What is the PERM Labor Certification?
It’s the first step in a federal program that grants direct permanent residence to all immigrants who are inside or outside the United States, through a job offer. It must be filed with the Department of Labor (DOL, for its acronym in English) by an American employer.
Currently, the Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) is the system used to obtain a Labor Certification.
The PERM isn’t a type of visa and is a different permit than the Labor Condition Application (LCA, for its acronym in English).
What does PERM Labor Certification mean? Profits
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The purpose of PERM Labor Certification is to regulate and expedite the process of applying for a work permit for foreign workers, being a requirement for companies to request them.
Among the benefits that a worker has for obtaining PERM we have:
- Enjoy a fair and equal salary to that of other workers, citizens and permanent residents.
- Have the same employment benefits as other workers.
- Apply for the Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) and then make the adjustment of status to apply for American citizenship.
Who can apply to PERM Program?
You can apply for PERM Labor Certification:
- Any foreigner who wants to work in the US and meets the requirements.
- Foreigners already in the US
- University graduates, with Masters or Doctorates.
- Workers without university studies who know any trade (babysitters, domestic workers, plumbers, gardeners, electricians, cooks, farmers, etc.).
- Foreign investors.
- People with an approved work visa.
- Non-immigrant visa holders (tourism, business or other).
- Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
- Foreign students residing in the country.
Requirements for PERM Labor Certification – Process
- The process can only be carried out by an American employer.
- The employer must:
- Make sure the foreign worker meets the eligibility criteria.
- Create an account and user on the official DOL website.
- Demonstrate to the DOL that there are no qualified or willing US workers to do the job.
- Demonstrate that hiring the foreign worker will not have a negative impact on the US job market.
How to get PERM Labor Certification? Steps
- Publish the job offer on the company’s website, employment organizations and in local media, at least 10 business days prior to the process. This procedure must be done within 30 to 180 days.
- With this, it’s ensured that no American citizen, permanent resident or person with a work permit is willing to perform that job.
- Ask the National Prevailing Wage Center (NPWC) for the wage rate that applies to the job offer.
- Fill out the Foreign Employment Certification Request Form (ETA 9089).
- Keep a file of the United States Employer Audit.
- Make the immigrant employee petition.
How long does it take to get PERM Labor Certification?
Acceptance and processing of labor certification by the DOL can last from 6 to 18 months, depending on the workload and the availability of resources in each DOL office.
The petition for an immigrant visa for a foreign worker to USCIS can range from 4 to 12 months, as it varies depending on the category and priority date of the visa, as well as geographic location.
How much does a labor certification cost?
The cost of PERM labor certification has not been set by the DOL. What is valid is that there are other costs associated with this procedure: The recruitment process, the publication of advertisements, legal advice, among others.
Similarly, USCIS establishes a fee for filing the foreign worker’s petition of $ 700.
This fee and the other costs must be paid by the employer, not by the worker.
Can PERM be denied?
Yes, the PERM Labor Certification can be denied. Among the reasons for doing so we have:
- Failure to comply with the deadlines for the publication of the job offer in visible places.
- Hide information about family relationships between the employer and the sponsored worker.
- Failure to ensure that the worker meets the eligibility criteria.
- Not having all the precautions at hand if requested, since the DOL conducts random audits.
Can I travel abroad during PERM process?
Yes. The law does not prevent the foreign worker from traveling while the labor certification is pending. You just have to make sure you get a valid visa to re-enter the United States.
What happens after PERM Labor Certification is approved?
If the PERM labor certification is approved, the employer must go to the USCIS Citizenship and Immigration Service and will have a period of 180 days after the PERM approval to fill out Form I-140. At that moment, the immigration process formally begins.
Can I change jobs after PERM is approved?
Generally, this isn’t possible as it’s awarded for a particular type of job and employer.
What you can do is change jobs while the process is underway, if the employer allows it, for which you must first withdraw the previous application for labor certification. The new employer, meanwhile, will have to make a new application.
PERM is a legal process that requires migration and technical knowledge, which you must carry out with the utmost care and attention, to avoid wasting time and money. If you want more information about the process or to process a PERM labor certification, contact our agency.
At Tramites de Inmigracion USA Corp, we will advise you on everything you need in relation to requests for workers and American visas, in an efficient, responsible, confidential and safe way! If you are a business owner and want to sponsor a foreign worker, we can help you.