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Overview

PERM stands for Program Electronic Review Management. This is also known as PERM labor certification. For many foreign workers seeking permanent residency in the United States, the PERM Labor Certification process is the first step. It is a determination and certification by the Department of Labor (DOL) that there are not sufficient workers who are able, willing, or equally qualified to do the work needed, and the employment of aliens will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of the workers in the U.S. similarly employed.

In brief, the PERM process requires the petitioning employer to conduct a series of recruitment activities to test the labor market before filing the application. If sufficient able, qualified, and willing applicants are not found for a position through the recruitment process, the employer can submit a PERM labor certification application.

After PERM labor certification is approved by the DOL, an Immigrant Petition related to the labor certification should be filed with the USCIS before the expiration of the labor certification. The certification has a validity period of 180-days and expires if not submitted to USCIS within this period.

The usual progression from PERM to Green Card

Please click here to see a flowchart demonstration of the relationship between PERM Labor Certification and Green Card Petitions for most EB-2 and EB-3 categories.

Services We Provide

PERM labor certification is a very complex process. We have been working on PERM cases since the beginning of its implementation in 2005 for a wide range of occupations and professions. At any given point of time, there are PERM cases progressing at various stages within our firm. The success rate for the past 16 years is over 96%. Please contact us for a free evaluation by emailing your inquiry to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Outline of a Typical PERM Case Progression

  1. Employee, with Manager's assistance, forwards to Attorney information necessary to begin the case.
  2. Attorney performs legal analysis and develops case plan.
  3. Attorney consults with Employee and Manager until Company approves a final job description.
  4. Attorney files Prevailing Wage Determination application with the DOL.
  5. Attorney completes PERM Recruitment Schedule and issues instructions to place advertisements.
  6. Company runs recruitment and provides results to Attorney.
  7. Throughout the recruitment process Company may communicate with Attorney to clarity questions that may arise.
  8. Attorney reviews all recruitment documentation and drafts a recruitment report based on information provided by Company.
  9. Attorney completes and files the PERM application online with the DOL.
  10. Attorney follows up and responds to DOL requests until case is approved.

Read more about PERM Labor Certification

Main Qualifying Criteria

  • The employer must hire the foreign worker as a full-time employee;
  • There must be a bona fide job opening;
  • Job requirements must adhere to what is customarily required for the occupation in the U.S. and may not be tailored to the worker's qualifications. In addition, the employer shall document that the job opportunity has been and is being described without unduly restrictive job requirements, unless adequately documented as arising from business necessity.
  • The employer must pay at least the prevailing wage for the occupation in the area of intended employment.

Additional PERM Issues

  • Prevailing Wage

    Prior to filing the Application for Permanent Employment Certification, ETA Form 9089, the employer must request a prevailing wage (PW) determination from the Department of Labor. The employer is required to include on the ETA Form 9089 the following PW information: the prevailing wage, the prevailing wage tracking number (if applicable), the SOC/O*NET(OES) code, the occupation title, the OES skill level (if applicable), the wage source, the determination date, and the expiration date. The prevailing wage determination documentation is not submitted with the application for permanent labor certification, but must be retained for a period of five years from the date of filing the application by the employer. This documentation must be submitted if requested by the Certifying Officer during an audit.

    Determining the appropriate wage level depends on a full consideration of the experience, education, and skills required by the employer as indicators of the complexity of the job duties, the level of judgment required and the amount of supervision involved. A prevailing wage determination has a limited validity period. The validity period may range from 90 days to no more than one year from the determination date.

  • PERM Advertising and Recruitment for Professional Positions

    For professional positions, the employer must recruit under the standards for professional occupations set forth in 20 CFR 656.17(e)(1)

The universal requirements are:

  1. Job Order placed with SWA for 30 days;
  2. Two Sunday print ads must be placed in a newspaper of general circulation in the geographic area of the proposed place of employment. Employers may substitute one national journal ad for one newspaper ad where the position requires experience and/or an advanced degree;
  3. Post an internal job posting with all required information by the DOL for a period of 10 consecutive business days; or give proper notice to bargaining representative if the position is a union position.

The optional requirements are:

Three additional recruitment steps must be carried out for "professional positions" - employers may submit documentation of any three of the following types of recruitment activities:

  1. Employer's website ads
  2. Job search website
  3. Job fair
  4. On-campus recruiting
  5. Trade or professional organizations
  6. Private employment firms
  7. Employee referral program with incentives
  8. Campus placement offices
  9. Local and ethnic newspapers
  10. Radio and television ads
  • Recruitment Report and Record Retention Requirement

    Employers are required to maintain documentation of the recruitment efforts and the results thereof, including the lawful job-related reasons for rejecting any U.S. workers who applied for the job, but the documentation does not need to be submitted with the application. Employers are required to retain documentation of recruitment efforts for five years, measured from the date on which the application for labor certification is filed with DOL.

    The employer must sign a report describing the recruitment steps undertaken and the results achieved, the number of hires, and if applicable, the number of U.S. workers rejected, and the lawful job related reasons for such rejections. Note that U.S. workers who can acquire the required skills in a reasonable period of on-the-job training cannot be lawfully rejected. Resumes and other documentation must also be maintained. In the event of an audit, the Certifying Officer may request the U.S. workers’ resumes or applications, sorted by reasons the workers were rejected.

  • PERM Audit

    If an application is selected for audit, the employer will receive an audit letter specifying additional documents within 30 days. The Certifying Officer may grant one extension up to 30 days from the initial 30 period in which to respond to the audit letter. If DOL determines that the documentation is complete and consistent with responses on the ETA 9089, it will certify the application. If the documentation is deemed deficient by the DOL, the certification may be denied. Alternatively, the Certifying Officer may request additional documentation or order supervised recruitment. DOL has indicated that an application cannot be withdrawn once it has been selected for audit. If an application is selected for audit, the employer cannot forego the audit by claiming the application is no longer valid or applicable.

    The supervised recruitment under PERM requires the placement of advertisements in conjunction with a 30-day job order. At the completion of supervised recruitment, the employer has 30 days to document in a recruitment report the outcome of the effort, and the lawful job-related reasons for not hiring any U.S. worker applicants. Upon receipt of the employer’s recruitment report, the Certifying Officer will either certify or deny the application.

PERM related FAQs

PERM FAQ set Round 12
PERM FAQ set Round 11
PERM FAQ set Round 10
PERM FAQ set Round 9
PERM FAQ set Round 8
PERM FAQ set Round 7
PERM FAQ set Round 6
PERM FAQ set Round 5
PERM FAQ set Round 4
PERM FAQ set Round 3
PERM FAQ set Round 2
PERM Fraud Rule FAQs
Fraud FAQs Round 2
PERM Supervised Recruitment FAQs
PERM Appeals Best Practices FAQs
PERM Change of Address/Representation Update FAQs

Testimonials

I just want to let you know that I received my green card today and my wife's green card is on the way. I am amazed of how fast they approved my petition. You did a wonderful and very professional job, I will be forever grateful with you. BTW I refer a friend of mine with you, his name is XYZ. He is a very nice guy. Thanks again for you great job.

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Contact us today

Law Office of Vivian Wang
780 Roosevelt, Suite 209
Irvine, CA 92620

Tel: (888) 530-2286
Email: info@gofindlaw.com

DISCLAIMER: Information contained on this site is intended to educate the general public only and does not constitute legal advice. Readers are encouraged to seek advice and counsel from a law firm with experience in immigration and nationality law.