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PERM Labor Certification: Q&A

By November 16, 2021Immigration, PERM
An office team of 3 at a meeting. One team member passes a folder to another

Generally, for an Eb-2 and Eb-3 green card petitions, the employer cannot just file a green card petition with USCIS, but will first have to get an approved PERM Labor Certification from the Department of Labor.

What is the purpose of the PERM Labor Certification?

Before an I-140 immigrant petition can be approved, the PERM Labor Certification from the Department of Labor must certify that there are no available, willing, and qualified U.S. workers for your position and will also have to certify that hiring a foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed US workers.

When is the PERM Labor Certification filed?

The PERM Labor Certification can be filed after the employer obtained a Prevailing wage determination , conducted a recruitment complying with the Department of Labor advertising and recruitment rules, and concluded that there are no available, willing and qualified US workers.

How is the PERM Labor Certification filed?

The PERM Labor Certification is filed online with the Department of Labor. It will take the Department of Labor generally couple months to certify the petition.

How long is it valid for?

Once the PERM Labor Certification is certified, it is generally valid for 180 calendar days – the employer will have to file an I-140 immigrant petition to USCIS within this time frame.

How will the employer know that the PERM has been certified?

In September 2020, OFLC announced that they are going to permanently switch to electronic issuance of PERM labor certifications. This means, that the employers (or their attorneys) should receive it via email once it’s been certified.

Does the PERM approval mean that the employee qualifies for the green card?

No. The PERM certification only means that the Department of Labor certified that the US employer made a good faith effort and tested the labor market and demonstrated that there are no available, willing and qualified US workers for the job. Employee’s qualification will be verified by USCIS in the I-140 filing stage.

What information does the employer have to input in the PERM Labor Certification?

You will have to input information such as:

  • information about the employer (e.g. address and information about the contact person for the employer)
  • information about the prevailing wage that was determined that needs to be paid to the employee
  • information about the wage that will actually be paid to the employee
  • address where the employee will be working
  • what is the education and experience required to perform this job
  • job duties
  • information about the recruitment conducted by the employer
  • information about the employee that will be hired (name, date of birth, country of citizenship, etc.).
  • information about the employee’s previous work experience

Please note that if you are applying for an Eb-1a green card or for a National Interest Waiver, the employer does not need to submit a PERM with the Department of Labor and can immediately file the I-140 petition. This is a great advantage of these categories as it means that the green card process is much faster.

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