An Immigration Lawyer Streamlines PERM Labor Certification

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The PERM Labor Certification is a critical step for U.S. employers aiming to hire foreign workers permanently. It guarantees that this initiative will not adversely affect U.S. workers’ wages and working conditions. However, given its stringent requirements and detailed steps, the process can be challenging. An immigration lawyer can smoothen the process and ensure compliance with its provisions.

This article delves into the PERM, outlining its importance, types, and steps for obtaining it. It also discusses the advantages of partnering with a lawyer for this labor certification.

If You Need To Start Your PERM Case, Don't Hesitate To Turn To A Specialized Immigration Lawyer

What Is A PERM Labor Certification?

A PERM is a procedure mandated by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), which means Program Electronic Review Management. It is a testament that you have thoroughly searched for available U.S. workers for a specific position. However, you cannot find suitable, willing, and qualified U.S. candidates.

Furthermore, the PERM ensures that the foreign worker’s employment will not adversely affect the local employment situation. Its process involves several stringent steps. First, you must obtain a prevailing wage determination from the DOL. Next, you must conduct a recruitment campaign according to the guidelines.

Lastly, you must apply for a labor certification. But how do you determine the correct Visa preference?

How To Choose The Right Visa Preferences?

To navigate the U.S. immigration system effectively, you must select the right Visa preference among the Employment-Based (EB) categories. Each caters to specific qualifications and employment types, making understanding each preference essential.

First Preference EB-1

The EB-1 Visa is designed for those with extraordinary abilities. They excel in arts, sciences, education, business, or athletics through sustained national or international acclaim. It generally does not require a Labor Certification, and the Visa backlog is typically shorter than other preferences.

This category includes outstanding professors and researchers recognized internationally for their achievements. It also comprises multinational managers or executives by the overseas affiliate, parent, subsidiary, or branch of the U.S. employer. They must have been employed for at least one of the three preceding years.

Second Preference EB-2

EB-2 targets professionals holding advanced degrees or their equivalent. They have exceptional ability in arts, sciences, or business, significantly benefiting the economy, and cultural or educational interests. Most EB-2 applications require a PERM Labor Certification and a U.S. employer job offer. The exception is those seeking a National Interest Waiver, which allows self-petitioning.

Third Preference EB-3

The EB-3 includes skilled workers with at least two years of job experience or training. Also, professionals with a U.S. bachelor’s degree or foreign equivalent and a U.S. employer job offer. Lastly, other unskilled labor workers require less than two years of training or experience. Like EB-2, this preference requires a PERM Labor Certification.

Fourth Preference EB-4

EB-4 is for “special immigrants,” including various religious workers and employees of U.S. foreign service posts. It also includes retired employees of international organizations, alien minors who are U.S. court wards, and other classes of aliens. Certain EB-4 classifications do not require a PERM Labor Certification.

You must do two preliminary steps before applying for a labor certification.

What Are The Two Preliminary Steps?

Before embarking on PERM, you must complete two preliminary steps to lay the groundwork for a successful application. These steps ensure the integrity of the labor market and protect U.S. workers’ wages and working conditions. First, obtaining a Prevailing Wage Determination (PWD) from the Department of Labor (DOL) is crucial.

First Step

The first step is to submit a request to the DOL to define the standard wage for the occupation in the specific area of employment. The PWD ensures the foreign worker’s wage is equal to or exceeds the average for similar jobs in the geographic area. Thus, it prevents the undercutting of U.S. workers’ wages.

Second Step

The employer must undergo a rigorous recruitment process to test the labor market. It must demonstrate that there are no willing, qualified, and available U.S. workers to fill the job intended for the foreign worker. You are required to place job advertisements in various channels as prescribed by the DOL.

You place the job orders with the state workforce agency and newspaper ads and, depending on the job category, other recruitment methods. These preliminary steps are integral to the PERM process. The two steps ensure that the employment of foreign workers won’t adversely affect the employment opportunities of U.S. workers.

How To Obtain The Labor Certification?

Obtaining the PERM Labor Certification is a detailed process requiring meticulous attention to regulatory requirements and deadlines. You can secure a labor certification after completing the preliminary steps of obtaining a Prevailing Wage Determination (PWD) and conducting the necessary recruitment.

Application Preparation

You must meticulously prepare the PERM application, Form ETA 9089. It requires detailed information about the job offer, the recruitment process, and job ad results. It also includes the rationale for hiring a foreign national over U.S. workers, if applicable. Accuracy and thoroughness are paramount to avoid delays or denials.

Filing With The DOL

Once the application is prepared, you submit it electronically to the DOL. The agency will verify your worker’s skills and review evidence from the employer before approving the application. The application’s filing date becomes the priority, which is significant in the subsequent green card application process.

Processing By The DOL

The DOL conducts an application review to ensure compliance with all PERM regulations. This phase includes checking the employer’s test of the labor market. It also verifies that hiring a foreign worker will not disadvantage U.S. workers in terms of wages or working conditions.

Audits & Requests For Further Information

The DOL may select applications for audit or request additional information from the employer. In such cases, the employer must respond promptly with the required documentation to substantiate the application’s claims. It’s crucial to keep a complete and organized record.

DOL Approval

If the DOL finds the application in compliance with all requirements, it will issue a PERM Labor Certification. It allows the employer to sponsor the foreign worker for a green card. The entire process requires careful planning and adherence to DOL guidelines. Employers often benefit from working with immigration lawyers to navigate this complex procedure efficiently.

How To Streamline The Typical Timeline?

Streamlining the PERM timeline is essential for employers and foreign workers to navigate the immigration process efficiently. Given the meticulous nature of the process, reducing delays and avoiding common pitfalls can significantly expedite the overall timeline. You can follow several strategies to streamline the application.

Early & Accurate PWD Request

Initiate the Prevailing Wage Determination (PWD) request with the DOL as soon as possible. Providing precise job duties and requirements ensures that your document is accurate. This proactive approach reduces the need for revisions that can delay the process.

Comprehensive Recruitment Planning

Before starting the recruitment process, understand the specific requirements for advertising and documentation. Plan your recruitment strategy to ensure all regulatory requirements are met within the stipulated periods, preventing the need for another recruitment.

Diligent Documentation

Keep meticulous records of all recruitment efforts and responses. Organized documentation is crucial, especially if the DOL selects the application for audit. Quick access to detailed recruitment records can significantly reduce response times during audits, and having everything in order can minimize delays.

Utilize Technology For Efficiency

Applicant tracking systems (ATS) and other HR technology tools can be used. Utilize technology to manage the recruitment process, maintain records, and prepare the application. Technology can also facilitate communication with legal counsel and the DOL, improving efficiency.

Engage Professional Help Early

Consulting with an immigration attorney experienced in PERM applications can be invaluable. They can help anticipate issues, ensure compliance with complex requirements, and manage timelines effectively. They can prevent common mistakes that cause delays.

Stay informed about processing times and DOL updates. Be prepared to adjust strategies to deal with changing requirements or unexpected challenges. It’s crucial to work with a local immigration lawyer to streamline the PERM process.

Why Work With An Immigration Lawyer?What Permanent Labor Certification Is About And How It Would Benefit You

Working with an immigration lawyer at Lozano Law Firm offers advantages for navigating the PERM Certification process. Its seasoned team ensures your application adheres to the stringent requirements set by the Department of Labor.

The team can streamline the process and significantly increase the likelihood of approval. They can preemptively address potential pitfalls and optimize your application for success. They also craft customized strategies that align with your unique situation.

The team’s dedicated support minimizes errors, reduces delays, and alleviates employers’ administrative burden. This allows you to focus on core business operations. Moreover, Lozano Law Firm commits to staying abreast of the latest immigration laws and regulations. This guarantees that your application is compliant and has a competitive advantage.


Navigating the PERM Labor Certification process is crucial if you are looking to hire foreign workers. Each phase demands accuracy and efficiency. Streamlining requires early preparation, meticulous application, diligent documentation, and strategic planning.

Working with a reputable immigration lawyer at Lozano Law Firm significantly enhances efficiency and success rate. The team’s competence simplifies compliance with the DOL’s stringent regulations. Finally, they give you confidence in knowing you comply with employment-based immigration law.

About Alfredo Lozano

alfredo lozano of lozano law firm inAlfredo Lozano is the founder and principal attorney at Lozano Law Firm, an immigration law firm serving the communities of San Antonio, Eagle Pass, Laredo and San Angelo in business and family-based immigration law. Mr. Lozano is a member of the State Bar of Texas, the San Antonio Bar Association, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

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