With all the slow downs in the USCIS and Department of Labor at the moment, a lot of employers and lawyers have been pressuring the administration to expand PERM. To expand PERM would mean potentially changing a lot of things, including:
Simplifying the Application Procedure – A lot of applications get looked over and denied because they have not followed the right protocol. Perhaps the protocol is too specific? One popular area of critique is the over-complicated and outdated job advertisement requirements. The administration is always making little changes to how their view PERM applications, and this can be expected to continue. It is not likely that anything major will be done to simplify the application process, however. Such a move would go against the mandate of PERM which is to safeguard a place for American workers in their home country before letting qualified foreign nationals have an opportunity.
Automating the Prevailing Wage Determination – A lot of tasks in manufacturing have become automated, and it will only increase with time. Why can’t the same process be done with the prevailing wage determination? PERM itself is an electronic program designed to speed up the green card process. iCert, the digital portal that allows applicants to view their file in real time, has done wonders for the administration. So, for these two reasons it makes a lot of sense to continue the trend and automate the prevailing wage determination.
Automation can be achieved by incorporating an algorithmic system into the National Prevailing Wage Center system. Once the number had been derived the NPWC employees could simply upload the number into a shared digital portal and the employer would know instantly what all the important numbers are. This would cut a couple of weeks off the application time.
Hire More Employees – The Department of Labor or the USCIC could always petition to get more employees in their respective offices. This seems unlikely given the President’s current governmental hiring freeze. It would also act more as a bandaid solution when the real issues with PERM is that it’s not all digital yet.
Is Expansion Necessary?
A lot of employers in Silicon Valley would say that expansion is necessary to help move the American economy has fast as it can go. The risk of expansion without proper planning is that qualified workers will lose out on jobs and feel as though they are being ignored. This is why employers need to realize that perhaps, if they focused more on their PERM advertising techniques, they could find what they need in their own country.
It’s expected that this debate will continue as long as major structural reform to PERM is not undertaken. For the time being, American businessmen will have to live with the fact that America has always been a center for innovation and there is no reason to think that this reputation will change.