The process to hire a foreign worker in the United States is a complicated one. It takes many months to file for an advertising position with the Department of Labor. The ads need to go through the certification process called the PERM (Program Electronic Review Management) process.
One thing that employers need to be aware of up front is that this process takes a long time. In fact, it can take up to 4-5 months to place an ad attracting a foreign worker. This is because it is the first step in sponsoring an employee on their green card so it needs to be rigorous and serious.
The Department of Labor needs to carefully review each job advertisement application. The time sensitive and strict guidelines in place are there to protect the employer, the employee, and potential local workers who might be interested in the work.
The first step of the process is for the DOL to review the qualifications needed for the job and see if a potential foreign employee is suitable for them. After this, the employer needs to write a draft of the job description, making sure all the tasks, duties, and expectations are outlined clearly. This can take up 20 days to be reviewed.
After the advertisement is approved, an application needs to be sent to the National Prevailing Wage and Helpdesk Centre. Here, it is confirmed that the wage is within the average wage for this type of role. This is called the prevailing wage determination and can take up to 2 months.
After the prevailing wage determination is approved and sorted out, the employer will receive a receipt. It is crucial to keep this receipt filed safely for future reference, especially in the case of an audit. The Department of Labor audits up to 30 percent of job advertisements, so it is important to keep all the paperwork in order.
Finally, the advertising process can get underway. Employers need to advertise their job in many places, including the local Sunday newspaper for two consecutive Sundays as well as job fairs and online job boards. The job needs to be advertised for a minimum of 60 days, with a 30 day quiet period allowed within this.
After all the advertising requirements are fulfilled, the employer needs to finalize the ETA Form 9089 as the final step of the certification process. Since the process is so time-consuming and tedious, it is often advisable to enlist the help of a professional attorney to make sure every step is done correctly.