For employers looking to recruit from overseas, the process is fraught with red tape. While there are valid arguments on both sides as to whether or not the regulations are fair, or if the regulations do more harm than good to the American economy, the Department of Labor has a vested interest in securing American jobs for American employees so they make the process of recruiting overseas as difficult as possible on prospective employers. Nonetheless, there are many who understand the process, and guide companies through it in order to secure the employees they need to move their company forward. For companies interested in recruiting overseas, this is what you’re getting yourself into.
#1. PERM Labor Certification
PERM labor certification can be broken down into two major steps. The first step involves testing the US market for qualified candidates. This process is rigorous and requires that employers document each measure to fill the position domestically that they’ve taken, every last step of the way. This applying to the Department of Labor for oversight, and then advertising the position in accord with their rather stringent requirements. For this process, many employers seek the services of marketing firms that specialize in permanent labor certification ads. Every step of this process must be documented before the DOL will grant a company PERM labor certification.
The second step involves determining the prevailing wage for the position. The prevailing wage is determined by the Department of Labor.
#2. I-140 Employer’s Application for Immigrant Visa and Proof of Ability to Pay
Within 6 months of being approved by the DOL, an employer must an I-140 Immigrant Worker Petition. At this stage, the employer must be able to prove that they can satisfy the wage requirement for their prospective employee. They must also prove that the foreign worker has the skills, education, and ability to perform the job the they are being hired for.
#3. Adjustment of Status
At this stage, an application must be filed by the prospective foreign employee. Their family members may also file their own applications as the foreign national’s dependants. They must file an I-485 application to adjust status, a process that is much easier if they are already in the US. If not, they’ll have to file with the US consular post in their home country, which can take anywhere between 6 and 9 months.
For obvious reasons, the process requires a number of lawyers, and other specialists in order to ensure complete compliance with the department of labor. But again, the Department of Labor is concerned with incentivizing hiring domestically as much as possible, since there are cases in which the hiring and recruitment of foreign nationals has been abused.