So you have a job opening and would like to hire some immigrants to do that job? Well, that is great, but it means you will have to go through a long and arduous process known as PERM Labor Certification. Completing this process takes time and can be somewhat confusing if you do not know what you are doing. That is exactly why this list of tips is here to help you succeed in your effort to hire foreign employees.
What Is PERM Labor Certification?
Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) is the process in which labor certifications are done to achieve an EB-2 or EB-3 visa (immigrant visa) for foreign workers to legally come into this country and begin working. This system was first established back in 2005 and is required for almost all foreign nationals to be able to work here. Every single PERM labor certification goes directly through the Department of Labor (DOL) and requires their stamp of approval to successfully complete the process.
Keep It Consistent
There are many steps to take when undergoing the PERM process, including creating permanent labor certification ads and determining a set wage for the job position. One of the most important components to it is the inclusion of a job description.
As with any position at basically any company, the job description is there to lay out what you can expect to be doing in a specific role. While some of the tasks described might be very specific like “write social media posts for the official company accounts across all social media platforms,” others might be vaguer such as “assist with written content.”
Regardless of what exactly the job description ends up listing, the important thing is that it remains consistent throughout the entire process. Even if you are hiring several different foreign workers at the same time, it is not wise to change up the job description for each new worker. This simply creates unnecessary hassles for both you and the employee.
That is why it is important to keep a pretty uniform job description for similar job positions and to always make sure that the employee that you are looking to hire is both qualified and capable of performing the tasks that you are expecting from them.
Determine a Wage
Paying foreign national workers is not just as simple as picking a wage or salary and sending them the money. Before you even file with the DOL, there is a determination process that deals with what is known as the prevailing wage.
The prevailing wage is the hourly wage, which includes usual benefits and overtime, that is paid to the majority of the workers for each occupation or area. This is determined by the DOL on a county by county basis by looking at the largest city in each county. This number is not just a suggestion and you will be required to pay at least 100 percent of the prevailing wage.
Figuring out this magic number is not an instantaneous process by any means. It can actually take as long as six or even eight weeks after the request date to have this number officiated. So make sure that you leave of plenty of time for this number to get to you because it will take a while for the DOL to figure it out.
Once you have received the prevailing wage and then set your future employee’s salary to match or exceed it, you will then be able to start the actual recruitment part of the process. The very first part of this specific part of the process is creating the job order. The hard part of this will have already been done because it involves the job description that was included in the first step of the process.
Completing the job order simply requires that you take the job description that you diligently created and put it up on your public website or one of the many acceptable job search sites that are allowed by the State Workforce Agency. This job order must remain online and visible for a minimum of 30 days to meet the requirements laid out by the DOL.
After all of this is when the really involved part of the process begins because it is the time to start making your PERM advertising. These immigration ads are not like your typical workplace ads and the instructions for each of them is included as part of the draft. There are many very strict guidelines that must be followed for all of these materials, so before you make any significant changes, it is important to run them by a professional agency or attorney to check and see if they coincide with what the DOL requires.
This process can become much easier by doing two different things. You can either use materials that were previously used for another very similar position, provided that those materials are no more than 180 days old, or you can enlist the help of one of the many professional PERM businesses whose job it is to help companies like yours with the entire confusing process.
Answering the PERM Questionnaire
At this point, you can start to rejoice because it means you are nearing the end of the long arduous process. But before you can finally bring your new foreign national on board to start at your company, there are still a few things left to do. One of which is the process of filling out Form ETA-9089.
What Form ETA-9089 consists of is the answers to the online PERM questionnaire, which will be included in your internal records. Part of this will be demonstrating that your company is capable of paying the posted wage of the new foreign national worker by including an annual report, tax statement, or some other form of a financial document.