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For some visa categories, before the U.S. employer can submit an immigration petition to USCIS, the employer must obtain an approved labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The DOL labor certification verifies the following:

  • There are insufficient available, qualified, and willing U.S. workers to fill the position being offered at the prevailing wage
  • Hiring a foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers

PERM Process

Prevailing Wage:
The employer (through its agent or representative) must obtain a prevailing wage determination from the State Workforce Agency (SWA) having jurisdiction over the proposed are of intended employment. Determination of the prevailing wage is established by analyzing similarly employed persons in the area of intended employment.

Recruitment under the PERM system is performed before the Application is submitted electronically to the DOL. Recruitment for non-professional occupations include: (1) Placing of a 30-day job order with the State Workforce Agency (SWA), and (2) Placing an advertisement on two different Sundays in a newspaper of major circulation in the area of intended employment.

Professional occupations require specialized recruitment, in the form of three
additional recruitment steps, which must be chosen from the following: (1) Job fairs; (2) Employer's website; (3) Job search website other than the employer's; (4) On-campus recruiting; (5) Trade or professional organizations; (6) Private employment firms ; (7) Employee referral program with incentives; (8) Campus placement offices; (9) Local and ethnic newspapers; and (10) Radio and television advertisements.

Recruitment must be conducted within the 6-month period prior to filing the PERM Application. The job order and two print advertisements must be placed at least 30 days but no more than 180 days before filing.

After the recruitment is completed, the employer must prepare a recruitment report in which it categorizes the lawful job-related reasons for rejection of U.S. applicants and provides the number of U.S. applicants rejected in each category.

Supporting documentation may not be filed with the PERM Application, but the employer must provide the required supporting documentation if the employer's application is selected for audit

Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker:

After the PERM Application is certified by the DOL, the employer has 180 days in which to file Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker (Form I-140) with USCIS. If a visa is current, Form I-140 may be filed concurrently with the Adjustment of Status Application (Form I-485).

Spouses and Children:

Spouses and unmarried children under 21, may derive status through the principal employee.

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