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PERM Labor Certification: A Comprehensive Guide to the Labor Certification Process

Navigating the complexities of the U.S. immigration system can be challenging, but when it comes to the PERM Labor Certification process, we’ve got you covered. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of this crucial step, from understanding its purpose to outlining the benefits of hiring an experienced lawyer to guide you through the process. Let’s dive in!

1. Overview of the PERM Labor Certification Process

The PERM Labor Certification process is a key component of the employment-based immigration system in the United States. Administered by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), it is designed to protect the interests of both U.S. workers and employers by ensuring that foreign nationals are not displacing qualified U.S. workers or adversely affecting their wages and working conditions.

2. Goals of the PERM Labor Certification Process

The process aims to achieve the following objectives:

  • Ensure that job opportunities for U.S. workers are protected
  • Verify that employers have made genuine efforts to recruit U.S. workers at prevailing wages and working conditions
  • Confirm that the employment of a foreign national will not adversely impact the U.S. labor market

3. Steps in the PERM Labor Certification Process

Here is a brief outline of the steps involved in the process:

  1. Prevailing Wage Determination: The employer must request a prevailing wage determination (PWD) from the DOL’s National Prevailing Wage Center. This will establish the minimum wage that the employer must offer to both the foreign worker and any U.S. workers considered for the position.

Recruitment Efforts: The employer must undertake a good-faith recruitment process for the position, which typically includes advertising the job opportunity in newspapers, on job search websites, and at job fairs, among other methods. This step is crucial in demonstrating that there are no available, qualified, and willing U.S. workers for the position.

  1. Filing the Labor Certification Application (Form ETA-9089): If the employer is unable to find a qualified U.S. worker, they may proceed to file the Labor Certification Application (Form ETA-9089) with the DOL electronically. This form contains information about the job opportunity, the employer, the foreign worker, and the recruitment efforts.
  2. DOL Review and Decision: The DOL will review the application and either approve, deny, or request an audit of the application. If approved, the employer can move forward with the next steps in the employment-based immigration process, such as filing an immigrant visa petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

4. Evidence Required

To support the PERM Labor Certification application, the employer must maintain documentation of their recruitment efforts, such as:

  • Job advertisements
  • Job orders placed with state workforce agencies
  • Resumes of U.S. workers who applied for the position
  • Reasons for rejecting U.S. worker applicants

This documentation should be retained for at least five years.

5. Processing Times

Processing times for PERM Labor Certification applications can vary, but you can check the most up-to-date information on the DOL’s Processing Times page.

6. Benefits of Hiring a Lawyer

Hiring an experienced immigration lawyer can provide numerous benefits throughout the PERM Labor Certification process, such as:

  • Expert guidance on navigating the complex process and ensuring compliance with DOL regulations
  • Assistance with determining the appropriate prevailing wage and job classification
  • Help in developing and executing an effective recruitment strategy to demonstrate a genuine effort to hire U.S. workers
  • Preparation and review of the Labor Certification Application (Form ETA-9089) to minimize the risk of errors or omissions
  • Support during audits or appeals, if necessary

To ensure a smooth and successful PERM Labor Certification process, consider scheduling a free consultation with an experienced immigration lawyer.

In Conclusion

The PERM Labor Certification process is a crucial step for employers looking to hire foreign nationals through the employment-based immigration system. By understanding the goals, steps, evidence required, and processing times involved, you’ll be better equipped to navigate this complex process. Additionally, hiring a knowledgeable immigration lawyer can provide invaluable guidance and support, ensuring the best possible outcome for both the employer and the foreign worker.

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