In response to curiosities often brought up when viewing PERM advertising, here are answers to the five most commonly asked questions regarding PERM.
What is It?
The Program Electronic Review Management labor certification (PERM) comprises the process in which applicants become candidates for labor certification. It was initially developed and adopted by the Department of Labor (DOL) in order to maximize the efficiency of the filing and processing systems related to foreign workers’ labor certifications. The system was officially effective as of March 28, 2005. After that date, all labor certifications that were filed had to be done under the regulations of PERM.
How Does it Work?
Simply put, PERM requires that employers follow a certain set of recruitment activities in order to adequately verify the job market prior to filing the application. If, after some time has passed and no willing and qualified U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident is located through the recruitment process, the employer is in a justified position to send the PERM labor certification.
What is the DOL’s Role in the Process?
Through its two national processing centers in Chicago and Atlanta as well as its National Prevailing Wage and Helpdesk Center in Washington DC, the DOL makes a formal judgement on all PERM labor certification applications for the nation as a whole. In the past, state agencies would participate in the process of adjudication, but this is no longer the case.
What is its Purpose?
In essence, the labor certification process exists for the protection of the employment opportunities and working conditions of U.S. workers. In order to receive a labor certificate, an individual is required to prove to the DOL that there is an evident lack of available, qualified, and willing U.S. workers for the position offered to the illegal immigrant. To go into more detail, this process demands that the employer fully evaluate the local labor market in order to verify if there is a qualified U.S. citizen or permanent resident who can occupy the position in question. When it has been proven that a qualified U.S. citizen worker can not fill the proposed position, can the employer issue a PERM labor certification to employ the alien who qualifies for said position.
Is it Complicated?
The short answer to that question is: yes. A PERM labor certification application follows an inherently complex process, requiring practical experience as well as substantial legal knowledge. Additionally, those dealing with PERM labor certification applications must also have experience in dealing with recruitment processes, which the law regulates. It is always recommended that employers seek the counsel of an experienced immigration attorney when interested in engaging in this procedure.