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PERM LABOR CERTIFICATIONS

Many employment-based green card applications must be submitted along with an approved labor certification as provided by the US Department of Labor.  The labor certification demonstrates to the USCIS that the employer has made a diligent attempt to recruit a US-based worker for the offered position prior to filing the green card petition for the foreign worker.  The process by which the recruitment must be completed is known as “PERM.

Before submitting the labor certification application (ETA Form 9089), the employer must engage in pre-filing recruitment and obtain a prevailing wage determination from the State Workforce Agency (SWA) having jurisdiction over the proposed are of intended employment.  The employer may submit the ETA Form 9089 online, and must retain all supporting documentation (e.g., proof of ad placement, results of recruitment, posting of notice of job opportunity).

 There are two mandatory steps:

        Placing a job order with the applicable state job bank for a period of 30 days

        Placing an advertisement on 2 different Sundays in a newspaper of general circulation in the area of intended employment most appropriate to the occupation

If the position is a “professional” job, requiring at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent, the employer must also select 3 additional steps from the following:

         Job fairs

         Posting on employer’s web site

         Job search web site other then the employer’s

         On-campus recruitment

         Use of trade or professional organization

         Use of private employment firms

         Employee referral program with incentives

         Campus placement offices

         Local ethnic newspapers

         Radio and television advertisements 

For all other occupations not normally requiring a bachelor’s or higher degree, employers follow a different recruitment process.  For these positions, the employer must simply place a job order with the state job bank for a period of 30 days, and place an advertisement on 2 different Sundays in the newspaper of general circulation in the area of intended employment most appropriate to the occupation.

When the PERM process is complete, the labor certification application is filed.  The Department of Labor reviews the application and responds either with an approval, a denial, or an audit (a request for formal documentation of the PERM recruiting process.)  In any case, an approved labor certification is required before the employer can proceed with the green card process.