A PERM application does not just come out of thin air. Maybe that’s what firms think when filing their first claim, but a seasoned veteran of the PERM process will be the first to say that preparing for the application takes many months of work. It is not like writing a business plan or filing a tax return. Receiving a successful PERM application is the result of a lot of research, recruitment, and successful communication with the Department of Labor. It also means that the firm is prepared to offer any additional information if the DOL were to ask for it.
It makes sense that a lot of care is put into the preparation of a PERM file. At all, the firms are responsible for taking on all the expenses related to the file. It’s a costly mistake if turned down for misunderstanding a requirement.
In order to properly prepare for a PERM application, the following things should be done:
Make PERM Valid Until Green Card is Issued – One of the challenges about PERM is that it does not actually grant a green card status to the foreigner. It grants the legal right to work in the area of intended employment. The area of intended employment has a geographical and work-related significance. If the foreigner takes up a similar position outside of the States, the current PERM will become void and a new one must be applied for. In the same vein, if the job description changes beyond what the initial FORM 9089 states, then they too must file for new PERM status.
So the bottom line is this: firms should put broad descriptions in the 9089 form that include expected changes to the roles and responsibilities over a 2-3 year span. Within this time it is expected that a green card will be issued and the need for PERM will be over. This is not the case of Indians however, who currently must wait approximately 9 years to get green card status.
Ensure the Bank Account is Full – The firm must be able to prove that they can pay the foreigner a full year’s salary. There are a number of official ways to go about proving the bank account is full enough to pay the employer, but if this is not thought of before the application it can certainly put a halt on proceedings halfway through.
Don’t Lay Anyone Off Beforehand – The purpose of PERM is to ensure that hiring a foreigner will not displace domestic workers. Firing domestic workers weeks or months before a PERM application will raise a few eyebrows at the DOL. That’s the last thing a firm wants as they embark on a PERM filing.
Taking these factors into account will help any firm prepare for the PERM process. As always, working with an immigration lawyer and/or an advertising agency that specialized in PERM will make the whole process run a lot more smoothly.