An Overview of the PERM System

Most foreigners who are offered permanent resident status (“green card”) through permanent employment in the United States must be certified for Alien Employment by the U.S. Department of Labor. This certification is commonly known as labor certification.  In 2005, the Department of Labor streamlined the labor certification process through PERM (or Program Electronic Review Management), and all employers are now strongly encouraged to file electronically through this system. As an employer, you may be wondering how it all works. The Miami immigration attorneys at Saleh & Associates will break it down for you.

Who Needs to Use PERM?

The PERM certification process is a required first step for many employment-contingent petitions for permanent resident status for professionals, skilled workers and even unskilled workers..

What Is the PERM Process?

A petitioning employer is required to test the labor market using very specific recruitment activities before filing for labor certification.  The petitioning employer must prove that there are not enough willing, qualified, and able applicants who are permanent residents or United States citizens to fill the offered position.. Once this has been established, the employer can apply for PERM labor certification.

The application for labor certification can be submitted through the mail or electronically to the Department of Labor for review. While supporting documents are not required when filing, the Department of Labor often randomly audits applications to confirm strict compliance with all regulations and that the proper recruitment activities were completed and documented prior to filing the application. For example, employers must such items as newspaper ads, job orders, and website printouts for five years in case of a later review or audit.  

How Long Does the PERM Process Take?

The Department of Labor originally expected electronically filed applications to be decided within 45 to 60 days of filing. However, that time period tends to change and it is roughly 6 months at this time.  When a case is selected for auditing, employers must submit their requested documents within a 30-day window. If an audit request goes unanswered, the case will be considered abandoned and the employer may have to go through supervised recruitment for future labor certification applications.

After a labor certification is approved, an immigrant petition must be filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services within 180 days. After those 180 days, the certification expires.

PERM labor certification is a very tricky and time-sensitive process that requires the help and guidance of experienced Miami immigration lawyers like Saleh & Associates. Call us today at (305) 448-0077 and let us be your guide to foreign employment in the U.S.