The Perm Process – What You Need to Know


By Imagility

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The process of sponsoring a foreign worker for a green card in the United States is quite complicated. The PERM (Program Electronic Review Management) process is a crucial first step for many employment-based applications. Let’s understand what the PERM process is.

What is PERM?

PERM is a program that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) oversees. The DOL verifies two key aspects before a foreign worker can be sponsored for an employment-based green card:

Prevailing Wage

To ensure fair compensation for foreign workers and U.S. workers, the Department of Labor (DOL) assesses the prevailing wage for comparable positions within a specific geographic area.

Labor Certification

The employer demonstrates they made a good faith effort to recruit qualified U.S. workers for the position and that no qualified U.S. workers are available to fill the job opportunity for which certification is sought. They must also prove that the employment of the foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.

The PERM Process Breakdown

The PERM process can be broadly categorized into two main stages.

Prevailing Wage Determination (PWD)

  • The employer gathers relevant data about the job duties, required skills, and minimum qualifications.
  • They submit a request to the DOL for a prevailing wage determination for the specific occupation and location. This step usually takes a few weeks.

Labor Certification Application

Once the prevailing wage is established, the employer submits a formal application with supporting documentation showcasing their recruitment efforts. This can include:

  • Advertising the position in multiple channels (newspapers, online job boards)
  • Conducting interviews with qualified U.S. candidates
  • Providing justification for a U.S. worker not being selected
  • Processing times for the application can vary significantly, depending on factors like workload and potential audits.

Optimizing Your PERM Journey

Start early and don’t delay! As an employer, make sure you initiate the PERM process well before the foreign worker’s anticipated employment start date. Documentation plays an important role, so ensure your application is meticulously prepared with all necessary documentation to avoid delays or requests for additional information (RFEs).

If you believe you need additional support in preparing your application, we recommend seeking expert guidance: Consulting with an experienced immigration attorney can significantly improve the accuracy and efficiency of your PERM application. Moreover, you need to stay updated on your application status by keeping in touch with your legal counsel and the DOL.

Additional Considerations

PERM processing times can fluctuate depending on the DOL’s workload. Make sure you are prepared for potential wait times. Similarly, if your application is selected for additional scrutiny or requires further documentation, processing times can be significantly extended.

The Final Word

The PERM process is a crucial step in sponsoring foreign workers for U.S. green cards. By understanding the key stages, preparing thoroughly, and potentially seeking legal guidance, employers can navigate this process effectively and pave the way for a successful outcome.

Helpful Resources

Everything You Need To Know About DOL Prevailing Wage Processing Times

DOL PERM Processing Time: Understanding Current Timelines

PERM Labor Certification: Everything You Need to Know

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