While there are some exceptions for immigrant workers who fit into certain categories, most employers who intend to sponsor a foreign national seeking legally residency and lawful employment must seek a permanent labor authorization to do so. Since 2005, this process has required the prospective employer to utilize the Program Electronic Review Management system, colloquially referred to as PERM.
Obtaining this certification can be one of the most deceptively difficult stages of the employment-based immigration process, especially if you proceed without first seeking guidance from an experienced immigration attorney. With an Aurora PERM lawyer’s support, you could more efficiently and effectively get the permissions you need to keep your business plans on track.
There are two main steps to the PERM labor certification process that all employers must complete for their prospective employee.
First, the prospective employer must “test” the labor market in the United States, establishing that there are no U.S. citizens available who are qualified and willing to fill the position in question. There are various steps that employers must take to complete this test, including advertising the open position in multiple places, one example being a local Sunday paper. A business owner needs to keep this advertisement open for 30 to 180 days.
Second, the interested business must obtain a determination from the Department of Labor (DOL) regarding the “prevailing wage” for the position they want to fill based on both the location of the operation and the tasks that the immigrant employee would perform. The employer must then offer payment equal to or greater than the prevailing wage.
A knowledgeable attorney in Aurora could explain these two basic requirements in more detail and help a business owner ensure that their plan complies with PERM regulations.
Completing the aforementioned two steps usually takes about four to six months, depending on the circumstances. Once a prospective employer actually files their application, several months to a year might pass before the Department of Labor finishes processing the request and sends back a final decision.
It is worth noting that, in some cases, the DOL might choose to audit a PERM application for inconsistencies and deficiencies, in which case the applicant would have 30 days at most to file a response. The petition would then be reinserted into the processing queue, resulting in substantial delays. Working with a knowledgeable lawyer in Aurora, thankfully, could help streamline the lengthy PERM application process.
Obtaining labor certification through PERM is just the first stage of several that go into the employment-based immigration process. However, it is also the most labor-intensive and complicated stages of the procedure. During these phases, everything falls on your prospective employer. Even a small mistake on their end could derail your application.