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Permanent Labor Certification (PERM)

Boston Attorneys Knowledgeable in Business Immigration Matters

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Labor certification is a commonly used employment-based opportunity for foreign nationals to seek lawful permanent residency in the United States. In many situations, it is the first step of the process in which an employer-petitioner eventually files an EB-2 or EB-3 employment-based immigration petition on behalf of a prospective non-citizen employee. The Boston business immigration lawyers at Maiona Ward, P.C. can assist foreign nationals across the United States in seeking permanent labor certification through the U.S. Department of Labor’s Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) system.

The Permanent Labor Certification Process

Labor certification requires that a U.S. employer demonstrate that there are no minimally qualified U.S. workers for the same position. The rationale behind labor certification is to protect the national labor market by making sure that foreign workers who are pursuing jobs in the U.S. are not displacing American workers. Thus, there are certain mandatory advertising requirements that must be met by the employer in an effort to show that it genuinely sought qualified U.S. workers for the job.

Once the Department of Labor (DOL) “certifies” an application, the employer can apply to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for permanent residency (i.e., a green card) for the foreign employee. Applications are processed under PERM for labor certification. PERM is a program created by the DOL to speed up the labor certification process. The goal is that these applications will now take months to process, rather than years. PERM labor certifications must be filed electronically or be mailed directly to the DOL. The PERM process is an onerous and heavily regulated undertaking. It requires the assistance of experienced and skilled immigration practitioners.

PERM has certain requirements that must be strictly followed. They include the following:

  • The employer must hire the foreign worker on a full-time basis;
  • There must be a bona fide job opening available to U.S. workers;
  • Job requirements must meet the standard of what is ordinarily required for the occupation in the U.S. and cannot be tailored to the worker’s qualifications or experience; and
  • The U.S. employer must pay the worker the prevailing wage for the job.

As mentioned previously, once the certification has taken place, the employer can apply to the USCIS for a foreign employee’s immigrant visa and permanent residency. After an immigration petition is approved, an individual who applied for it outside of the U.S. will receive permanent residence. If the non-citizen applied from within the U.S., he or she would need to seek an “adjustment of status” to permanent resident status.

Discuss Your Business Immigration Needs with a Boston Lawyer

At Maiona Ward, P.C., our Boston business immigration attorneys can advise employers and foreign nationals on the nuances of the PERM Labor Certification application and how to comply with all of the appropriate requirements. Let us put our legal knowledge and practical experience to work on your behalf. Our green card attorneys serve clients in communities such as Cambridge, Waltham, and Worcester in addition to Providence and other areas of Rhode Island. To set up a meeting with a member of our team, you can call us at 617-695-2220 or contact us online.

Permanent Labor Certification (PERM) Brochure

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