LABOR CERTIFICATION (PERM)
For the second and third employment based categories, labor certification is required for permanent residence petition. The primary purpose of the labor certification is to test the US labor market that there is not sufficient worker able, willing and qualified at the time and place of alien. Additionally, alien’s employment will not adversely affect wages and working conditions of US worker.
Labor certification process is the first step of permanent residence (green card). It does not authorize employment or stay in US or “legalize” aliens who have been out of status. Also, you need to separate labor certification process with your current non-immigrant status. You need to have a non-immigrant status, such as student, H-1 or L-1 worker, to remain in the US legally. Within the authorized period of stay in US, you need to file labor certification to start your permanent residence application and get green card done before your non-immigrant status expired. If you do not need green card at all or through employment, you do not need to consider this process. Additionally, even certified by Department of Labor, labor certification does not guaranty approval of your permanent residence.
Starting on March 28, 2005, the new Program Electronic Review Management System (PERM) took effect to replace the old labor certification procedure that was used for more than 25 years. Comparing to the old process, the most drastic change is that Department of Labor indicated that PERM will take 45 to 60 days to be certified unless audit. For our experience, most of our clients' PERM got approved within 2 weeks as August 2006.
PERM procedure is summarized as follows:
1. prevailing wage determined by DOL;
2. 30-day job order from State Workforce Agency (SWA);
3. Recruitment activities:
a. 2 Sunday newspaper advertisements;
b. notice of filing;
c. for professional positions: at least 3 of following additional recruitments required
Self Evaluation of PERM Labor Certification
Flowchart of PERM Labor Certification
Sample Approved Cases