Permanent Labour Certification Process
The United States is popularly called the seat of innovation, not necessarily because all past innovations have been made by Americans, but because most innovations, while not birthed in America have been actualized in America. This is made possible with the unbeatable availability of resources needed to actualize those innovative ideas.
United States employers seeking to bring in fresh minds in form of foreign workers to work permanently in the country must first obtain a permanent labor certification (PERM) from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The PERM certification will assist the U.S. employer in hiring for positions they have been unable to fill due to need for diversity in the workplace or insufficient qualified U.S. workers.
Permanent labor certification process is a complicated one that requires working closely with expert immigration lawyers and immigration advertising agencies. Applying for a permanent labour certification follows different processes for different programs. However, there are underlying denominators.
Responsibility for filing a labour certification falls on the U.S. employer, but it also helps for a foreign worker to be familiar with the process. The rigid process is just a way to protect the interests of U.S. qualified workers and prevent opportunities for work and wage which should’ve been meant for them being passed on to foreigners.
Requirements for PERM Certification
Being able to permanently work and live in the U.S. requires a green card. One popular way of getting the green card is through a U.S. employer sponsoring and hiring a foreign worker. Both parties have contributing roles to play. Job seeking foreigner first accepts a job offer made by the U.S employer. It is upon this acceptance that the U.S. employer applies to DOL for a labor certification on the foreign worker’s behalf.
One basic requirement of obtaining a PERM is that the employer applying for it must show that they have been unsuccessful in finding a willing, qualified and available U.S. worker to fill the vacancy. The usual way of proving this compliance is by submitting records of a bonafide recruiting exercise which includes placing ads of the vacancy in newspapers, at the state workforce agency and at the employer’s workplace. An employer cannot seek to go around this requirement by including in the PERM recruitment ads special job requirements other than the one customarily required for the vacancy.
Also, before application can be considered, employer must prove they can pay the foreign worker at least the minimum wage and job offer must be for a full-time and permanent position.
A labour certification is actually one of the steps to obtaining a green card for the foreigner. So, once this is approved by DOL, the foreigner can then seek immigration authorization from USCIS using the certification. This must be done within the 180-days validity of the labour certification.
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