personal CNIC as well as an address. The CO will then forward these relevant documents to the employer so that both parties got a complete overview of the applicant’s eligibility. If the employer receives an application directly, they must be included in the final report of recruitment sent to the officer.
Employer reviews all the resumes received by himself firstly, without showing to anyone else. The DOL sustains this rule very strictly. It means that any received resumes, should not be seen by an attorney or any other third party until the employer has reviewed. The employer must keep in mind that each resume should be considered equally for the intended job. This should be true, especially under the strictly examined environment of the supervised recruitment procedure. Most probably, the recruiting period takes a minimum of sixty days (from the initial day of advertising to the completion of the process.)
PERM Certification Requirement
Labor certification isn’t necessary for all types of employment-based Green Cards. All procedure is administrated by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It classified EB applications for permanent residency into five classes based upon preference. Immigrants are not required to get Labor Certification if they meet the criteria for first preference (EB-1 Green Card). For instance, Outstanding professors and researchers, multinational company owners, and individuals who can provide evidence of amazing abilities may file an Employment-Based Immigration without labor certification. Most immigration cases of (EB-2 Green Card) and EB-3 Green Card require PERM certification. EB-4 and EB-5 cases of employment-based immigration don’t require PERM certification.
Process after PERM Approval
Just after getting the PERM approval, the next step in the procedure is for the employer to case a Form I-140 Immigrant Petition on behalf of the employee. There is dual purpose needed of the Immigrant Petition is: (i) in the confirmation that the immigrant/applicant meets the requirements of the job as mentioned on the Labor Certification Application, and (ii) to ensure that the sponsoring employer has the aptitude to pay the offered salary to the employee.
The Form I-485 Application is filed to adjust the status. It is the actual green card application that may be filed by the employee after the Immigrant Petition is approved and on the availability of visa numbers.
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