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PERM

PERM Labor Certification

PERM: Labor Certification, Green Card

  • One of the most commonly used avenues for obtaining U.S. Permanent Residency (i.e., a "green card") through employment is through the PERM Labor Certification process.
  • In general, this process requires a U.S. employer to offer a foreign national a permanent, full time, job, and to "sponsor" the individual by fiilng this type of case. 
  • The key part of this process is the recruitment process, by which the U.S. employer must undertake a recruitment process, conforming to specific requirements, in order to establish that there are no U.S. workers to fill the position which is being offered to the foreign national.  This is what is known as "Labor Certification".  (Other detailed requirements and rules apply).
  • This process is available for most types of jobs; however, there are certain jobs which do not qualify because the law deems that there are sufficient U.S. workers to fill those jobs, as a matter of law.

Is the employer permitted to use an electronic national professional journal?

According to the Labor Department:

No, the employer can not use an electronic national professional journal. The employer must use a print journal whether to satisfy the provision permitting the use of a journal as an alternative to one of the Sunday advertisements or to satisfy the provision requiring an advertisement in a journal under optional special recruitment procedures for college and university teachers.

Where and when does the employer obtain prevailing wage information?

According to the Labor Department:

Prior to filing the Application for Permanent Employment Certification, ETA Form 9089, the employer must request a prevailing wage determination from the State Workforce Agency (SWA) having jurisdiction over the proposed area of intended employment. The employer is required to include on the ETA Form 9089 the SWA provided information: the prevailing wage, the prevailing wage tracking number (if applicable), the SOC/O*NET(OES) code, the occupation title, the skill level, the wage source, the determination date, and the expiration date.

NOTE: The SWA prevailing wage determination documentation is not submitted with the application, but it must be retained for a period of five years from the date of filing the application by the employer.

Is the employer permitted to use a wage range as opposed to a single wage rate in advertisements for the job offer?

According to the Labor Department:

Yes, the employer may advertise with a wage range as long as the bottom of the range is no less than the prevailing wage rate.

Does PERM have a provision similar to, or the same as, the Schedule B provision in the regulation in effect prior to...

Does PERM have a provision similar to, or the same as, the Schedule B provision in the regulation in effect prior to March 28, 2005?

According to the Labor Department:

No, the former regulation's Schedule B provision has been eliminated; there is no similar provision in PERM.

Refiling a labor certification application filed under the previous regulations and retaining the original filing date

Can the employer refile a labor certification application filed under the previous permanent labor certification regulations under the new streamlined system and retain the filing date of the original application?

According to the Labor Department:

Yes, if a job order has not been placed pursuant to the regulations in effect prior to March 28, 2005, an employer may refile by withdrawing the original application and submitting, within 210 days of withdrawing, an application for an identical job opportunity which complies with all of the filing and recruiting requirements of the new PERM regulation.

NOTE: Indicating on the Application for Permanent Employment Certification, ETA Form 9089, the desire to use the filing date from a previously submitted application, i.e., marking "yes" to question A-1, is deemed to be a withdrawal of the original application.

NOTE: If a job order for an application has been placed by the State Workforce Agency (SWA) as part of the traditional recruitment process under the regulations in effect prior to March 28, 2005, the employer is prohibited from refiling the application and retaining the original filing date. However, if an employer placed a job order as a recruitment step in a reduction-in-recruitment application, the job order is not considered a job order placed by the SWA as part of the traditional recruitment process and the employer is permitted to withdraw and refile.

May I post a Notice of Filing for multiple positions of the same occupation and job classifications with a single posting?

I have multiple positions available for the same occupation and job classifications and at the same rate of pay. May I post a Notice of Filing for the same occupation and job classifications with a single posting?

According to the Labor Department:

Yes, an employer can satisfy Notice of Filing requirements with respect to several positions in each of these job classifications with a single Notice of Filing posting, as long as the single posting complies with the Department of Labor's regulation for each application (e.g. contains the appropriate prevailing wage information and the Notice of Filing must be posted for 10 consecutive business days during the 30 to 180 day time window prior to filing the application). For instance, separate notices would have to be posted for an attending nurse and a supervisory nurse (e.g. nurses containing different job duties).

NOTE: At the time of filing the labor certification, the prevailing wage information must not have changed, the job opportunity must remain the same and all other Department of Labor regulatory requirements must be followed.

Is it permissible to use the same prevailing wage determination for more than one application?

According to the Labor Department:

Yes, as long as provisions regarding the validity period are followed, the employer is permitted to use the same prevailing wage determination if the prevailing wage is for the same occupation and skill level; the same wage source is applicable; and the same area of intended employment is involved.

Is an application for a labor certification for Schedule A occupations filed with a Department of Labor National Processing ...

Is an application for a labor certification for Schedule A occupations filed with a Department of Labor National Processing Center?

According to the Labor Department:

No, an application for a labor certification for Schedule A occupations is filed, in duplicate, with the appropriate Department of Homeland Security (DHS) office.

What are the criteria for revoking approved labor certifications?

According to the Labor Department:

Certifying Officers have the authority to revoke an approved labor certification for fraud and willful misrepresentation, obvious errors, or for grounds or issues associated with the labor certification process.

Posting notices of filing for college and university teachers after the selection process has been completed

Can notices of filing for college and university teachers recruited under the competitive recruitment and selection process be posted after the selection process has been completed?

According to the Labor Department:

Yes, for college and university teachers, notices of filing may be posted after the selection process has been completed. An application for a college or university teacher may be filed up to 18 months after the selection is made and a notice of filing must be provided between 30 and 180 days prior to filing the application either by providing notice to the bargaining representative, if one exists, or by posting notice at the facility or location of employment.

Are the recruitment provisions different for college and university teachers?

According to the Labor Department:

Yes, while the employer may choose to recruit for college and university teachers under the basic process, the employer may choose to recruit under § 656.18, optional special recruitment and documentation procedures for college and university teachers.

NOTE: The employer must support hiring of the alien by documenting that the alien was found to be more qualified than each U.S. worker who applied for the job opportunity.

How can an employer withdraw a PERM application if the employer has difficulty withdrawing electronically?

According to the Labor Department:

As explained in an earlier FAQ on this subject, if the application was filed on-line, the application can be withdrawn by accessing the account wherein the application was filed and simply marking the appropriate box. If the application was filed by mail, a withdrawal request, in writing following the procedure below, must be sent to the National Processing Center to which the application was originally submitted.

In the event employers are unable to withdraw electronically as stated above, employers should send a withdrawal request by e-mail to the appropriate National Processing Center at: PLC.Chicago@dol.gov (for Chicago) or PLC.Atlanta@dol.gov (for Atlanta). To ensure your request is processed expeditiously, please include the following information in the e-mail request:

  • Show the words "Withdrawal Request" and the employer’s name in the subject line of the e-mail
  • In the body of the e-mail, include the following information:
    • Case Number
    • Employer's Name
    • Employer's EIN
    • The reason for withdrawal
    • Name and title of individual requesting withdrawal

Using the posting sample of a Notice of Filing issued by the USCIS

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has posted, or will soon post, a sample of a Notice of Filing for a Schedule A permanent labor certification on their website. Will the Department of Labor accept/honor such a posting as sufficient proof of the Notice of Filing for a non-Schedule A permanent labor certification?

According to the Labor Department:

Yes, an employer may use the posting sample of a Notice of Filing issued by the USCIS and such a posting will be honored by the Department of Labor (DOL) provided that the Notice of Filing complies with all Department of Labor regulatory requirements. DOL worked with USCIS to develop the sample posting as a customer service convenience. DOL will honor the use of the sample, but is not requiring use of the sample. Employers may use other forms as long as they comply with the regulations.

Does the alien beneficiary need to have a bachelor's or higher degree to qualify for a professional occupation?

According to the Labor Department:

No, the alien does not need to have a bachelor's or higher degree to qualify. However, if the employer is willing to accept work experience in lieu of a baccalaureate degree, such work experience must be attainable in the U.S. labor market and the employer's willingness to accept work experience in lieu of a degree must apply equally to U.S. applicants and must be stated on the application form.

Must the employer request a prevailing wage determination from the State Workforce Agency (SWA) if filing under Schedule A?

According to the Labor Department:

Yes, a prevailing wage determination must be requested from the SWA having jurisdiction over the proposed area of intended employment.

If the employer's job opportunity is for an occupation which is subject to a wage determination...

If the employer's job opportunity is for an occupation which is subject to a wage determination under the Davis-Bacon Act (DBA) or the McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract Act (SCA), must the employer use the DBA or SCA?

According to the Labor Department:

No, the employer is not required to use a wage determination under the DBA or the SCA but may choose to do so.

The Prevailing Wage Determination provided by the State Workforce Agency (SWA) was incorrect or incomplete. What do I do?

According to the Labor Department:

In submitting a PERM application, the employer declares that it has read and reviewed the application and that the information contained in the application is true and accurate. The employer is responsible for ensuring the PWD information provided by the SWA and entered on ETA Form 9089 is correct and for taking steps to obtain corrected PWDs from the SWA as needed.

We are aware there have been some issues with Prevailing Wage Determinations (PWD) provided by some SWAs, such as incorrect SOC codes or validity periods. Currently, we are working with all SWAs to ensure the new regulation and state requirements are clearly understood and implemented.

To address denials based on SWA errors during the first months of implementation of the PERM regulation, the Department has developed the following option for employers. If you have an application that was denied due to an error associated with an incorrect or incomplete PWD, and the application was submitted before March 25, 2006, you may submit a request for review to the appropriate Certifying Officer. The request for review must include a copy of the corrected PWD provided by the SWA or a copy of the initial PWD obtained from the SWA together with an explanation of how it should be corrected.

Does the use of an electronic national professional journal satisfy the advertisement requirement under the college and...

Does the use of an electronic national professional journal satisfy the advertisement requirement under the college and university teachers' special recruitment and documentation provision?

According to the Labor Department:

No, use of an electronic national professional journal does not satisfy the optional special recruitment provision's advertising requirement. The employer must use a print publication.

Must the required 30 day job order timeframe end at least 30 days prior to filing?

According to the Labor Department:

Yes, the 30 day job order timeframe must end at least 30 days prior to filing. While the employer is not limited to the 30 day timeframe and may choose to post the job order for a longer period, 30 days of the posting must take place at least 30 days prior to filing.

Search for H1B Visa Employers

You can search for "H1B Visa Employers" using this database, which was compiled by Antao & Chuang, Attorneys at Law from government sources. This database identifies those U.S. employers who have filed for H-1B visas in the past, or who have at least started the process by filing for the LCA. If you find an employer you are interested in, you can then contact them to inquire as to whether they have any current job openings in your field. Please tell your friends about this valuable resource.

Use this form to search for H1B Visa employers.

"FMG Friendly" Employers

Foreign Medical Graduates ("FMGs") should be aware that there are "FMG Friendly" employers, and "FMG Unfriendly" employers. This database (compiled by Antao & Chuang, Attorneys at Law from government sources) identifies those U.S. employers who have filed for H-1B visas for foreign medical graduates in the past (or at least started the process by filing for the LCA), and who can therefore be deemed "FMG Friendly". Please tell your colleagues about this valuable resource.

Use this form to search for "FMG Friendly" employers in a given state.

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