What is PERM Labor Certification and Why Does it Matter?


If you are an employer who wishes to hire a foreign worker you should be familiar with the complexities of PERM labor certification.

PERM stands for “Program Electronic Review Management. The system was developed by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to streamline the processing and the filing of labor certifications for workers from other countries.

It’s also meant to standardize and improve recruitment requirements. If you are using the PERM labor certification system, you can submit labor certification applications online and get them processed within three months. It’s not necessary to submit supporting documents at the time of filing but they could be requested if the application is audited.

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PERM Labor Certification is needed to bring over workers on H-1B visas

In most cases, before the American employer can submit its immigration petition to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the employer proposing to hire a foreign worker must obtain a certified labor certification application from the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA).

The process is important because it fulfills the requirement to employ local workers before looking outside the United States.

The Purpose of PERM Labor Certification

The process allows the Department of Labor to certify to immigration services that there are not enough U.S. workers who are willing, able and qualified and available to accept the job opportunity in the specified area of employment. The DoL must also show that employment of a worker from outside the country will not adversely impact the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers employed in the same or similar areas.

The new permanent labor certification program (PERM), was established on December 27, 2004, implementing a revised permanent labor certification program, effective March 28, 2005.

We describe the qualifications of PERM here on our website.

To start the PERM process, an employer must file an Alien Employment Certification, ETA Form 9089. When this is approved, the application must be filed at a USCIS service center with form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker.

To file electronically, you should to visit www.doleta.gov and set up an account. You will then have to fill out an application. Do not leave any field empty because the system will not accept the application.

This is a complicated procedure but it’s vital to get it right. Our Austin immigration attorneys can help your company to ensure everything is done correctly. Please call us at  (512) 399-2311 if you need assistance.

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