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Corporations / Employees
Program Electronic Review Management System Labor Certification (PERM) was established on March 28, 2005, by the Department of Labor. It is the first step in the process to apply for lawful, employment-based permanent residency. The primary objective of PERM is to defend the domestic job market workers from foreign workers filling positions that could be filled by qualified US workers.
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The PERM applicant needs to submit a comprehensive application to the Department of Labor to demonstrate how the skills required for the job are not readily obtainable from US citizens in their geographic region. The US employer will need to undertake several tasks, including placing advertisements for the foreign workers’ prospective jobs in public media, and certifying to the Department of Labor that no qualified or willing US workers applied for the position.
PERM is not a visa and it does not grant you access to US residency. It is the first step towards obtaining an immigrant visa. After your PERM is approved, the employer can file a petition for a green card on your behalf.

PERM Labor Certification Requirement
To satisfy the PERM process you must meet the following requirements:

You need to have a permanent job offer from a US employer
The offered wage should be equal to or more than the DOL prevailing wage
The local job market has been checked for a qualified candidate and that US workers are unable to complete the requirement of the position.
The US employer has to construct and maintain an audit file with proofs of an attempt at recruitment

PERM Certification Documentation

The following is a general list of the documents needed when filing for a PERM Certification:

Local Labor Market Analysis (an evidentiary document attesting that US workers are ineligible to perform this employment)
Approved documented evidence
Prevailing wage request
Job orders
Prints of website job ads
Newspaper advertisements
Completed Form ETA 9089

PERM Prevailing Wage
An important part of the PERM process is obtaining a prevailing wage determination from the Department of Labor. All wage requests must be submitted to the DOL using Form ETA 9141. Prevailing wage is the average wage that is paid to similarly employed workers in a certain job in the area of intended employment. Many factors are taken into consideration to determine the prevailing wage for the position.

In most cases, DOL uses its Online Wage Library to determine the PERM prevailing wage. When determining the wage, the DOL considers the following elements:

Geographic location
Required supervision

Prevailing Wage Process
The Foreign Labor Application Gateway (FLAG) System has been accepting online submissions of the ETA-9141 form since June 10, 2019. Employers can choose one of the followings ways to determine the prevailing wage for employees such as H-1B, H-1B1, and EB-3 workers:

Request a prevailing wage determination for NPWC
Use other legitimate information sources
Use survey conducted by private authoritative sources

PERM Certification Process

The US employer will need to conduct a series of permissible recruitment efforts to analyze the current US labor market. For DOL inspection all of the necessary documents should be preserved.
The US employer needs to submit to the Department of Labor both the Form ETA 9089 and the Labor Certification application.
The DOL then verifies if the applicant possesses the needed skill that is unobtainable in the USA workers. The US employer should provide evidence that the employment of the applicant will not affect US workers. In most cases, it takes 120-180 days unless it is selected to be audited by the DOL.
If the application is selected for auditing, the employer should respond with supplementary documents in less than 30 days.
After the approval of Labor Certification, the employer needs to file an immigrant petition with USCIS before the expiry of Labor Certification.
Once the I-140 is approved the applicant should register for Permanent Residence by filling the Form I-485.

Several types of immigration petition require labor certification before they can be accepted. This includes:

EB-2 involving professionals with exceptional abilities and advanced degrees
EB-3 involving professionals with a bachelors degree or skilled workers with two or more years of experience

PERM Audit
If DOL is not satisfied with the provided information from the employer, there is a risk of the employer receiving a targeted audit. The audit can be the result of:

Inconsistencies in the document
Incomplete recruitment report
Suspicion of the availability of qualified Us workers

At times DOL also runs random audits that can neither be avoided nor anticipated. The purpose of the audit is to ensure that no one takes advantage of the PERM system. It is best to seek the assistance of an employment-based immigration attorney to mitigate the risk of s targeted audit. We can help ensure that sufficient proof is submitted and that all of the necessary records are maintained.

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