Articles, news, and more to help with your PERM process & Green Card needs.
There are a few different paths to receiving a green card in the U.S. One way in which this can be achieved is through sponsorship by an employer.
The 3-Step PERM Process
To obtain an employment-based green card under the PERM process, there are three steps that must be taken:
Obtain a Certified Permanent Labor Certification (PERM) from the Department of Labor;
File a Preference Petition with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS); and
File either an Adjustment of Status (AOS) application with USCIS, or pursue Immigrant Visa Processing (IVP) if outside the U.S.
1. PERM Labor Certification
The first step along the path to an employment-based green card requires the U.S. employer to request a permanent labor certification by completing an Application for Permanent Employment Certification (“ETA Form 9089”).
Prior to filing the PERM, the employer must obtain a prevailing wage determination from the Department of Labor and perform a test of the U.S. labor market. This proves that the employer cannot find an able, willing, and qualified U.S. workers (either U.S. citizen or a green card holder) for the proffered job. The recruitment process must satisfy numerous DOL regulations for ultimate PERM certification.
When recruitment obligations are completed and the prevailing wage is issued, the PERM can be filed. This application describes the job duties, educational requirements, training, experience, and other special capabilities that the alien must possess to perform the position being offered on a permanent basis. The PERM also confirms the candidate’s educational qualifications and work experience. Overall, the PERM process can take upwards of 12 months, depending on DOL processing times.
2. Form I-140 Immigrant Petition
After an employer receives a PERM certification from the DOL, they can than file an immigrant visa petition (Form I-140) with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Here, USCIS requires documentary evidence of the foreign national’s educational credentials and work experience. The employer must also prove that they have the ability to pay the applicant the proffered wage. Form I-140 can be filed by premium processing, which guarantees a government response within 15 calendar days of receipt.
3. Obtaining the physical Green Card
There are two ways a foreign national can obtain their green card, either through Adjustment of Status (AOS) or through Immigrant Visa Processing (IVP). The main distinction between AOS and IVP is where the applicant is located. To file for AOS, the applicant must be lawfully in the U.S., and the application is sent to USCIS by mail. In comparison, if the applicant is residing abroad, they will pursue IVP and ultimately attend an interview at a Consulate or Embassy outside the U.S.
If you have questions on the PERM Green Card process, please contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today!
On January 14, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published a final rule, Strengthening Wage Protections for the Temporary and Permanent Employment of Certain Aliens in the United States, changing how wage levels are computed under the DOL’s four-tier wage structure. The January 14, 2021 rule is a revised version of a similar DOL rule, […]
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has put a strain on U.S. employers and the foreign workers they hire. Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) processing times have increased, and employers are seeing a sudden uptick in audits by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The PERM process is the first step of the green card process for foreign […]
If you are an immigration lawyer, an employer who has sponsored a foreign worker for a green card, or a foreign worker yourself, chances are you have heard the term “PERM” before. The PERM certification is the primary step before a foreign national can continue their journey to achieving their employer-sponsored green card and is […]
The United States makes approximately 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas available each fiscal year for foreign nationals as well as their spouses and children who wish to obtain a U.S. green card. The allocation of these visa numbers are divided into five preference categories based on their occupational skills. An individual needs the right combination of […]
For a PERM green card case, it is important to confirm the educational requirements and a specific list of skills that a prospective candidate must possess to perform the job. These requirements and skills and will lead to the Department of Labor’s determination of the prevailing wage rate, and even more importantly, drive the recruitment […]
Once a job description and requirements have been hammered down, the next step in the PERM process is to obtain a prevailing wage determination from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) requires that the hiring of a foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of […]
One of the key points within the PERM process is the recruitment phase. The recruitment process is an essential step to the PERM process because it tests the labor market to prove there are no authorized and qualified U.S. workers available for the job an employer is trying to hire a foreign national to fill. […]
The last step in the green card process is asking the U.S. government to create the physical green card. This can be done in two ways, either through Adjustment of Status (AOS) or through Immigrant Visa Processing (IVP). Each option has their own benefits and faults, it is important to look at current processing times […]
Congress limits the number of foreign nationals that may immigrate permanently to the U.S. each year. Since there are more people who apply than the number of immigrant visas that will be issued on an annual basis, a backlog is created. In addition to setting an overall limit on the number of green cards that […]
If a company has been acquired, merged or had a significant change in its ownership, this may have an impact on a foreign national’s PERM application. If the legal entity of the employer changes while the PERM application is pending with DOL, the application may become invalid unless the new company meets several criteria to qualify […]
Sometimes, foreign nationals wish to take a new position with their same employer or even with a different company during the green card process. This may be permitted so long as the new job offer is in the “same or a similar” occupational classification as the job offer for which the Form I-140 petition was […]
Once the PERM process is complete and the PERM has been certified by DOL, the sponsoring employer next files Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). The petitioner must provide evidence that the applicant holds the qualifying educational credentials and skills requirements, and that the company has the […]
In an employment-based green card case based on a PERM labor certification, there are two possible categories: EB2 and EB3. Some of you watching might know that the difference between these two categories is significant, boiling mostly down to concerns with processing times. The EB-2 or EB-3 category impacts the timing of the applicant’s ability […]
In PERM green card cases, you might often hear the term “priority date.” So what exactly is that, and how does it relate to the Visa Bulletin? Well, the number of employment-based green cards issued each year is limited to a statutory threshold. Since there are more people who apply than the number of immigrant visas […]
The PERM green card process is quite a time-consuming and expensive investment that requires technical review and thoughtful strategizing at the outset. The full PERM process itself before filing an I-140 petition takes months, typically at least six to eight at a minimum. When working with my clients, we spend a good amount of time […]
At the I-140 stage of filing a PERM green card, employees must prove that they gained the required work experience and skills noted on the certified PERM. How do they do it? With work experience and employment confirmation letters from their former employers. USCIS is pretty nit-picky with these letters. The best kind of evidence is […]
PERM is an electronically-filed, attestation-based application filed with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) by an employer who wishes to sponsor a foreign national for an employment-based green card. The PERM exists as a way for the DOL to help make sure that employers are not using the immigration system to take jobs from U.S. […]
To combat fraud by employers utilizing the PERM process, the Department of Labor (DOL) will sometimes audit the case. There are two types of audits that can occur during processing: A random audit may occur by unplanned chance as a DOL mechanism to ensure that the electronic PERM system is not being abused by employers. A targeted audit occurs when […]