According to US Law, any domestic-based employer who would like to sponsor a foreign employee to obtain permanent residence status might need to obtain approval for a ‘labor certification’. This process is completed in the form of an application that is submitted to the Department of Labor (DOL). The permanent labor certification process requires the employer to take various steps in order to establish that immigration labor advertising is the best course of action in order to fill the position in question. This includes posting in job listings in numerous local venues and in accordance with multiple required formats.
In all, Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) Labor Certification Process is not only a relatively lengthy process that will require the investment of time and resources on the part of the employer but it also much be completed in a strictly allotted time frame. Unfortunately, even a minor error or omission on the part of the employee in completing the requirements outlined by the DOL will result in a costly rejection of the application, and necessitate starting again at square one, so it is always preferable that an employer work with a professional agency that specializes in the ins-and-outs of immigration advertising and the PERM process in particular in order to ensure that all the requirements are completed properly and in a timely manner.
With that in mind, this article is intended to answer some of the more commonly asked questions by employers who are planning on posting immigration ads to fill a vacant position, and therefore; might need to embark on the PERM Labour Certification application process in order to obtain a green card for a foreign employee.
Question: What Exactly is a PERM?
The PERM system is the system that enables employers to hire an international alien to fill a position in their company by submitting an electronic or paper application to the Department of Labor. The application is designed to prove that the employers have taken steps to seek out US citizens to fill the position, but have been unsuccessful in obtaining a qualified employee on a domestic level.
This means that in addition to posting immigration ads to fill the position, employers must also post a series of local-level listings to establish that they have taken the required steps as outlined in the application guidelines. Employers need to fully document this process, but will not need to submit their documentation unless they are selected for an audit by the DOL.
Question: Where are the Applications Processed?
All US labor certification applications are processed at one of two national processing centers located in Atlanta and Chicago. These national processing centers have replaced the duties that were once the domain of local State Workforce Agencies (SWAs), although SWAs still participate in the process by providing determinations of the prevailing wage for given occupations.
Question: How Long Will a PERM Application Take to Process?
Since electronic filing methods have come to replace more tedious paper-based processes, employers can expect a relatively timely response after filing their labor certification application. In general, the entire process will typically take under two months from the time the application is filed until the point in which a final decision is reached.
That said, many employers have reported very quick processing of the applications, and all employers should be aware that they will need to respond to email confirmation within a week of filing in order to ensure that their application stays valid. The DOL will send the confirmation email to the address listed in the application, and employers should be wary of this very important document accidentally ending up the wrong folder or getting filtered in junk mail since they will only have a week to respond from the time it is initially received.
Question: What are the Recruitment Requirements Outlined Under PERM?
The PERM application process seeks to standardize the recruitment steps required in sponsoring a foreign national employee for a green card at a national level. This means that US employers must take a series of steps in terms of domestic level recruitment within a certain allotted time period before going on to file their application.
There are several different types of recruitment methods that will need to be fulfilled and properly documented within a six month period prior to the application filing date including placing a job order the SWA, securing a prevailing wage determination from the SWA and posting internal job notices or job orders within the company according to the prevailing method of doing so. The job order will require all the following elements outlined below, and in addition, the employers should request that the SWA send any potential applicants on to them.
In addition, an employer must post two listings for the position on two separate Sunday editions of a newspaper that is generally circulated in the geographical area of the position in question. Positions that require an advanced degree must also be listed in a professional journal in place of one of the newspaper listings. All of these listings must be posted within a strictly regulated time-frame of fewer than 180 days before but more than 30 days in advance of the date the application is submitted for review.
In addition, the listings themselves must comply with certain requirements including detailing the name of the employer, a specific description of the job in question, and, if the job site is ambiguous or unclear, the geographic area where the employment will take place.
The listing must also direct potential candidates to send resumes to the employer, although the employer is not required to list the address of employment and may use a local post office branch instead. While employers are not required to include a wage or salary for the position, if they do, it must meet or exceed the prevailing wage determination that is to be obtained through the SWA. Minimum education and experience requirements are also permitted to be included providing that they are also detailed in the Application for Permanent Employment Certification Form 9089, which is submitted electronically to the DOL.