Applying for a Permanent Labor Certificate

If you’re an immigrant seeking legal residence within the U.S., often the most challenging step is to establish permanent labor certification. The department of labor (DOL) determines eligibility for certification based on the availability of U.S. citizens (or lack thereof) for a specific job you hold. The DOL must ensure no qualified U.S. citizens applied or are available for the position you want, and the DOL’s Perm certification is part of this process.

While PERM certifications are not needed to immigrate based on family within the country, it does require the expert guidance of a skilled attorney to help push the process forward. We can help. We have years of experience, and we can guide you through the process, make your filings, and ensure you have the information you need to get the best possible outcome. Contact us today.

Labor Certification Guidance

Labor certification is typically required for second preference and third preference applicants with some exceptions. Second preference applicants include EB-2-1, or immigrants with exceptional ability in the arts, sciences, or business or advanced degrees. The third preference typically includes immigrants with bachelor’s degrees, skilled workers, and unskilled workers. Your potential employer must establish an employment campaign within the U.S., finding no qualified applicants in order to qualify the position you seek for labor certification. We can help you determine if your employer has done so, or if you’re looking to hire an immigrant set checkmark all needed requirements to move forward with hiring an immigrant applicant.

PERM Certificate

Applyin for your PERM Certificate

The process usually entails three separate steps including:

Step 1: Obtaining a Labor Certification from the U.S. Department of Labor
  • As a part of the process, the petitioning company will attest to the U.S. Department of Labor that you were selected for your position through a national competitive recruitment process and that you were more qualified than any of the US workers who applied and were willing to accept the position. The recruitment must have included at least one print ad in a national journal. The application must be submitted within 18 months of the conclusion of the recruitment process; this is usually the day you received your offer of employment letter.
  • Prior to submitting the application, on behalf of the company, we obtain a prevailing wage determination from the state department of labor. Also prior to filing for your certificate, if the position is a union position, the company must give notice of intention to file this application to the union. After the notice is provided to the union, thirty days must pass before the application can be filed.
  • After the preliminary steps are completed, we will prepare the application, and, after the petitioning company reviews and approves it, we will file it on behalf of the company electronically. The U.S. Department of Labor will then review the application, certify it, audit it, or deny it. Cases are flagged for audit randomly or based on certain responses. The audit process generally consists of a request for additional documentation, including copies of the ads for the position, the recruitment report, the prevailing wage, and the notice. If the application is audited, we will assist the company with the audit as permitted by law and guidance. After an audit, a certifying officer will make a final decision on your application.
  • Currently, the US Department of Labor takes between two months and two years to process Labor Certification applications, but exact processing times cannot be predicted.
Step 2: Immigrant Petition by the Company
  • If the U.S. Department of Labor approves the Labor Certification application, the second step of the process is the filing of an Immigrant Petition for the Alien Worker (Immigrant Petition) by the company with the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). The Labor Certification is filed with the Immigrant Petition, and it determines the category of sponsorship. This step requires submitting evidence that the individual possesses the academic qualifications and experience listed on the Labor Certification and evidence that the company has sufficient funds to pay the salary offered on the Labor Certification.
Step 3: Adjustment of status application by the individual
  • The last step is the filing of an Adjustment of Status application, an application by the individual beneficiary to adjust their status to that of a permanent resident (also known as an application for a green card). If a visa number is available in the relevant category, this filing can be done at the same time as Step 2 (the Immigrant Petition), although the Adjustment of Status Application is processed only after the Immigrant Visa petition has been approved. Filing the Immigrant Visa Petition and the Adjustment of Status Application together (if allowed) is still advantageous, as it confers important benefits and speeds up processing. If visa numbers are not available, you will be able to file the Adjustment of Status application when the USCIS reaches the priority cut-off date listed on the U.S. Department of State visa bulletin for the relevant visa category. The priority date is the date of the filing of the Labor Certification application. If your spouse is filing with you, the spouse can only file an Adjustment of Status Application (if otherwise eligible) when a visa number is available in your category.
  • The Adjustment of Status application requires the individual to meet certain criteria, including not being a member of any proscribed political group, not having committed certain crimes, not having any dangerous or contagious diseases, and maintaining valid non-immigrant status, among other requirements.

We’ll Help You Move Forward

If your potential employer has finished their in-country recruitment campaign and is looking to hire you, we can help you move forward with the process. We’ll guide you throughout the filing, including filling out the required ETA Form 9089, and should your application be audited, we’ll help you prepare your documentation and represent you. We’ve built a reputation for assisting skilled immigrants meet the demanding requirements for legal entry into the U.S., and we’ll strive to provide you with effective results.

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