One of the first steps in the PERM process is filing a Prevailing Wage determination. This is a request that is with filed the National Processing Center and its purpose is to make sure that the wage of the foreign worker will not adversely affect wages and working conditions of similarly employed workers in a particular geographical area.
How is this form filed?
The prevailing wage determination request is filed on Form ETA 9141. The form asks for certain information such as information about the sponsoring company, information about the job offer (job title, job duties), the minimum requirements for the job, or information about the place of employment.
The prevailing wage determination is filed through an online system called FLAG.
Why does this have to be filed?
One of the PERM requirements is that the employer pays employee what is called a “prevailing wage.” This wage is different for each occupation and differs depending on where the employee will work as well. As mentioned above, the reason why this is filed is to make sure that hiring of the foreign employee will not adversely affect wages and working conditions of US workers that are comparable employed in the employee’s geographical area.
Once the Prevailing Wage request is submitted, the National Processing Center will make an assessment of the role, the requirements and the job duties and the location where the employee will work and will then make a determination of what O*NET code and wage level fits the best for the role you submitted.
How long does it take to get a response?
Prior to COVID, it used to take around 3-4 months to get the prevailing wage determination from the Department of Labor. Currently due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s taking longer than that, around 6-7 months.
What is the next step after getting the prevailing wage determination?
After you get the prevailing wage determination, you can start the PERM recruitment process . The prevailing wage determination can be valid anywhere from 90 days, but will not be valid for more than 1 year. The recruitment process must begin within the validity period of the Prevailing wage determination validity.
Please see our blog post on When you should file the I-140 and I-485 petitions here.
Please see our blog post on filing the PERM Labor Certification here.
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