Q: What is a PERM Labor Certification?

A: The PERM Labor Certification (PERM) is a procedure for applying a Labor Certification Application. PERM process is the developed by the Department of Labor to streamline the filing and processing of labor certifications for foreign workers. The main distinction between PERM and the previous Labor Certification process is that under PERM (1) PERM applications can be submitted online: (2) most cases will be adjudicated within 3 months; (3) no supporting documents are submitted at the time of filing. However, the supporting documents are required to be filed if the application is chosen for auditing; and (4) recruitment requirements are enhanced and standardized.

Q: What does PERM stand for?

A: PERM stand for “Program Electronic Review Management process”.

Q: Which government agencies are involved in PERM Labor Certification?

A: The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) will be involved in the PERM Labor Certification. Individual State Wage Agencies (SWA) no longer play any role in PERM LC process. The USCIS is not involved in the PERM process.

Q: Which government agency determines Prevailing Wage in the PERM Labor Certification process?

A: Effective January 4, 2010, Prevailing Wage is determined by the National Prevailing Wage and Helpdesk Center (NPWC).

Q: What does the Department of Labor (DOL) do in the Labor Certification process?

A: The DOL, through its two national processing centers (NPC) in Atlanta and Chicago and one National Prevailing Wage and Helpdesk Center (NPWC) in Washington DC, adjudicates PERM Labor Certification applications for the whole nation. State agencies will no longer participate in adjudicating Labor Certification.

Q: What is USCIS?

A: USCIS stands for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. It is the agency of the U.S. government principally responsible in matters dealing with aliens in the United States. Prior to March of 2003, the USCIS was called the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). For a brief period it was known as the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS). It is also sometimes simply called CIS.

Q: What is a Labor Certification?

A: A Labor Certification is a certificate issued by the U.S. Department of Labor that allows an employer-petitioner to file an EB-2 or EB-3 employment-based immigration petition on behalf of the alien. It is the first step in most EB-2 and EB-3 employment-based immigration cases.

Q: What is the purpose of Labor Certification?

A: The purpose of the Labor Certification to protect U.S. worker’s employment opportunities. To obtain a labor certificate one must prove to the Department of Labor that there are no qualified, available and willing U.S. workers for the position offered to the alien.

Q: Who needs a Labor Certification?

A: Most employment-based immigration cases require the Labor Certification as the first step. Exceptions to this rule include: EB-1s (An Alien of Extraordinary Ability or Outstanding Researchers/Professors or Multinational Transferees), EB-2 NIW (National Interest Waiver), EB-4 Religious Workers and EB-5 Immigrant Investors.

Q: Is the PERM Labor Certification process complex?

A: A PERM Labor Certification application is a very complicated procedure. It requires both substantive legal knowledge and practical experience, not only the knowledge of the PERM process, but also experience in dealing with recruitment process according to the PERM regulations. We recommend that you consult with an experienced immigration attorney if you are interested in filing a PERM Labor Certification application.

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