Knowledgeable Immigration Attorney Helping San Antonio Employers Obtain PERM Labor Certifications
U.S. employers having trouble filling positions with workers who are qualified and available to perform the type of work required may be able to fill that need through foreign workers, but the uncertainty of an immigrant worker’s status often makes it difficult to fill a long-term position. One solution to this challenge is a PERM labor certification. A labor certification lawyer guides businesses and their employees through the complex process of obtaining a visa for an immigrant who meets their unmet labor needs.
At The Lozano Law Firm, we help employers in San Antonio, Eagle Pass, San Angelo and Laredo navigate the complicated, dual-track process to obtaining a PERM that enables them to hire the right workers for the job. Learn more about PERM labor certifications and your business immigration options below.
PERM Labor Certifications Can Help an Employer Staff Difficult-to-Fill Positions
The U.S. Government recognizes that immigrants play an important role in our economy and workforces. To help businesses legally recruit and hire immigrant talent, it established a series of systems that streamline business-related visas. With a permanent labor certification through Program Electronic Review Management, or PERM, an employer is allowed to hire a foreign worker on a permanent basis. Also, the worker is granted lawful permanent residence through employment on an EB-2 or EB-3 visa.
Obtaining a PERM Can Be a Complicated Process
Obtaining a PERM, however, is a complicated process with multiple steps. In addition to getting approval through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the employer must also have the support of the Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (DOL ETA). Petitions and applications must be detailed and persuasive. They must demonstrate that although the employer has tried recruiting American workers for the job, the employer has not been able to fill the position with willing, able and qualified workers. Once the employer has obtained approval from DOL ETA, he or she must still successfully complete an I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker with USCIS.
How Does My Business Qualify for PERM Labor Certification?
Not every business will qualify for a PERM labor certification, and it’s always best to consult with a labor certification lawyer before starting the certification process. The Lozano Law Firm can help you understand your business immigration options and craft a plan that helps you fill your challenging roles.
Typically, a business will qualify for PERM labor certification if it can show the following:
- Job is located in the United States and is full-time
- It is a legitimate job that was also available to U.S. citizens and was not tailored to a specific immigrant’s skills
- Job’s compensation package meets prevailing wage standards and is not a commission or incentive-based package
- Business could not find a qualified U.S. worker for the job
- Business did not discriminate against U.S. workers during its hiring process
- Tole is not open due to a labor dispute, strike, or walk-out
- Hiring an immigrant will not harm U.S. workers’ compensation or working conditions
- That your business has the financial resources to pay the immigrant worker
Does Your Business Qualify for a “National Interest Waiver”?
However, there are exceptions to the PERM labor certification process and certain businesses and employees have other business immigration options. Certain professions, such as nursing and physical therapy, do not always require labor certification. Your business might also qualify for a “national interest waiver.” Eligible businesses must show that the:
- Job’s importance is readily important
- Worker’s activities will benefit multiple areas of the United States
- Importance of their work outweighs the need for labor certification oversight
Finally, your prospective employees might qualify for a visa due to their extraordinary ability, specialized training, or advanced education.
If you’re unsure whether your business and a specific position will qualify for PERM, request a consultation with a labor certification lawyer at The Lozano Law Firm. We can also educate you about other business immigration options, such as EB-1 and EB-2 visas. Our offices are conveniently located throughout Texas.
How Does a Business Apply for PERM Labor Certification?
A PERM labor certification application requires multiple forms and documentation. While you can either apply online or by mail, Lozano Law Firm typically files its clients’ labor certification requests electronically. The application process involves:
- ETA Form 9089 (Alien Employment Certification)
- Form I-140 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker)
- Documentation that supports your request
Once it receives your request, the Department of Labor (DOL) will review your request and assess your eligibility. It can sometimes take months for the DOL to either approve or deny your request for a PERM labor certification.
If the DOL approves your labor certification, you’ll file forms with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and pay additional fees. At this point, your business will need to provide information about your ability to pay the immigrant worker’s salary and benefits. Your labor certification lawyer will help you collect profit and loss statements and other information that demonstrates your financial stability.
Finally, once the labor certification is fully approved, your new employee can initiate an “adjustment of status.” This converts their visa into a green card (making them a legal permanent resident of the United States).
This process can quickly become complicated. This is especially true if the government questions the availability of qualified U.S. workers or your business’ ability to pay the immigrant’s wages. The Lozano Law Firm guides businesses through every step of a PERM labor certification. We also do our best to ensure our clients’ full legal compliance with federal labor and immigration laws.
Meet Your Employment Needs With Expert Assistance From a Certified Immigration Lawyer
At The Lozano Law Firm, we assist the employer with every step of the permanent labor certification process. We prepare, review and file all necessary documentation and maintain communication with officials at USCIS and DOL ETA as necessary to ensure successful completion of your PERM application. We walk you through the necessary steps of obtaining a prevailing wage determination from the Texas Workforce Commission. In addition, we will make sure you complete all the required steps for recruiting for the position. For advice and assistance regarding meeting your labor and employment needs through a PERM labor certification, contact The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC in San Antonio, San Angelo, or Eagle Pass today.
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