Labor Certification

Barst Mukamal & Kleiner LLP provides comprehensive legal guidance to clients seeking permanent labor certification in the United States. The requirements and procedures are complex and can be confusing, especially for individuals not fluent in the English language. An experienced labor certification attorney at BMK LLP can help obtain an E-2 visa and assist you in more than ten foreign languages.

PERM labor certification has several requirements, including:

  • The employee must be hired by the domestic employer as a full-time employee
  • The position must be a bona fide job opening available to U.S. workers
  • The job requirements must be customary to U.S. requirements for that occupation and not altered to conform to the employee’s foreign qualifications
  • The pay rate for the job must be at least the common amount for that type of occupation

Applicants for labor certification must file ETA Form 9089 with the Department of Labor (DOL), as well as forms I-140 and I-485 with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The DOL also imposes mandatory and additional recruitment steps on employers to ensure the job cannot be filled by a qualified and available U.S. worker. The employer is required to advertise (twice in print) more than 30 days prior to filing and must make at least three additional recruitment efforts within 30 days of filing.

For detailed information regarding the certification process, visit our how to get permanent residence page or contact a labor certification attorney at 212-686-3838. The DOJ has websites that explain these requirements as well as answer frequently asked questions regarding PERM labor certification.

Alternatives to Labor Certification

The DOL allows certain exceptions to the PERM labor certification requirement. If you fit into one of the following categories for preferential employment-based immigration, the process to work permanently in the United States does not require an ETA Form 9089:

First Preference EB-1

Extraordinary Ability. An individual who has “extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics through sustained national or international acclaim” may be exempt from labor certification by demonstrating certain criteria that support this distinction.

Outstanding Professors and Researchers. An individual who demonstrates “international recognition for your outstanding achievements in a particular academic field” and provides supporting documentation may be exempt from labor certification as well.

Multinational Manager or Executive. Managers or executives who have been employed for a minimum of one year within the last three years for a business or corporation and now seek to enter the United States and continue working for the same entity also may be exempt from labor certification.

USCIS provides detailed information regarding EB-1 exemptions.

Second Preference EB-2

National Interest Waiver. Some individuals are exempt from labor certification because USCIS considers it in the best interest of the United States, based on a variety of economic and social factors. To qualify, an individual must meet certain criteria, often including an advanced degree relating to an area of exceptional ability and/or a professional license. USCIS outlines the requirements for exemption.

Schedule A Occupations

Certain types of occupations have been classified as “Schedule A” by the DOL due to a lack of ready, willing, qualified and available U.S. workers. Consequently, these occupations are exempt from PERM labor certification and broken into two groups:

  • Group 1: Physical therapist or professional nurse
  • Group 2: Exceptional ability in the sciences, arts or performance arts

Both groups require documentation supporting qualification for this exemption. The DOL has specific guidelines for exemption.

Individuals exempt from PERM labor certification must still complete Form I-140 and Form I-485 to be legally registered to reside and work in the United States. For details, visit our how to get permanent residence page.

Call today to speak with a labor certification attorney experienced in getting employees certified to work permanently in the United States

Since 1930, Barst Mukamal & Kleiner LLP has focused exclusively on immigration issues, including labor certification. Call 212-686-3838 or contact the firm online for experienced legal guidance.  .