Duties of U.S. Employers Seeking to Hire An Immigrant
A foreign immigrant seeking to live and work permanently in the U.S. must have applied for and obtained a green card. There are several routes one can follow to obtain the much sought after green card, but the road frequently travelled happens to be through employment. Immigrant must have accepted a job offer from employer who then proceeds to apply for the PERM labour certification on behalf of immigration worker.
Labor Certification Step One: PWD Request
The first step and duty of the employer seeking to obtain a PERM labor certification for a foreign worker is to make a prevailing wage request to the Department of Labour (DOL). This can be done through DOL’s website: http://icert.doleta.gov/. Filling of the prevailing wage request form by the employer will provide DOL with information about the job offer such as requirements, duties, qualifications and workplace location. This information is used by the DOL to arrive at a Prevailing Wage Determination (PWD) which is used as the minimum wage for that vacancy in that location. Thus , there are different PWD for different vacancies and even the same vacancies in different workplaces have different PWD.
Labor Certification Step Two: Advertising and Recruiting
Advertising the vacancy and recruiting from responses to the advert is the next step after obtaining PWD. Advertising is essential because the employer must show that local recruitment has been done but there was no U.S. worker fit for the vacancy of the ones available are not enough to fill the multiple vacancies. Advertising could be in newspapers, state workforce agency or at the employer’s workplace. Also, the advertising must not be worded in any special way that benefits only immigration workers, but must be the normal wording of an advertisement which would naturally have attracted a qualified U.S. worker.
The rules for advertising in PERM application is that there must be two different Sunday publications in the most widely read in that location. An advertisement to be used in applying for a PERM labor certification must be not more than 180-days old.
Labor Certification Step Three: Filing ETA Form 9089
Final step to obtaining the labor certification is the U.S employer filing ETA Form 9089 immediately after completing step two relating to advertisements. Like the PWD request, the ETA form can be files online. Filling of the form by the employer provides the same info received from the PWD request and in addition, information relating to recruitment and advertisement, PWD and details about the foreign worker.
It can take DOL several months to adjudicate on the application. DOL reserves the right to adjudicate the PERM and can either approve, deny or audit the PERM application. Auditing is simply a request for more information which the U.S. employer must respond to. Successful approval allows the employer to file an I-140 visa petition on the worker’s behalf with USCIS.