What is a PERM Green Card?

What is a PERM Green Card?

If you are an employee of a U.S. based entity, you may be able to get lawful permanent residence status or green card directly through your employer. This is called a PERM Green Card. Several types of green card sponsorship via employment start off with PERM labor certification. Bhavya Chaudhary And Associates specializes in PERM labor certification as well as the necessary steps to achieve permanent residence status. Contact our Atlanta immigration lawyer for assistance regarding visas, citizenships, green cards or other immigration issues.

What is a PERM?

Hiring a foreign worker on a permanent basis requires an employer to obtain a permanent labor certification from the United States Department of Labor or DOL. The labor certification is usually the first step in the sponsoring process. The employer must obtain a labor certification from the Employment and Training Administration, a DOL entity, before finally submitting a petition to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services or USCIS. Permanent labor certification can be obtained through the Program Electronic Review Management program currently run by the Department of Labor.

PERM Process Steps

PERM labor certification usually includes two major steps:

Labor Market Test – The employer must prove that there are not sufficient available, qualified and willing workers in the United States that can do the job for the advertised wage. The employer must go through a process to test the labor market to see if there are any willing and able workers already available in the US. To do this, the employer must start a recruitment process, advertise for the position and review resumes for at least 30 days before filing an application with USCIS. The recruitment process must be thoroughly documented in order to ensure the success of the application.

Prevailing Wage Determination – The employer must prove that by hiring a foreign immigrant worker, the current wages and working conditions of similar U.S. workers are not affected. A prevailing wage determination can be acquired from the State Workforce Agency or SWA. This also means that the employer must offer at least the prevailing wage as it is determined by the SWA.  

What Immigration Petitions Require Labor Certification?

Several types of immigration petitions require labor certification before they can be accepted. These are the petitions in question:

  • EB-2 Second Preference Immigration Visa – involves professionals with exceptional abilities or advanced degrees in certain fields of work.
  • EB-3 Third Preference Immigration Visa – involves professionals with a bachelor degree, skilled workers with a minimum of two years of experience, as well as unskilled workers.

Petitions for EB-1 Visas (which include applicants with high skills in athletics, business, education, arts or sciences) and EB-5 Visas do not require labor certification from the Department of Labor.

If you are seeking citizenship or permanent residence status, the best way to start is to have an appointment with an immigration lawyer where you will discuss your status, circumstances and the best way to approach applying for lawful permanent status, either individually or through your employer. Bhavya Chaudhary And Associates is here to answer all of your sensitive immigration questions – schedule an online appointment with us today!