Majority of the employment-based visa applicants must go through what is called the “PERM Process” as a prerequisite to filing for an immigration visa. PERM stands for Program Electronic Review Management. The Department of Labor requires employers who are looking for someone to fill their open job position to first offer the job to U.S. workers before extending the position to foreign nationals. Specifically, it is a test of the labor market requiring a company to advertise and determine whether there are willing, able, qualified, and available U.S. workers to fill a position before the Department of Labor will certify the position for a foreign national.
The PERM process entails a three (3) step process. Step (1) filing a Prevailing Wage Request with the Department of Labor; step (2) the Recruitment Process; and step (3) submitting the PERM Application.
The Prevailing Wage Request
Also known as Form ETA -9141, it is an online form applied through the Department of Labor’s online Foreign Labor Application Gateway (FLAG). The form must be completed with details about the job offer such as the title, job position, location where the job will be, the minimum requirements, etc. This form needs to be completed and submitted to the Department of Labor in order to receive a wage, which is indicative of the average wage paid to a similarly employed worker in a specific occupation in the area of intended employment. The wage amount given by the Department of Labor is the minimum salary the sponsoring employer must pay the future employee. One important factor to remember is that the Department of Labor dictates when a Prevailing Wage Determination (PWD) will issue. It is important to stay informed on current times.
The Recruitment Process
The recruitment process typically begins once a PWD is received. The recruitment process must be completed within the six (6) month period prior to filing the PERM labor certification (step 3). In total, there are a total of six (6) forms of recruitment that are required by law in order to properly meet the recruitment process set forth by the Department of Labor. Such a process can be strenuous, and one must have a keen eye on dates and details to successfully meet the requirements of the Department of Labor. Contact our law firm so we may discuss with you in full detail the requirements of the recruitment process.
The PERM Application
The final step in the PERM process is filing the Form ETA – 9089 with the Department of Labor. This is about a twelve (12) page application which requires immense details regarding the job position, the recruitment process, details of the wage being offered, details of the candidate and their employment and education history, among other details. Once again, the Department of Labor dictates when they will confirm the application. Therefore, it is essential to stay informed on current processing times. Once certified, it is time to move on to filing what is called Form I-140 or the Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers. But beware, the Department of Labor might issue an audit requesting more information before they certify your PERM application.