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Permanent Residency

May petitioners submit ALTERNATIVE evidence to establish the employer's ability to pay?

Petitioners may submit alternative evidence to establish the employer's ability to pay the proferred wage; however, the USCIS is NOT required to accept the alternative evidence. Some of the key rules regarding alternative evidence are summarized in the following statement from a USCIS Memorandum:

What is the PRIMARY evidence that the USCIS looks to in determining the employer's ABILITY TO PAY?

The PRIMARY evidence that the USCIS looks to in determining the employer's ABILITY TO PAY is the following:

  1. In cases involving employers which employ less than 100 workers, the primary evidence consists of ANNUAL REPORTS, FEDERAL TAX RETURNS, or AUDITED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS, OR
  2. In cases involving employers which employ 100 or more workers, the employer may provide a STATEMENT from a financial officer of the organization which establishes the prospective employer's ability to pay the proffered wage.

Employer's “Ability to Pay” in Green Card cases

All U.S. Permanent residency (“green card”) petitions filed by or for an employment based immigrant, which require an offer of employment, MUST BE accompanied by evidence that the prospective U.S. employer has the ability to pay the proffered wage. This section of this website addresses various issues related to the employer's “ability to pay”.

Common Issues relating to Employment Based Green Cards

This section addresses various issues which are common to to Employment Based Green Cards.

What are the Key Requirements for obtaining an EB-5 green card?

EB-5 KEY REQUIREMENTS

In general, EB-5 "eligible individuals" include those:

Why might an employer want to convert a TR application to RIR?

According to the Labor Department:

Because RIR applications do not undergo the same recruitment process, these applications generally reach final resolution (certification or denial) in significantly less time than TR applications. Therefore, it is often to the employer's advantage to convert applications from TR to RIR

If I send in the required information about my case, will I have to respond to a Center Receipt Notification Letter (CRNL) ...

If I send in the required information about my case, will I have to respond to a Center Receipt Notification Letter (CRNL) indicating that I want to continue?

According to the Labor Department:

If the information you provide is sufficient to reconstruct the case, you will not have to respond to a CRNL as the request about the case will be taken as proof of a desire to continue. However, if information is missing that is required to continue processing, you may receive a CRNL with a corrections list of information required to continue processing. You should respond to this letter within the 45-day timeframe.

DOL still accepts some Reduction in Recruitment (RIR) Conversions for traditional LABOR CERTIFICATION cases.

As of October 27, 2006, the Labor Department (DOL) is still accepting conversions of traditional Labor Certification cases (non-PERM) to Reduction in Recruitment (RIR), PROVIDED that the job order has NOT yet been placed for the traditional case. If an RIR conversion is received by DOL with a postmark or express courier shipping date that is prior the date DOL places the job order, DOL will accpet the RIR conversion and cancel the job order.

Of course, petitioners may wish to consider converting the case to PERM instead.

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.

Is the employer permitted to accept alternative job experience/qualifications?

According to the Labor Department:

Yes, an employer may specify alternative experience or qualification requirements, provided the alternative requirements and primary requirements are substantially equivalent to each other with respect to whether the applicant can perform the proposed job duties in a reasonable manner. As discussed in the preamble to the final regulation, this is the standard developed by the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals in Matter of Francis Kellogg.

NOTE: Even when the employer's alternative requirements are substantially equivalent, but the alien does not meet the primary job requirements and only potentially qualifies for the job by virtue of the employer's alternative requirements, the alternative requirements will be considered unlawfully tailored to the alien's qualifications unless the employer has indicated on the application that applicants with any suitable combination of education, training or experience are acceptable.

In the event of an audit, can an application be withdrawn?

According to the Labor Department:

An application can not be withdrawn once it has been selected for audit. If circumstances have changed such that the application is no longer valid or applicable, the application must be withdrawn. If an application is selected for audit, the employer can not forego the audit by claiming the application is no longer valid or applicable. The employer will be held to the audit provision standards and possible resulting consequences.

Who may request RIR conversion?

According to the Labor Department:

The employer, or its designated attorney or agent, may file the request for RIR conversion.

Aliens are not eligible to request conversion, and the Backlog Elimination Centers (BECs) will not respond to such requests.

When must applications be signed?

According to the Labor Department:

Applications submitted by mail must contain the original signature of the employer, alien, and preparer, if applicable, when they are received by the processing center. Applications filed electronically must, upon receipt of the labor certification, be signed immediately by the employer, alien, and preparer, if applicable, in order to be valid.

NOTE: Where the employer provides a copy of an application to a Certifying Officer pursuant to an audit or otherwise, the copy must be signed.

Could publishing of the notice of filing in the employer's in-house media be counted as one of the additional steps required?

Could the publishing of the notice of filing in the employer's in-house media be counted as one of the additional steps required in the recruitment for professional occupations provision?

According to the Labor Department:

No, posting of the notice of filing on in-house media, including an "Intranet," can not be counted as an additional recruitment step, as it is believed that potential job applicants would only view the notice as a legal or information notice, not as an advertisement for a job opportunity, and would not apply.

Must a prevailing wage determination be obtained from the State Workforce Agency (SWA) if the employer is filing an...

Must a prevailing wage determination be obtained from the State Workforce Agency (SWA) if the employer is filing an application for a college or university teacher under the optional recruitment and documentation procedures provision?

According to the Labor Department:

Yes, a prevailing wage determination must be obtained from the SWA even if the employer is filing an application for a college or university teacher under the optional recruitment and documentation procedures provision. The attestation provision of the PERM regulation requires the employer certify that the offered wage equals or exceeds the prevailing wage determined pursuant to the prevailing wage provision which, in turn, requires the employer to obtain a prevailing determination from the SWA having jurisdiction over the proposed area of intended employment.

What documentation must the employer file when seeking a Schedule A labor certification for a professional nurse?

According to the Labor Department:

The employer must file, as part of its labor certification application, documentation the alien meets one of three requirements: the alien has a Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) Certificate, the alien has passed the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX—RN) exam, or the alien holds a full and unrestricted (permanent) license to practice nursing in the state of intended employment.

NOTE: Unlike the filing requirements under other PERM provisions, for Schedule A occupations, the employer is required to submit the applicable documentation when the employer files the application with the appropriate Department of Homeland Security office.

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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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