Last Updated on February 12, 2024 by Linda Lee
Los Angeles PERM Lawyer
Obtaining permanent resident status in California can be a lengthy and difficult process for many who have come to the United States. However, there are ways in which the process can be simplified and sped up. Since 2004, immigrants have been able to obtain this status through Program Electronic Review Management, also known as PERM.
However, like any aspect of immigration law, PERM can be confusing and difficult for many who go through the process alone and unaided. If you or a loved one is considering applying for PERM, get in touch with attorney Linda Lee at the Immigration Law Office of Los Angeles, P.C. A low-cost consultation, available by calling (213) 375-4084, can give you the insight needed to make the right decision for you and your family.
What is PERM Labor Certification?
PERM was officially put into action on December 27, 2004 by the Department of Labor in an effort to eliminate the excessively long waiting time for citizenship offered by traditional labor certification. PERM is the first step in obtaining permanent resident status through a job offer/employment petition. Through PERM labor certification, an immigrant can have his or her application for permanent resident status approved in 45 to 60 days should there be no audit implemented. However, certain work specifications must be met in order for an applicant to qualify for the benefits of PERM.
The main purpose of the PERM process is to ensure that there are no qualified U.S. workers available to fill the position being offered to a foreign worker, and thus, the hiring of a foreign worker will not adversely affect the U.S. labor market.
Here’s an overview of the PERM labor certification process:
- Determine Job Requirements: The employer must determine the job requirements and qualifications for the position they want to fill with a foreign worker.
- Prevailing Wage Determination: The employer must obtain a prevailing wage determination from the DOL. This wage is the minimum that must be offered to the foreign worker to ensure they are not being paid less than the average wage for similar positions in the same geographic area.
- Recruitment: The employer is required to conduct a recruitment process to test the U.S. labor market. This typically includes placing advertisements for the position in specific locations, using job boards, and other methods.
- Form ETA-9089 (PERM Application): Once the recruitment process is completed and if no qualified U.S. workers are found, the employer can file the Form ETA-9089, which is the Application for Permanent Employment Certification. This form includes details about the job, the recruitment process, and the foreign worker’s qualifications.
- Submission and Review: The completed Form ETA-9089 is submitted electronically to the DOL for review. The DOL will assess the application to ensure that it meets the regulatory requirements and that there is a legitimate need to hire a foreign worker.
- Audit or Approval: The DOL may choose to audit the application, which involves requesting additional documentation to verify the information provided. If the application is found to be in compliance, it will be approved.
- I-140 Petition: After receiving the approved PERM labor certification, the employer can proceed with filing the Form I-140, which is the Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This is the next step in the employment-based green card process.
It’s important to note that the PERM labor certification process is just one step in the overall employment-based green card process. The entire process can be complex and time-consuming, and the specific requirements and procedures can change over time. Therefore, it’s recommended that employers and foreign workers seeking permanent residency in the U.S. consult with the attorneys at ILOLA who are familiar with the latest regulations and procedures.
Do You Qualify for the PERM Process?
Only those who have an active job offer or employment petition can apply for PERM. The good news about the PERM process is that both non-professional workers (such as nannies, cooks, mechanics) and professional workers (those with bachelor’s degrees or higher) can qualify to file the application. However, it must be a full-time permanent job and you must have the qualifications needed for the position.
The first step in the application is to obtain a prevailing wage determination from the State Workforce Agency, or the minimum salary an employer can pay the applicant. This ensures that the applicant will be paid a fair wage once he or she starts working for the employer.
PERM also requires that potential employers prove that there are no U.S citizens or green cards holders that are qualified for the position, instead of you. During recruitment, the employer with the help of our office must:
- post a notice of the job offer at the employer’s location;
- place a job order with the State Workforce Agency;
- advertise the position in newspapers; and
- perform alternative recruitment, as necessary for professional positions. These alternatives include job fairs, employer’s website, job search website, on-campus recruiting and trade or professional newspaper ads.
The employer must review applications submitted and interview candidates, and keep records as to why a U.S. worker was not found for the position.
Once the prevailing wage is obtained and the recruitment is completed, the law office is ready to prepare the PERM filing, which could be done electronically or through mail.
Finding Success in PERM Application
The applicant has to meet all the qualifications, education and/or experience needed for the job. If the employer is a family member of the applicant, the PERM filing will be highly scrutinized by immigration. The officer reviewing the PERM application can request to audit any PERM application filed, either at random or for cause. This is why it is important to have an attorney assist with the application process and help maintain detailed records of each step.
Best PERM Lawyers in the Nation
Gathering the correct details about your job offer/employment petition, your qualifications, and the hiring company’s legitimate need of your services will be vital in securing PERM approval. In the event that complications arise, handling them quickly and completely will help your case move forward with as little delay as possible. All of this can be done through the help of an attorney who understands your needs and the details of the PERM process.
The Immigration Law Office of Los Angeles understands the complexities of filing such application and will assist you and your employer each step of the way, including preparing/filing the application and responding to the audit, if necessary. Contact us today at (213) 375-4084 for a consultation to further discuss obtaining your permanent resident status through an employment petition.
How do I check my PERM labor certification status?
You can check the status of your PERM labor certification by visiting the online case status page at egov.USCIS.gov website.
How long does a PERM labor certification take?
The processing time for a PERM (Program Electronic Review Management) labor certification can vary significantly based on several factors, including the backlog at the Department of Labor (DOL), the complexity of the case, and whether there are any issues or audits that arise during the process.
On average, the process can take anywhere from 7 months to a year or longer.