The process for obtaining permanent residence based on employment is comprised of three phases: the Labor Certification, now called PERM, the visa petition, and the application for permanent residence. What is PERM?
Affective March 28, 2005, the Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration (ETA) published new regulations guiding the requirements and processes for an employer to obtain a permanent labor certification for a foreign worker.
A permanent labor certification allows an employer to hire a foreign worker to work permanently in the United States. In order for a permanent labor certification to be approved, the Department of Labor (DOL) must certify to the USCIS that there are no qualified U.S. workers able, willing, qualified and available to accept the job at the prevailing wage for that occupation in the area of intended employment and that employment of the alien will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers. How do I Apply for PERM?
In order for a United States employer to hire a foreign worker permanently, the employer first files an Alien Employment Certification, ETA Form 9089. The date the labor certification application is filed is known as the filing date and is used by USCIS and the Department of State as the priority date. Once the application for Alien Employment Certification is approved by the DOL, the approval should then be filed with the USCIS service center with form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker.
An application for Permanent Employment Certification can be filed either electronically or by mail. However, the Department of Labor recommends that the employer files electronically. Electronic filing is faster and will ensure that the employer has provided all required information as an electronic application cannot be submitted if the required fields are not completed.
In order to file electronically, the Online Permanent System requires an employer to set up an individual account. The employer must go to www.doleta.gov and set up a profile by selecting the appropriate profile option in the Online System. After registering and establishing an account, the employer can fill out and submit an Application for Permanent Employment Certification, ETA Form 9089.
If an employer chooses to file by mail it is sent to, National Processing Centers that have been established in Atlanta and Chicago. The employer must submit paper applications to the processing center with responsibility for the state or territory where the job opportunity is located. The address and contact information for each National Processing Center and the states and the territories within their jurisdictions are provided on our Contact Information page. Requirements of PERM
A. Pre-Filing Recruitment Steps
All employers filing the ETA Form 9089, except for those applications involving college or university teachers selected pursuant to a competitive recruitment and selection process, Schedule A occupation, and sheepherders, must attest, in addition to a number of other conditions of employment, to having conducted recruitment prior to filing the application.
Recruitment Requirements for Professional Careers:
The employer must pay at least the prevailing wage for the occupation in the area of intended employment. However, the prevailing wage must be paid after the application for LPR has been approved and not until that time.
The employer may obtain a prevailing wage determination from the State Workforce Agency (SWA) having jurisdiction over the proposed area of intended employment prior to filing ETA Form 9089. F. Signature Requirement
Applications filed electronically must, upon receipt of the labor certification issued by ETA, be signed immediately by the employer, alien, and preparer, if applicable, in order to be valid.
Applications submitted by mail must contain the original signature of the employer alien, and preparer, if applicable when they are received by the processing center. Approval Notices
If the appropriate National Processing Center approves the application, the ETA Form 9089 is "certified" (stamped) by the Certifying Officer and returned to the employer/agent who submitted the application. USCIS Petition
After approval of the labor certification, the employer must file an "Immigrant Petition for an Alien Worker" with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Form I-140. The employer must then attach the certified ETA Form 9089 to a completed USCIS Form I-140, along with the appropriate fees, and submit the package to the appropriate USCIS Service Center. The petition is filed by the employer on behalf of the foreign worker and must include the approval labor certification and other USCIS specified documentation. Our attorneys look forward to counseling you, please contact us with any questions.
Nothing on this site should be construed as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is general content only, and should
not be relied upon for any specific information. For specific legal advice consult an experienced immigration attorney.
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