Going through with PERM certification is a very specific and time-consuming process. While it’s not been stated in the press, it is clear to many domestic firms that the certification process is designed by the federal government to be challenging so that fewer businesses feel the need to go through with it. There is a whole lot of paperwork that might be submitted following a precise timeline, a series of domestic recruitment steps that must be documented and shown, and that’s not even to mention the different paperwork that applies to each category of job.
As with most complex legal procedures like PERM, a lot of companies will hire a legal team to ensure all the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed. Part of the reason for this is that companies can be audited for their PERM applications up to 5 years after the fact, and one error in the paperwork can become a real PR mess. While hiring a law firm might be the easiest option, it is certainly is the most expensive, and not always needed. Furthermore, the reality of today’s economic climate is that a lot of companies simply can’t afford it. It’s a double bind of sorts because American firms desperately need the brightest minds in the world to propel their business forward, but they are often unable to justify spending money just to bring them in.
Luckily, with a little bit of foresight and organization, any HR department can do the close reading and double-checking of documents that a law firm would provide. The nice thing about lawyers is that they can be hired once all the paperwork has been collected and make a general assessment of it before it is submitted. That’s both a time saver and a money saver.
Here are some tips for how a company can minimize lawyer fees over the course of a PERM process:
Give A Close Reading To The DOL Site – Often companies will not even begin to inquire after the specific of the PERM process and outsource it all to a law firm. However, all the information and steps are available on the Department of Labor’s (DOL) website. An HR employee would need approximately 10 hours to do all the pertinent reading and get an idea of the timeline.
Understand Step 1: Recruitment – The company must document their recruitment efforts in close detail. This is to show that a) there are no domestic workers that can fill the required role, and b) that hiring a foreign national will not adversely affect the wage or labor market in the States. If these recruitment efforts (including newspaper ads, job board postings, etc) show that no domestic workers can fill the role, the company is legally allowed to proceed with the immigration paperwork that begins with a PERM application.
Understand The Specifics – The HR department team writing the application must pay close attention to how the job is described, so as not to make it seem like it is restrictive in any unusual way.