PERM, or Program Electronic Review Management, is the system employed for the processing of labor certifications, which is the first part of the process for some foreign nationals to get an EB-2 or EB-3 immigrant visa. It is also used by companies, after finding a perfect candidate with their immigration job ads.
This program first came to life in 2005, and since then every single labor certification application has to be filled with it. The forms that were used prior to it are no longer used.
Before a U.S. company can file for a visa for a foreign worker it found with immigration job ads, the Department of Labor (DOL) has to first approve the labor certification. For this, the company has to submit an ETA Form 9089 to the Department of Labor. This form is used as confirmation for the fact that there are not enough domestic workers who are qualified and willing to accept the position, at a wage that is representative for the occupation and the area in which the company wants to bring the worker found through immigration ads. In addition, it also shows that by employing that worker, the wages or the working conditions of U.S. workers will be affected for the worse.
The PERM process essentially asks for companies to conduct recruitment activities in the domestic market before allowing them to file a labor certification application. It is only if during this recruitment process, the company was unable to find a suitable candidate to fill the position that it can then submit that PERM labor certification application. When filing for the labor certification application, the company does not have to provide supporting documents. However, it has to have had the recruitment activities finished and have those supporting documents prepared. The time required for processing these applications tends to fluctuate, but it is usually about 45-60 days. If DOL selects a particular case to audit, then the company has to send those required documents within 30 days.
After Being Approved
After approval is done, the company still has to take some steps before being able to bring the worker to them. They have to file an immigrant petition with the USCIS before the labor certification expires. The validity period for it is 180 days.
Because PERM certifications are quite complicated and time sensitive procedures, one should make sure to consult with an attorney specializing in such processes. This way a lot of the headache is taken away, and one can rest assured that their application won’t fail, as long as all the documents are in good order.