PERM and Labor Certification

Labor certification is generally the first step in the sponsorship process for a U.S. employer to hire a foreign worker on a permanent basis.  A permanent labor certification is issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).  At Barst Mukamal & Kleiner LLP, we can assist you in obtaining permanent labor certification through the DOL’s Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) process.

In most cases, the U.S. employer must obtain a certified labor certification application from the DOL’s Employment and Training Administration before the U.S. employer can submit an immigration petition to the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  The DOL labor certification verifies the following:

  • There are insufficient available, qualified, and willing U.S. workers to fill the position being offered at the prevailing wage.
  • Hiring a foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.

PERM Labor Certification Process

The general requirements in the PERM process are as follows:

  • The employer must obtain a prevailing wage determination from the State Workforce Agency (SWA) prior to filing the PERM application.  The employer must offer at least the prevailing wage rate as determined by the SWA.
  • The employer must complete the mandatory recruitment regimen prior to filing the PERM application with DOL.  This includes recruitment steps such as placing two Sunday advertisements in a newspaper of general circulation and filing a 30 day job order with the SWA in the region of intended employment.
  • Applications are either certified, denied, or audited after passing through the initial review and screening by DOL.
  • After the employer responds to the audit letter, the case may be certified, denied, or the employer may be directed to complete additional recruitment supervised by DOL.

Immigration petitions in the following categories require a labor certification:

  • Second Preference Employment-Based Immigration petitions (EB-2) involving professionals with advanced degrees or exceptional abilities.
  • Third Preference Employment-Based Immigration petitions (EB-3) for professionals with a Bachelor’s degree, skilled workers with two or more years of experience, or unskilled workers.

Immigration petitions in the following categories do not require a labor certification:

  • First Preference Employment-Based Immigration (EB-1) reserved for persons of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics; outstanding professors or researchers; and multinational executives and managers.
  • Second Preference Employment-Based Immigration petitions (EB-2) if the applicant can obtain a National Interest Waiver.  National Interest Waivers are granted to those who have exceptional ability and whose employment in the United States would greatly benefit the nation.
  • Fifth Preference Employment-Based Immigration (EB-5) reserved for business investors who invest $1 million or $500,000 (if the investment is made in a targeted employment area) in a new commercial enterprise that employs at least 10 full-time U.S. workers.

Contact Barst Mukamal & Kleiner for a Confidential Consultation

If you are an employer seeking to recruit and hire employees through the PERM labor certification process, call or contact Barst Mukamal & Kleiner LLP online to schedule a consultation.