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Are you an employer seeking to sponsor an individual? Learn more about your options.

Perm Visa Image

The Permanent Labor Certification Program (PERM) is a process most employers are required to complete. It is the first step in the employment-based lawful permanent residence (i.e. green card) process. PERM is the process through which the U.S. Department of Labor certifies there are no qualified U.S. workers able, willing, qualified, and available to fill the offered position at the prevailing wage in the intended area of employment and that the foreign national’s employment will not adversely impact wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers. The PERM process is multi-step during which your company will request a prevailing wage determination from the U.S. Department of Labor, conduct recruitment to fill the position with a qualified U.S. worker, and submit a labor certification request (i.e. Form ETA 9089) to the U.S. Department of Labor. The prevailing wage is set by the National Prevailing Wage Center who look at the specific job offered including the geographic area where the job opportunity is located as well as the required educational background, work experience, training, and level of supervision.

The recruitment process that your company must undertake depends upon whether the position your company seeks to fill is considered professional or non-professional. Professional occupations are those for which at least a Bachelor’s Degree (or its equivalent) is normally required. Appendix A provides a list of occupations that are considered professional. For both professional and non-professional positions, your company will have to undertake the following recruitment efforts:

  • Place a job order with the State Wage Agency in the area of intended employment for a period of 30 days;
  • Place two print advertisements on two different Sundays in a paper of general circulation in the area of intended employment; and
  • Post the position in a location within the place of employment such as a break room.

In addition, when the position to be filled is considered a professional position, your company must undertake at least 3 additional recruitment steps from the following:

  • Participate in a job fair;
  • Post the position on your company’s website;
  • Post the position on a job search website other than your company’s website;
  • Conduct on-campus recruiting;
  • Advertise the job in trade or professional organizations/publications;
  • Use private employment firms;
  • Use an employee referral programs with incentives;
  • Place the job with campus placement offices;
  • Place advertisements in local and ethnic newspapers; or
  • Place radio and television advertisements.

Once your company completes the required recruitment, your company will need to file an ETA Form 9089, Application for Permanent Employment Certification with the U.S. Department of Labor. An application for labor certification that is certified by the U.S. Department of Labor allows your company to continue the immigration process to employ a foreign national to work permanently in the United States.

Call us at (212) 840-0050 or complete our form to schedule a free confidential consultation.

I-140 Visa Image
A Petition for Alien Worker (Form I-140) will need to be filed by your company, regardless of whether your company needs to go through the PERM process. Those self-petitioning for an immigrant visa are also required to file a Form I-140. The form is used to obtain an immigrant visa and must be submitted with supporting evidence including documentation showing eligibility for the preference category selected, labor certification, and ability to pay the prevailing wage. Since there are annual caps on the number of employment-based immigrant visas that can be issued each fiscal year, some foreign nationals must wait extended periods of time to obtain lawful permanent residence. The “priority date” determines when a foreign national can begin the last step in the employment-based immigration process. If a labor certification was required, the priority date is the date that the labor certification application was filed with U.S. Department of Labor. If a labor certification was not required, the priority date is the date that the Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker was accepted by USCIS for processing. When a “priority date” becomes “current” (i.e. an immigrant visa is available) depends on the preference category and the foreign national’s country of birth. The U.S. Department of State publishes a Visa Bulletin monthly. The Visa Bulletin indicates immigrant visa availability for the month. If the foreign national’s priority date is current, he/she will be able to begin the final step in the immigration process - adjustment of status or consular processing.

  • Adjustment of Status v. Consular Processing:

    • Adjustment of status is the process through which eligible foreign nationals who are in the U.S. apply for lawful permanent residence. Not all foreign nationals present in the U.S. are eligible to apply for adjustment of status so it is important to speak to an experienced immigration attorney before applying. To apply for adjustment of status, the foreign national must complete a Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, and required supporting evidence.

    • Consular Processing is the process through which foreign nationals who are overseas applying for an immigrant visa. Upon entering the United States with an immigrant visa, the foreign national becomes a lawful permanent resident (i.e. green card holder). To apply for an immigrant visa, the foreign national must wait for the Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker to be approved and an immigrant visa is available per the Visa Bulletin. The foreign national must submit a completed DS-260, Immigrant Visa Application, and supporting evidence. The foreign national will be interviewed at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate and if all goes well, an immigrant visa will be issued.

Not sure which option is right for you? Request a confidential consultation today.