PERM Labor Certification
When a U.S. employer requires persons from abroad to come to work permanently in the U.S., they need to follow certain procedures before they can sponsor green cards for eligible foreign nationals. The employer has to first and foremost establish that there are no U.S. workers available to take up this position. The employer has to advertise the position and conduct a recruitment drive to find a suitable person in the U.S. If such a person is not available, or if they are not willing to take up the offered job, then the employer can look for resources outside the U.S. It is the responsibility of the employer to also prove that offering the job to a foreign national will not affect the wages or working conditions of U.S. workers.
Before hiring from abroad the employer has to get a Labor Certification application approved by the Department of Labor. PERM, Program Electronic Review Management, is a Labor Certification application process that came into effect on March 28, 2005. This is the process through which employers file Labor Certification applications with the Department of Labor.
The Labor Certification approval by the Department of Labor certifies to the USCIS that there are no U.S. workers capable or willing to take up the offered position and that hiring a foreigner for the job will not affect the wages or working conditions of U.S. workers.
PERM process allows for the submission of applications online or by mail. No supporting documents are required initially. Cases that are marked for auditing would require supporting documents. PERM has standardized recruitment procedures and the processing time for most PERM Labor Certification applications is around three months.
PERM Processing Times
When the PERM process came into effect it was told that the processing time for most cases would be 3 months. The Department of Labor’s PERM processing time as of September 3, 2013 is as follows:
|PERM Processing Times (as of September 1, 2016)||
|Processing Queue||Priority Dates|
|Reconsideration Requests to the CO||December
|Gov’t Error Reconsiderations||Current|
Analyst Reviews:The Analyst Review dates posted above reflect the month and year in which cases were filed that are now being adjudicated at the Atlanta National Processing Center. For various reasons, we may be completing the processing of applications filed prior to the month posted on iCERT
Audits: Certain cases are issued audit notices by the Department of Labor and the employers have to respond to the notice and provide the necessary supporting documents. Cases where the employers have responded to the audit notice by the DOL are referred to as ‘Audits’. All PERM cases are processed on a ‘First in first out’ (FIFO) basis. Audits are processed according to their priority dates. Audit dates posted above reflect the month and year in which cases were filed that are now being adjudicated at the Atlanta National Processing Center
Reconsideration Requests to the CO: When cases are denied they can be re-submitted for a review or reconsideration by the Certifying Officer at the DOL. Reconsideration requests are reviewed by their priority dates. The Reconsideration Request to the CO dates posted above reflect the month and year in which cases that are now being reviewed at the Atlanta National Processing Center were appealed.
Gov’t Error Reconsiderations: Cases may have been denied because of an error on the pare of DOL are filed. Such denials can be sent for a review and they fall under the category of “Gov’t Error Reconsiderations”. A response is sent within 45 days in case of Gov’t errors. If the DOL considers it not to be a Gov’t error it will automatically send the case for reconsideration. So if an employer does not hear within 45 days of sending a case for Gov’t Error Reconsiderations it can be safely assumed that the case has been automatically filed under Reconsideration Requests to the CO.
Note: The Department of Labor requests persons with pending cases that were filed more than 3 months ahead of the priority dates published in their latest processing time table to make an inquiry about their case status.