In many situations, employers may apply and obtain permanent residency for their employees. Often times, their employees are in non-immigrant visa categories such as H-1B or L-1, among others. The PERM labor certification process allows an employer to make these non-immigrant employees into permanent employees. Sometimes, the employee is eligible for an EB-2 immigrant visa.
There are two different United States government agencies in charge of most employment-based green card applications for foreign professionals: the Department of Labor (DOL) and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The DOL must certify to the USCIS that there are not sufficient U.S. workers able, willing, qualified and available to accept the job opportunity in the area of intended employment and that employment of the foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.
The actual process for permanent labor certification varies depending upon the program being used. Before an employer can apply for a green card from the USCIS on behalf of a foreign national, they must have gotten an approved DOL Labor Certification.
These types of cases are usually arduous and complex, and it is highly advised that those considering this option speak with an experienced immigration attorney about their situation before starting the application process.
Many times, employees wish to initiate the PERM certification process because they are eager to get their green cards. However, it is important to note that the PERM certification process must be initiated by the employer, not the employee, and ultimately, it will be the employer that petitions for the employee. This process cannot start without the consent and active cooperation of the employer.
Although the employee receives a substantial benefit from the PERM certification process, it is the employer who is the beneficiary of the application and the client of the employment immigration attorney.
The first step in initiating the process is by consulting an experienced immigration attorney. During this consultation, the goals of the employee and employer are discussed. After an agreement has been reached, the immigration law firm will begin the complex process of PERM certification.
This requires filing prevailing wage requests with the Department of Labor, cooperating with the employer’s human resources department in the recruitment process, and ultimately, filing all the necessary documents and petitions for a successful PERM certification.
PERM certification is extremely complex, with many steps that must be followed correctly and timely in order to accomplish a successful resolution. An experienced immigration attorney can assist with all steps, from obtaining the prevailing wage determination from the Department of Labor, through guidance with recruitment and advertisement. If the employer receives an audit request from the Department of Labor, an attorney can prepare and submit an appropriate and timely response to the request with any required documentation.
Our employment immigration lawyer is experienced in providing expert advice for complex situations, including verifying U.S. employer and applicant qualifications, and can seamlessly guide an employer through the PERM process.
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