PERM Labor Certification
For most employment-based visas (immigrant and non-immigrant), the employer and visa applicant are subject to a process called PERM Labor Certification. The purpose of this process is to ensure that the job being filled by a foreign worker is not being taken from a willing and able U.S. worker.
The Department of Labor (DOL) uses the Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) process to accept information and either issue or deny certification. To obtain this certification, employers must first attempt to fill the available position with qualified U.S. applicants.
Requirement To Advertise to and Recruit U.S. Workers
Employers must advertise to and actively recruit U.S. workers by posting job advertisements in three required places. These are:
- The State Workforce Agency (SWA), in the state where the position is located;
- A major newspaper, on two Sundays and in the area where the position is located; and
- At the place of employment.
To be approved and receive a labor certification, the employer must be able to show that:
- There are insufficient qualified, able, and willing U.S. workers to fill the position being offered; and
- Hiring a foreign worker will not have an adverse effect on the working conditions or wages of U.S. workers in similar positions.
Prevailing Wage Determination (PWD)
In addition to advertising and recruiting requirements, employers may be required to request a prevailing wage determination (PWD) from the DOL. The prevailing wage is the average rate paid to workers in a similar occupation. This process is required by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) in an effort to protect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers. In essence, the law aims to prevent employers from hiring foreign workers at a lower rate and passing over U.S. workers. As such, it protects foreign workers and U.S. workers alike.
Following a period of 30 days from the expiration of the published job advertisements, the employer is permitted to apply for labor certification. The application process typically takes about six months but can go up to a year if an audit is requested. Once the labor certificate is issued, you can move on to the visa application process. To ensure that this process goes as smoothly, and quickly, as possible, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced immigration lawyer today.
Contact Parikh Law Group, LLC
Although the PERM labor certification process is the employer’s responsibility, it is in the visa applicant’s best interest to be as much familiar with the process as possible. Doing so may help prevent unnecessary errors and delays. The immigration attorneys at Parikh Law Group, LLC can help you navigate this process in the quickest, easiest, and most economical manner. Contact us today for a confidential consultation about your case.