Labor Certification (PERM)
For many foreign workers seeking permanent residency in the United States, the Labor Certification process is the necessary first step. Labor certification essentially involves proving to the U.S. Department of Labor ("DOL") that there are no qualified U.S. applicants to fill the position for which the foreign worker is applying. Once a labor certification is approved, the employer can proceed to file an I-140 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker) for the employee.
The purpose of the application is to establish to the satisfaction of the DOL that at the time of filing the application and in the area of intended employment, there are no qualified U.S. workers who are available, willing and able to fill the position being offered to the foreign national beneficiary and that employment of the foreign national will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.
Starting from March 28, 2005, all labor certification applications must be filed using the new process called PERM (Program Electronic Review Management). The main distinction between PERM and the previous labor certification process is that under PERM the application is filed electronically and no supporting documents are submitted at the time of filing. According to the DOL, an electronically filed PERM application is expected to be adjudicated in around 45-60 days unless there is an audit. The petitioning employer is required to have all supporting documents ready prior to filing and should submit to DOL within 30 days if the case is selected by DOL for auditing.
Steps to Green Card Through PERM Labor Certification
General Procedure for Filing PERM Labor Certification
Frequently Asked Questions About PERM Labor Certification
Recent PERM Approvals