PERMPermanent Visas through Employment

PERM Labor Certification is the system used for obtaining labor certification through the Department of Labor and is the first step for certain foreign nationals in obtaining an employment-based immigrant visa (“green card”). The employment-based preference categories that require PERM labor certification are EB-2 (other than a National Interest Waiver) and EB-3.

Before a U.S. employer can file an I-140 Immigrant petition for a foreign worker in most EB-2 and EB-3 categories, the employer must first obtain a certfied labor certification from the Department of Labor (DOL). An application for labor certification is submitted to the DOL by using ETA Form 9089. The DOL must certify both that there are not sufficient U.S. workers able, willing, qualified, and available to accept the job offered the alien at the prevailing wage for that occupation 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.

In brief, the PERM process requires the petitioning employer to conduct a series of recruitment activities to test the labor market before filing the application. If sufficient able, qualified, and willing applicants (U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident) are not found for a position through the recruitment process, the employer can submit a PERM labor certification application.

After the labor certification is approved by DOL, an I-140 Immigrant Petition is filed with USCIS.

The Labor Certification requirement is waived for a National Interest Waiver (NIW) petition under EB-2 and is not required for any EB-1, EB-4, or EB-5 petitions.


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