A successful PERM application must go through a number of different governing bodies. The most important governing body responsible for assessing PERM applications is the Department of Labor (DOL). Those who have applied for permanent labor certification will know the responsibilities of the DOL in determining the status of an application.
Employers might not be aware of the extent to which the DOL is responsible, however. While the process for permanent labor certification is different for each industry, the one constant is that DOL workers are in charge of the application. They are involved in analyzing the prevailing wage assessment, confirming the immigration papers, and monitoring the domestic job ads for the available job.
For those who are new to the permanent labor certification process, here is rundown of the responsibilities that the DOL has:
Department of Labor Is the Overarching Governing Body
Every application must pass through the DOL. The employer is responsible for submitting an application via the DOL offices, preferably the closest location to their office because it will be more expedient that way. It is the responsibility of the DOL to look over the application and ensure that all components are submitted.
This responsibility includes a number of different tasks. The first task is checking over the paperwork to make sure nothing is missing. If something is done improperly the DOL has the power to reject the entire application. They are more likely to inform the employer of their mistake and accept a new application. It really depends on how many other applications are pending and what time of year it is. There is a quota for how many PERM applications are allowed to be accepted each year, so the later in the year the more likely it is to be turned away for any small error.
The second major responsibility is ensuring that there is indeed no issue with hiring a foreigner to take a job that a skilled American would otherwise take. PERM was created to protect the American worker by ensuring they have first option on employment opportunities in their home country. If the DOL deems that there are no skilled Americans for the job in question, then the PERM application can go through.
A third responsibility of the DOL is to check that the employer follows the right job advertisement protocol. Immigration has always been a touchy subject in America, especially when it comes to questions of employment. Employers must post ads for their job before the application can go through, and they must post on these job offers that an immigrant is lined up to take the position through PERM if no domestic worker is appropriate.
These are the main responsibilities of the DOL in the PERM process. Taking on so much paperwork under one department has its pros and cons. While it makes information sharing more efficient because everyone is under the same umbrella of operations, this benefit is counteracted by the fact that there are only so many DOL employees and there are thousands of PERM applications each year.