What Is PERM?

green card

green cardPERM is the process of applying for a green card through work. If somebody wants to sponsor you for a green card, they must go through the PERM application process. It is a tedious difficult process for the lawyer and your employer to go through but, of course, doable.

Basically, the PERM process is demonstrating to the US Department of Labor that there are not qualified US workers out there to do the job that your employer is offering to you. You do that by testing the labor market. If it’s a professional position, it’s a lot more complicated, and if it’s a nonprofessional position, you still have to advertise, but not with as many steps. If it’s a professional position, you need to advertise in a newspaper of general circulation on two Sundays. In addition, you’re going to have to advertise on America’s Job Bank and on three additional forms of recruitment, generally, either a radio ad, another newspaper of general circulation, or a website.

After you’ve done the recruitment process, you may or may not receive resumes back. If you do receive resumes, your employer is obligated to interview any candidates who are qualified. If there are candidates who are qualified for the position, you can’t go forward on the PERM process as there are US workers out there to do the job. Keeping in mind that the people who apply must be US citizens and do not require that they too must be sponsored for a work authorization or a green card.

If you don’t have any qualified candidates who fit the criteria, then you can go ahead and file the application with the Department of Labor. It’s generally taking about six months for the process to go forward. If the application is approved, then you will have notification in approximately six months. It’s also very common nowadays to get an audit. What that means is the Department of Labor wants to see all your recruitment efforts.

They’re going to want to see all the newspaper ads, the radio ads, the internet postings, etc., and evidence that you actually recruited. All that information, along with any other requirements from the Department of Labor, will be sent to them, and it’s taking about 13 months for a decision. Presuming everything is okay, then your PERM, your labor certification application, will be approved. Then you can go onto the second step which would be the petition to Immigration to show that you qualify for the position, and that your employer has the ability to pay you the salary offered and hopefully, you will be approved. Then go onto your third step, which is applying for the green card.

If you are eligible for PERM or are interested in understanding the process, please call my office. I’d be happy to discuss it with you. Keeping in mind that it’s important that your employer is in the loop because that’s really who we’ll be working with to prepare the PERM application. I would be happy to work with you through that.

Please contact Cheryl David for a free initial consultation regarding immigration processes and questions. Cheryl is an experienced immigration attorney in New York City and would be happy to help you with your PERM application and case.