Qualifying for the advanced degree option is the best way to ensure a successful PERM application. While it might seem a little steep to demand a PhD from alien applicants, it is a great way to limit the field and ensure that the application will be a success. After all, the limitations of PERM are quite firm: only those who are globally renowned specialists in their field will be able to take a job in America that an American is not qualified for.
While these limitations do set a lot of employers back, they are also very clear about what is required of a successful application. A vast majority of successful applications each year are given out to aliens with an exceptional educational pedigree. The bottom line is that aliens with a PhD can rest assured they will be granted entry into the States.
Some Positions Do Not Have Advanced Degree Options
However, the reality of this modern world is that not all of the specialists have done a PhD. Physicists and mathematicians will have passed through the academic educational system because there are programs in place that nurture their skill and formalize their knowledge. Many scientists and theoreticians go on to become teachers and lead research in the academic milieux where they have been nurtured and feel at home.
The same cannot be said of computer programmers or web developers. A lot of the most gifted software developers and computer programmers have not completed conventional schooling. The reason for this is that very few schools offer high level web development programs that would nurture these exceptional minds. So while they might be extremely gifted at what they do, unless they can show some formal accreditation they risk being turned away by the Department of Labor. The logic of the DOL is that if they must not be industry leaders if they have no formal certificates to prove their aptitude. They may as well just apply for general immigration status and save all the ads and labor put into a PERM application.
And yet, how is it that so many PERM applications each year are awarded to software developers and IT specialists?
Bachelor’s Plus Work Experience Is An Option
There is an option to combine a bachelor’s degree with 5 years relevant working experience into an application. An alien who puts this on their application form will be asked to describe the kind of work they did in these five-plus years. They are encouraged to be as descriptive as possible because their status will rely on it.
Employers who post job listings domestically usually put PhD or 5-plus years experience in the given field. This leaves it open to those who might be over qualified in life experience but under qualified in the formal, educational side of things.