PERM – Labor Certification
Labor certification is the first step of the three step process to obtaining permanent resident status through the employment-based immigration process. An approved labor certification (LC) by Employment and Training Administration (ETA) of the Department of Labor (DOL) verifies that:
- There are no U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified to accept the job
- At the prevailing wage for the particular position
- In the geographic area of intended employment, and
- Hiring a foreign worker will not have adverse effects on the wages or working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.
The Labor Certification Process
The Labor Certification process operates under a program called PERM (Program Electronic Review Management) in which employers must electronically file ETA Form 9089.
The employer should conduct certain recruitment efforts which must include:
- Two professional print advertisements
- A job order from the SWA (State Workforce Agency) for 30 days or more
- An on-site job posting for 10 consecutive business days
- For professional occupations, at least three additional recruitment methods from the following must be used within 30 days of filing for PERM:
- Employer’s website
- Job posting website other than employer’s
- Job fairs
- Headhunter agencies
- Employee referral program
- On-campus recruiting
- Campus placement office
- Local newspapers
- Trade or professional journals
- Radio or TV ads
All recruitment must take place within the 30 – 180 day timeframe prior to filing a PERM application.
All advertisements need to include a description of the vacancy, the employer name, geographic location, and contact information. Any information regarding minimum education and work experience requirements must also be provided on the ETA Form 9098.
Once approved, labor certifications are valid for a period of 180 calendar days before which the company should proceed to the next step of filing the I-140 immigrant visa.
Current normal PERM processing times are between 4 months to 8 months.
The labor certification process is complex and can be confusing.
Immigration Attorney Kavitha Ramasami has vast experience in handling PERM cases and is eager to help your company facilitate efficiency and optimization of this process.