When you think of the advertising industry, regulations aren’t usually the first thing that comes to mind. But in the space of skilled immigrant workers, the DOL and other United States government agencies have strict rules surrounding posting immigration ads for jobs. This not only ensures that Americans are prioritized when it comes to filling positions, but it also protects both domestic and international prospects from potential work arrangements that undercut industry standards for pay, supplementary compensation, and work environment.
It’s for this reason that institutions like the DOL and USCIS have strict protocols that both job seeking immigrants and employers need to follow before an employer-based green card can be given out. PERM certifications are a multi-stage process of which advertisements for immigrant workers are only one small part. However, it is significant enough that many employers end up making mistakes that jeopardize the likelihood of a work visa ever being issued.
Here’s everything you need to know about immigration advertising regulations for permanent job certification in the United States.
DOL Regulations Surrounding Immigration Advertising
The whole point of these immigrant worker advertisements is to check that there isn’t enough skilled labor in the surrounding area to fill the need. This requires that the employer places an employment order with the State Workforce Agency (SWA) where the position is going to be carried out. From here, there is a series of sequential steps that both immigrant job seekers and employers need to navigate, including:
- Two separate 30 day wait periods that give potential applicants time to assess fit
- Advertising in regional newspapers and journals to inform potential domestic candidates
- PERM Certification submittal to the correct governing body
- Notice of Filing (NOF) within the employer’s organization and relevant union bodies
The Notice of Filing stage is particularly important as it is where many employers run into issues. There are numerous regulations about the information that must be presented on a NOF, where it must be placed, and how much the compensation and benefits are for the position.
In addition to the requisite steps mentioned above, employers and immigrants seeking PERM certification need to be mindful of other regulations laid out by the DOL and other US government bodies. Particularly, there are additional recruitment methods that the government wants employers to conduct to make certain that the regional area does not have sufficient skilled labor to fill the position. By using any 3 of the following methods in combination, employers seeking a PERM certification can ensure that their application goes smoothly:
- Presence and engagement at a job fair or event that is likely to garner the kind of skilled labor necessary to fill the position
- Using the company website or intranet to post an advertisement. A record is required to prove this occurrence, so companies need to take screenshots or pictures of these advertisements
- Posting a wanted advertisement on a third party hiring site like Indeed, Glassdoor, Linkedin, or Monster.com
- Purchasing ad space within a professional publication like a trade magazine or association’s journal, including academic and professional journals
- Hiring a private employment firm to seek out qualified applicants in the area. This is another method that requires proof like contracts and other communications with the firm
- For jobs that don’t require as much skill or experience, setting up on-campus booths to raise awareness and help recruit prospects
- Creating an employee incentive program, using legal, applicable means, for the referral of potential new hires
- Posting of an advertisement in the placement office of a local college or university
- Using any ethnic media sources to post an advertisement to the local community
- Purchasing air time on the radio or local TV stations. This is another method that will require recording to prove that it has occurred
Depending on the nature of the role that an employer needs to fill, the number of additional steps will vary. Employers may post two forms of wanted advertisements for “unskilled” jobs, whereas highly skilled professionals require a more thorough ad campaign.
Why Do We Need Immigration Labor Advertising Regulations?
As you can see, the entirety of the PERM certification immigration labor advertising process is to keep opportunities available to American citizens where possible. Most employment-based green cards are given for positions that face a consistent dearth of applicants. So, in cases where there is a surplus of domestic candidates, these advertisements, and the rest of the PERM certification process, will be difficult to use.