What is the PERM Labor Certification?

If you are a U.S. employer, you will need a Permanent Foreign Labor Certification to hire foreign workers. This is issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) and allows aliens to work permanently in the U.S.

Your employers cannot submit their Green Card petition if you do not obtain an approved Labor Certification. The USCIS will required it to check if your company meets the requirements to hire international employees.

To get a license, you must file your Labor Certification application and your ETA Form 9089. This is known as the Application for Permanent Employment Certification, and must be submitted to the DOL.

Why do I need a Labor Certification?

A Foreign Labor Certification is mandatory for every U.S.-based business that employs international workers. It guarantees that the employment of foreign nationals will not affect the working conditions and the wages of U.S. employees.

You also need a Labor Certification to hire employees to perform services on a seasonal or intermittent basis. Once you got your H-2B Labor Certification, you can hire foreign workers for not longer than one year.

PERM Labor Certification Eligibility

The PERM Labor Certification is suitable for U.S. companies that want to employ foreign workers permanently.

It is used to seek and hire either:

  • Foreign employees who can enter the U.S. through their job skills;
  • Nonimmigrant employees who are entering the U.S. to perform services and jobs for which qualified local workers are not available.

EB2 Green Card applicants may be eligible for the National Interest Waiver (NIW) if their activities can be in the interest of the country.

What kind of jobs qualify for a PERM Labor Certification application?

You can submit your PERM Labor Certification application form if you are looking for foreign workers to fill a job position that is:

  • Full time and permanent;
  • Also available for U.S. workers;
  • One where you are in charge of the recruitment process;
  • One in which job duties adhere to those listed in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles;
  • One where the hiring criteria do not automatically exclude local U.S. workers (such as a language other than English);
  • One that is not specifically tailored to the qualification of designated foreign workers.
perm labor certification process

PERM Labor Certification Requirements

To qualify for a PERM Foreign Labor Certification, you must satisfy the following criteria:

  • You must first conduct a bona fide recruitment, meaning that the position must be advertised publicly and accessible for U.S. workers;
  • You must be ready to offer full-time, permanent employment to a foreign worker;
  • The job requirements for that position must adhere to the conditions commonly required for the same occupation in the U.S.
  • You cannot offer a job position that is only tailored to one specific worker’s qualifications;
  • You must prove that you are unable to find any U.S. workers who are adequately qualified and able to perform the job offered;
  • You must demonstrate that you rejected any applications from U.S. workers for objective job-related reasons.
  • You must show your “ability to pay” the offered, full-time salary until your foreign employee obtains lawful resident status in the U.S.

PERM Labor Certification Process

Step one: completing your recruitment process

To get your Foreign Labor Certification, you must file the ETA Form 9089 with the Department of Labor. This is the first step of your PERM Labor Certification Process.

Before you can proceed, you must obtain a Prevailing Wage Determination from the National Prevailing Wage. The DOL will then check if the offered salary for the job opportunity complies with the prevailing national wage.

Depending on the nature of the job, you must perform a set of recruitment steps before you can hire foreign workers. You must advertise the position providing extensive details of the job requirements. The ad must contain the following information:

  • The job description;
  • The name of the employer;
  • The geographic location of the job opportunity;
  • Details about the requirements, that must be the same indicated on your ETA 9089 Form;
  • Information about the wage and terms of conditions.

You must interview all candidates who apply for the job, and you believe that meet the requirements. You can reject their applications for job-related reasons. However, if you identify a qualified U.S. worker, you cannot get a Foreign Labor Certification. Likewise, if an U.S. worker applies for the PERM position at any stage of the recruitment period, the entire Certification process must halt.

Do not forget to prepare a Recruitment Record, since the DOL requires it as a part of your Audit File. This is a complete record of the applications you received and the candidates interviewed.

Step two: Filling the Labor Certification Application

If no U.S. worker can do the job, you can file your ETA Form 9089. Your application must describe in details the position. You must include the duties and the experience that applicants must possess to meet the criteria. Do not forget to file your form within 180 days of your recruitment period.

Before approving your request, the DOL will require a copy of your recruitment method and other additional information. You may also be asked to review more U.S. workers before you can hire foreign employees.

Your Labour Certification application process may take several years. Likewise, the Green Card process for foreign workers is often subject to a long waiting time. For this reason, you should ensure that your Certification will still be valid when your employees receive their visa.

Any changes to the PERM position (promotions, salary raises, or employee relocations) must be notified to the DOL. Be aware that if the position conditions change from the ones listed on your authorization, you must file a new PERM application.

perm labor certification

What services does IAS offer?

You need to file a successful PERM Labor Certification application before you can hire foreign workers. This is a fundamental step for every employer who wishes to fill in a specialized job position with international staff. Without your Foreign Certification, your employers will not be able to file their Green Card application.

The PERM Labor Certification application process is very complicated and involves different steps. For this reason, it is essential to seek legal help. At IAS, our immigration lawyers are experienced in employment-based visas. This means they can offer the best guidance in obtaining your Foreign Labor Certification.

Your IAS’ immigration lawyer will:

  • Help you prepare an extensive record for your recruitment process;
  • Complete your PERM Labor Certification application forms to the highest standard;
  • Liaise with the USCIS;
  • Liaise with foreign employees interested in applying for your job position;
  • Assist your international workers in the process of applying for their Green Cards.

Get in touch today to arrange a first consultation with one of our experts. You can call us on +1844 290 6312 or use our online contact form.

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