Permanent Labor Certifications
Permanent labor certifications allow U.S. employers to hire foreign workers permanently in the United States, and it is a requirement for some categories of the business and employment-based visas. A PERM (Program Electronic Review Management) Labor Certification is the first step towards a foreign beneficiary obtaining an employment-based green card, allowing them to live and work in the country permanently. If you are a U.S. employer wishing to consult an expert PERM labor certification attorney, look no further than the Florida Immigration Law Counsel. Call 1-800-666-4996 today to speak directly with an attorney who has the knowledge and expertise required to successfully handle your case.Two categories of employment-based visas requiring the labor certification are the EB-2 and EB-3. Before an employer can file a petition for a foreign worker, they must first obtain an approved labor certification from the Department of Labor by filing ETA Form 9089.
The DOL must be able to certify to USCIS that there are not sufficient U.S. workers available who have the qualifications, willingness and availability to perform the job offered at the prevailing wage for that occupation. Furthermore, it must satisfy USCIS that the employment of the foreign worker will not adversely affect the working conditions or wages of similarly employed domestic workers.
The FL-ILC PERM Labor Certification Process
At the Florida Immigration Law Counsel, we provide services for employers seeking a PERM labor certification. Our process is:
- We begin by collecting all the relevant information regarding the sponsoring employer and the prospective alien beneficiary
- Review all qualifications and identify issues relating to education or job duties
- Work with the employer to review and finalize the job description and qualification requirements
- Assist with the PERM online filing system registration and submit necessary documentation to the National Prevailing Wage Center
- Draft the job posting and propose advertising schedules either as newspaper advertisements or through an agent, upon the client’s consent
- Collect and review all documents for the entire recruitment process, should the DOL conduct an audit
- Prepare, review and submit the online PERM application with the employer and beneficiary
- Communicate with the DOL in the case of an audit, or for any other legal issues that may arise during the application process.
Applying for a PERM Labor Certification is a very complex and time-sensitive procedure. Contact the FL-ILC should you require any assistance or representation from an experienced immigration attorney.
Frequently Asked Questions About Labor Certifications
The following are just a few of the most common questions that we answer during our initial consultations with people who are interested in being awarded a labor certification to hire permanent foreign workers.
Simply put, a labor certification is a legal document that is designed primarily to protect American workers and employment options by requiring an employer to go through an extensive process of proving that there is no worker available in the country to perform a certain task.
According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Department of Labor, “the labor certification process exists to protect U.S. workers and the U.S. labor market by ensuring that foreign workers seeking immigrant visa classifications are not displacing equally qualified U.S. workers.”
The process of applying for a labor certification is complicated and detailed, and there is no guarantee that you will be approved for your application. In fact, you will need to attempt to hire an American worker over a designated period of time before you are even able to move forward with the application process for the labor certification.
If you are unable to find anyone who is already legally able to work in the United States who is even moderately equipped to perform the task you are hiring for, then you will be able to take the next step in the process of applying for a labor certification to hire a foreign worker.
The application process has multiple steps that you will need to go through before you are able to actually hire a foreign employee with a labor certification, and each process is unique. In order to get an exact idea of what you can expect, you can contact the Florida Immigration Law Counsel as soon as possible so that we can discuss your situation. Typically the application process can take a year or more, and if you must file an appeal it can take much longer.
The general guidelines for the length of time of each step are as follows:
Step 1: Developing the job description and preparing for the recruitment process. This may take up to a month, or more.
Step 2: Request a Prevailing Wage Determination. Once you submit a request for a PWD from the Department of Labor, it may take up to four months or more before you are approved (if you are approved).
Step 3: Recruitment. Part of the approval process is an attempt to recruit American workers for this job so that you are not taking away from American workers or the American job market. By the time this process is concluded, it could be up to 180 days or more. However, if you find someone equipped for the job at this point, you will not need to continue with the application process because you can hire the American.
Step 4: Cooling Off and Filing. Once you have concluded your recruitment efforts, you will need to complete a 30-day “cooling off” period before you can submit your application. Once filed, it can take 3-4 or more months to get a decision from the DOL.
Step 5: Decision and next steps. You will receive a decision from the Department of Labor, at which point you will either be able to move forward with your foreign hiring, are denied and decide that you will not continue the process, or you can appeal.