The permanent labor certification program (PERM) allows US employers to hire foreign workers on a permanent basis to fill jobs essential to the US economy. Certification may be obtained for occupations if you can prove that there are no available qualified US workers who are willing to do the work at wages that meet or exceed the prevailing wage paid for the occupation in your area of intended employment. Find out more about the PERM process.
What is the purpose of the PERM process?
The PERM process was instituted to assure that adding foreign workers to the US on a permanent basis will not adversely affect the job opportunities, wages, and working conditions of US workers. In other words, to protect US workers and the US labor market.
What government agencies are involved in the permanent labor process?
Obtaining labor certification for a permanent position is a complicated process that involves working with several US government agencies including, the Federal Department of Labor (DOL), the State Department of Labor, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and the Department of State (DOS).
What is the permanent labor certification (PERM) process?
Permanent labor certification can only be obtained by the employer NOT the employee. The overriding purpose of the PERM process is for the US Department of Labor to ensure that foreign workers will not negatively impact the job opportunities, wages, and working conditions of US workers. A permanent labor certification allows an employer to hire a foreign worker to work permanently in the United States. The PERM certification is often the first step for EB-2 and EB-3 employment-based immigration.
What happens after receiving a permanent labor certification?
The permanent labor certification from the DOL certifies to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that there are no sufficient US workers able, willing, qualified, and available to accept the job opportunity in the area of intended employment and that employment of a foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed US workers. After the permanent labor certification application has been approved by the DOL, the employer then files Form I-140 Petition for a Foreign Worker with USCIS.
Additional Outside Resources
- DOL: Foreign Labor Programs
- DOL: Permanent Labor Certification
- USCIS: Employment-Based Second Preference EB-2
- USCIS: Employment-Based Third Preference EB-3
- USCIS: Form I-140 Petition for Foreign Worker
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