PERM/Green Card Center
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!