Navigating Perm Labor Certification

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Insights From a Chicago Employment-Based Immigration Lawyer

If you are an employer pursuing employment-based immigration for one or more employees, it is crucial to be informed about the PERM Labor Certification process. In many cases, the PERM process is the first of three steps in the process of obtaining an employment-based green card.

The process of getting a PERM labor certification can be complicated and confusing. Working with an experienced immigration attorney can help you ensure your application complies with all relevant laws. There have been multiple recent changes to the procedures, and you can trust the attorneys at Ray Law International to help you navigate the process smoothly.

What is a PERM Labor Certificate?

The Department of Labor (DOL) issues a permanent labor certification to a company in the United States that would like to hire a foreign national for permanent employment and that has completed the PERM application process. The U.S. company must receive a certified PERM labor certification through the DOL before they hire the foreign national.

Before receiving the certification, employers must have a prevailing wage determination (PWD) from the Department of Labor. Then, employers need to prove they have conducted a test of the U.S. labor market to determine if any qualified U.S. workers can fill the position and meet the minimum requirements for the job. After the labor market test, the employer must file the Application for Permanent Employment Certification (Form ETA-9089) with the Department of Labor.

What are the New Changes to the PERM Labor Certification Process?

In April 2023, the Department of Labor announced that PERM applications need to be filed through the Foreign Labor Application Gateway (FLAG). Previously, PERM certifications were filed through the Foreign Labor Certification Permanent Online System (“Legacy PERM System”). Since this change, employers are no longer required to register an account and create a sub-account for attorneys to file Form ETA-9089.

The DOL will no longer send employer sponsorship verification questionnaires. However, the employer and attorney should receive confirmation via email after the application has been submitted. There are also new questions applicants must answer, including whether the employer has contracted with an agent or attorney representing the foreign worker applying.

How Long Does it Take to Obtain a PERM Labor Certification?

The Department of Labor issued updated processing times as of July 31, 2023. On average, they are processing PERMs within 10 months. The DOL is processing audits from applications filed in July 2022. The average processing time for an audit review is 498 days in total. PERM reconsideration requests are taking a similar amount of time for the DOL to process. With lengthy processing times, it is essential to avoid errors. Ray Law International can help you avoid making mistakes unnecessarily delaying an already lengthy process.

Do You Have Questions About PERM Labor Certification? We Can Help!

You and your company will benefit from hiring an experienced immigration attorney. Navigating the PERM labor certification process alone can be daunting. Ray Law International helps H.R., senior managers, and individuals overcome immigration barriers to bring key employees and family members to the U.S. Working with an attorney can help your company avoid common pitfalls with the employment-based immigration process. Contact Ray Law International to schedule an initial consultation.