Labor Certification “PERM”

So why should you choose Garfinkel Immigration Law Firm to handle your Application for Permanent Employment Certification (PERM)?

• The Firm has dedicated to this practice area a team of attorneys and paralegals with over 30 years of combined experience in Department of Labor (DOL) labor market testing.
• Our "PERM team" has based its reputation on its careful monitoring of DOL decisions and audit trends and the DOL’s ever-evolving interpretations of policies and procedures in an effort to proactively address challenges and avoid case pitfalls.
• The team is accessible and responsive, partnering with the sponsoring employer, researching and analyzing job duties and requirements in compliance with the DOL’s regulations and occupational database.
• Known and valued for its precision, the team prepares and files the required forms; obtains evaluations and provides templates needed for verification of education, training, and experience; and acquires evidence of ability to pay the required wage and to establish the business necessity for the job requirements.
• The team administers the labor market test seamlessly: managing the countless regulatory timeframes and deadlines; preparing recruitment materials and placing advertisements; gathering critical evidence of the labor market test; and training on proper review of resumes as a result of the recruitment efforts.
• When the case is ready for filing with DOL, the team ensures that the complex matrix of questions and answers on the application form and detailed recruitment report correctly contemplate the labor market test results and any required business necessity arguments.
• Throughout the process, quality control procedures are implemented at milestones steps to affirm that the case is on track. A final quality control review before the case is filed involves at least two paralegals and two attorneys including one of the firm’s partners.
• The team continues to monitor the progress of the case post-filing and maintains the required audit file for five years.
• The Firm applies cutting-edge technology. Operating as a paperless office, we scan documents and maintain electronic files allowing us to operate more efficiently. We routinely and securely upload documents to our web portal, streamlining case preparation and protecting your information.
• Our internet-based case status and application tracking system is state-of-the-art in the industry. The Firm maintains a secure, comprehensive database, which is client (both foreign national and employer) accessible 24/7. The database is updated regularly so you have online access to current information about your cases.

Step 1: Labor Certification (also known as "PERM" Form ETA 9089)

U.S. immigration law requires, with limited exceptions, that individuals who desire to immigrate to this country through an offer of permanent employment must first, through the prospective employer, obtain clearance from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) before an immigrant visa petition (Form I-140) may be filed. This permission, based upon approval of a specific job offer, is called Labor Certification, Form ETA 9089.

U.S. immigration law assigns the responsibility of protecting U.S. jobs to the DOL. Most individuals intending to immigrate to the U.S. through employment must obtain an offer of permanent employment from an employer in the U.S.

The employer must file Form 9089 with the DOL. The DOL will not certify Form 9089 if is determined that there are U.S. workers who are able, willing and qualified to perform the duties of the permanent position offered to the applicant. The labor certification application will also be denied if the conditions of the job would have an adverse impact upon U.S. workers similarly employed.

Labor certification will be granted only when the position offered is full-time and permanent. If the position is temporary, it cannot form the basis for obtaining permanent labor certification.

On March 28, 2005 the DOL implemented Program Electronic Review Management ("PERM"), for filing and processing labor certification applications.  Under the system:

  • Applications are electronically filed and usually adjudicated within approximately ten (10) months;
  • Employers are required to obtain a prevailing wage determination from their respective State Workforce Agency ("SWA") for the permanent position offered to the applicant;
  • Employers are required to pay 100% of the prevailing wage at the time the application for Permanent Resident status ("green card") is approved.

Pre-filing recruitment steps include:

  • Posting of a notice of the job opportunity for at least ten consecutive business days. The notice period must be between 180 and 30 days before filing; and
  • Employer’s use of any and all in-house media, whether electronic or printed, in accordance with normal procedures used for recruitment for similar positions in the organization; and
  • Placement of a job order with the SWA for a period of 30 days; and
  • Placement of two advertisements on two different Sundays in a newspaper of general circulation in the area of intended employment. The ads must be placed more than 30, but not more than 180 days before filing.

For professional jobs (requiring a Bachelor’s degree), use of three (3) additional recruitment steps from the following list is required:

  • Job fairs
  • Employer’s web site
  • Job search web site other than the employer’s
  • On-campus recruiting
  • Trade or professional organizations
  • Private employment firms
  • An employee referral program, if it includes identifiable incentives
  • Notice of the job opening at a campus placement office, if the job requires a degree but no experience
  • Local and ethnic newspapers, to the extent they are appropriate for the job opportunity
  • Radio and television advertisements.

Effective July 16, 2007, to "enhance program integrity and reduce the incentives and opportunities for fraud and abuse related to the permanent employment of aliens in the United States" the DOL published rules that:

  1. Prohibited substitution of beneficiaries
  2. Established a 180-day validity period for approved labor certifications
  3. Established requirements that employers pay the costs of labor certification, including preparing, filing, and obtaining certification
  4. Established procedures for debarment from the permanent labor certification program.

Learn more about the PERM Timeline.