PERM is the process whereby U.S. employers can sponsor foreign workers to allow them to work permanently in the U.S. on EB2 or EB3 green cards. The sponsoring employer must test the labor market to determine if there are any willing, qualified and available U.S. workers for the position. After the PERM Labor Certification is approved, the employer will file an I-140 petition. As part of this petition, the foreign worker must submit evidence that they meet all the requirements outlined in the Labor Certification. If the Labor Certification includes an experience requirement, the foreign worker must provide an employer experience letter.
What is the purpose of an employer experience letter?
The employer experience letter is a critical piece of evidence that is submitted to U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services to prove that the foreign worker meets the experience requirements in the PERM Labor Certification. For example, if the employer advertised that the job required a Bachelor’s degree and 5 years of experience, the foreign worker would need to prove that they have this degree and experience.
What should be included in an employer experience letter?
The letter should include the following elements:
- Start and end date of employment;
- Title of the foreign worker while employed & whether the job was full time or part time;
- The position of the individual signing the letter & the relationship of the individual signing the letter to the foreign worker (for example, it could be the foreign worker’s former manager, supervisor, human relations director, etc.);
- A detailed description of the job duties with particular care to include any specific elements of experience included in the special requirements set forth in the PERM Labor Certification;
- Ultimately, the letter should be on letterhead, and should include the name of the company, address, and contact information.
When should a foreign worker obtain the employer experience letters?
Although the experience letters do not need to be submitted until after the PERM is approved, it is a good idea to work with your immigration attorney to collect the employer experience letters at the start of the PERM process when the PERM job description is being finalized. This ensures that the PERM job description does not contain any requirements that the foreign worker cannot prove. If you get to the I-140 stage of the process and the foreign worker cannot prove that they have all the experience listed in the Labor Certification, the I-140 will be denied.
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