The Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) system is used to conduct labor certifications, which are the first stage in obtaining an EB-2 or EB-3 visa immigrant visa for certain foreign people.
All labor certification applications must now be filed through PERM, which was initially implemented on March 28, 2005. For new labor certification filings, forms such as ETA Form 750 and Reduction in Recruitment (RIR) are no longer available. EB-2 (with the exception of National Interest Waivers) and EB-3 are the employment-based preference categories that need PERM labor certifications.
The Department of Labor (DOL) must issue a labor certification before a U.S. firm can file an immigration petition for a foreign worker in most EB-2 and EB-3 visa positions. To this aim, the employer files ETA Form 9089 to the Department of Labor, which validates the employee’s eligibility that
1) There are not enough American workers who are able, qualified, and willing to accept the job offer at the prevailing salary for that occupation in the area where the business expects the foreign worker to work; and
2) The pay and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers will not be harmed as a result of the foreign worker’s employment.
In short, before filing a labor certification application, the petitioning business must execute a series of recruitment operations to test the labor market. If an employer discovers that there are insufficient numbers of able, qualified, and willing applicants, whether U.S. citizens or permanent residents, during the recruitment process, the firm can file a PERM labor certification application.
Employers can submit their labor certification application to the DOL for adjudication either electronically or by mail, according to PERM requirements. While employers are not required to present supporting documents when filing, they must have completed all recruitment activities and gathered all evidence before filing. Website printouts, newspaper rip sheets, and job orders are examples of documents that businesses might use to demonstrate recruitment operations. (Petitioning employers should keep this documentation for five years in the event of a future audit or review.)
Originally, the Department of Labor expected a non-audited PERM labor certification application to be judged in 45 to 60 days. The processing period for PERM applications varies. If the Department of Labor chooses a case for auditing, the petitioning employer has 30 days to produce all needed documentation. If an audit request is ignored, the case may be deemed abandoned, and the DOL may require the unresponsive employer to go through supervised recruitment for any future labor certification applications.
After the Department of Labor accepts a labor certification, the employer must file an immigrant petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before the labor certification’s 180-day validity period ends.
For National Interest Waiver (NIW) petitions filed under the EB-2 category, labor certification is not required, and it is also not required for EB-1, EB-4, or EB-5 petitions.
Overall, PERM labor certification is a time-consuming and complicated process. We urge that you seek the advice of an expert immigration lawyer.