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What Should You Know About PERM Immigration Process?

If you are looking to immigrate to the United States based on employment, or you are a company that is looking to hire foreign talent to fill an open role, you may have heard of something called a PERM labor certification. In this blog post, we will explore what is a PERM application, the PERM immigration process and how long PERM processing time typically is.

What is a PERM Application?

PERM is actually an acronym for “Program Electronic Review Management”. The PERM process is a set of actions an employer must take to prove that no US citizen is available to fill the position and that wages will be driven down by hiring a foreign national for less. If you are a foreign national that is trying to get your green card through the EB-2 or EB-3 work visa category, your employer must comply with PERM regulations.

The PERM Immigration Process

For a business to obtain the PERM labor certification there are a few major steps they must complete:

  • Complete the U.S. Labor Market Test. The first thing an employer must do to get their PERM labor certification is test the US labor market to determine if there are any able, willing, available, and qualified US citizens for the position first. The employer must advertise the position and review resumes for more than 30 days, but less than 180 days, prior to filing the PERM labor certification application to ensure there are no other qualified US workers for the job. Advertising for this role must include a Sunday newspaper listing unless no such thing is available in that area. The employer must keep and submit documentation of where the advertisement for the role is placed as well as resumes and review notes.
  • Prevailing Wage Determination. The second thing an employer must do to complete their PERM application is offer the prevailing wage for the position as determined by the Department of Labor (DOL), based on the job requirements and location of the employer. An employer must get a prevailing wage determination from the DOL before filing out their PERM application.
  • Additional Recruitment. If the DOL classifies the position as “professional” under DOL regulations, then three of the following ten recruitment activities must also be undertaken:
    • Employer’s website listing
    • On-campus recruiting
    • Job fairs
    • Job search website listing other than the employer’s
    • Private employment firms
    • Employee referral programs with incentives
    • Campus placement offices
    • Radio and television ads
    • Local and ethnic newspaper listings

Once the employer has obtained PERM labor certification, the employer must then file an I-140 Immigrant Worker Petition with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) within six months of the approval date of the PERM application. The employer must also show they have the ability to pay the wage offered and the foreign national they want to hire has the experience, education, and skills required for the position.

PERM Processing Time

Typically, the USCIS processing time for the I-140 Petition takes between four to six months. For an additional fee, the USCIS will evaluate the application faster via “premium processing”, and it will then be completed within fifteen calendar days. However, USCIS could request additional evidence to process the petition and an additional thirty to sixty days could be added to the processing time. There are no restrictions on who must pay the fees for the I-140 petition so the employer could require the foreign national to pay some or all the expenses with filing this petition.

Navigating the US immigration system is never easy. If you or a loved one needs assistance with an immigration matter, it is important you obtain proper legal representation. At Dominguez Law Firm, PLLC, we are dedicated to assisting our clients in navigating the immigration process and ensure it is as smooth and stress-free as possible. Get in touch today to discuss your specific immigration needs.