Let’s start with the very fundamental goal of the perm process. The goal is to test the labor market to determine if there are any qualified, willing and able U.S. workers who can fulfill the permanent job opening.
Step 1: Employer Creates the Job Description and Requirements
Step 2: Obtaining prevailing Wages
Step 3: Recruitment/Advertising
Once the prevailing wages are issued, DOL requires the employer begin its labor market test by advertising the job opening by placing ads on different platforms. The goal of advertising is to
- Apprise US workers of the job opportunity and
- Determine if a qualified, willing and able U.S. worker applies
The employer must (1) place a “job order” with the State Workforce Agency for a period of 30 days and (2) place the job ad in 2 consecutive Sunday editions of a local newspaper with wide circulation in the area of intended employment. (An ad can be placed in a relevant professional journal in lieu of 1 Sunday newspaper ad.)
Furthermore, the employer must utilize at least three of the following additional channels of advertising:
- Employer’s website
- A job listing website (e.g monster.com)
- Recruiting at a job fair
- Radio or television program
- Campus placement office
- Local or ethnic newspaper
- Employee Referral Program
- Placing an ad with a professional or trade publication
If a U.S. worker applies, the organization must either offer the job to the applicant or restart the process. The U.S. worker need not be optimally qualified! No soft skills are important, but minimally qualified according to the requirements.
Employers must keep diligent records of every candidate and the reasons for their denial in a recruitment report. The employer must also maintain screenshots of the web posting, sign any Notice of Posting, and advertising documentation.
In our experience, this process typically takes 1.25 months.
Step 4: Mandatory DOL Quiet period
DOL requires that after the ads complete, the employer wrap up all recruitment steps. In this phase, the employer must finish any open interviews, complete a recruitment report and ensure US workers were interviewed properly. The duration of the quiet period is 1 month.
Step 5: File the Labor Certification
This is the application to DOL essentially saying that “we, XYZ Corp, conducted a market test to see if there is a qualified, willing and able US worker and there is none, however here is the foreigner who has the requisite minimum qualifications”. The application can be denied outright, audited, or approved.
If your case is selected for an audit, it can prolong the adjudication process. However, if the processes are properly conducted and documented, a response to the audit should not take too long!
The duration of this period is approximately 5-6 months if there is no audit. To find out what the current backlog and processing time is for cases, once submitted, please click here.
Step 6: File the Immigrant Petition (I-140)
If we are successful till step 5, we can file the I-140 with USCIS. This generally takes 5-6 months to adjudicate unless we file in premium for an additional $2500. USCIS may issue a Request For Evidence which can prolong adjudication.
The steps above have approximate timelines based upon today’s processing. With backlogs piling up, these timelines can become shorter or longer. Also, additional steps may be added by the government and/or us to strengthen a case.
7. Additional Resources
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We have filed many PERM applications and are experienced in providing expert advice for complicated cases. We are well-versed in PERM regulations and audit requirements.