PERM Labor Certification

PERM Labor Certification

The PERM or Program Electronic Review Management System Labor Certification was created by the Department of Labor on March 28, 2005. It is essentially the first step in the process of applying for employment-based permanent residency (green card). The objective of PERM is to defend U.S. workers and the job market. The PERM applicant must submit a comprehensive application to the Department of Labor in order to demonstrate how his/her exceptional skills cannot be duplicated by a U.S. worker. Unlike the EB-1 First Preference Visa, the EB-2 and EB-3 both require the applicant to obtain a PERM labor certification before applying for the employment-based immigrant visa. The PERM Labor Certification for EB-2 Visa may be waived with the National Interest Waiver (NIW) if the applicant provides evidence that the employment would further national interest of the United States.

PERM Labor Certification Requirements:

  • An existing permanent job offer by a U.S. employer
  • The offered wages are required to be equal or above the DOL prevailing wage. DOL will subject this to the specific position.
  • The local job market has been analyzed for qualified candidates. This is required to provide evidence that U.S. workers are unable to complete the requirements of the position. Supplementary documentation relating to recruiting efforts must be made available, if requested.
  • The U.S. employer is obligated to construct and maintain an audit file with additional proof of attempts at recruitment.

PERM Recruitment Steps:

PERM regulations mandate that recruitment steps for both professional and non-professional positions be completed within 6 months of filing the PERM application.

Professional vs. Non Professional

Professional positions require experience and/or an advanced degree.

Mandatory Steps:

  1. Placing a Job order with the State Workforce Agency for a period of 30 days;
  2. Placing a job ad in 2 consecutive Sunday editions of a local newspaper with wide circulation in the area of intended employment OR an ad can be placed in a relevant professional journal in lieu of 1 Sunday newspaper ad.


(NOTE – if the job opportunity is located in a rural area that does not have a newspaper with a Sunday edition, the employer may then use the edition with the “widest circulation” in the area of intended employment.)

A combination of any 3 additional recruitment methods outlined below can meet the additional recruitment requirement for professional positions:

  1. Job fairs
  2. Employer’s website
  3. Job search website other than the employer’s
  4. On-campus recruiting
  5. Trade of professional organization
  6. Private employment firms
  7. Employee referral program with incentives
  8. Campus placement offices
  9. Local and ethnic newspapers
  10. Radio and television


Non-Professional Jobs

In order to satisfy the recruitment process for non-professional positions an employer is required to only comply with the following 2 steps:

  1. Placing a Job order with the State Workforce Agency for a period of 30 days;
  2. Placing a job ad in 2 consecutive Sunday editions of a local newspaper with wide circulation in the area of intended employment

The steps must be conducted at least 30 days but no more than 180 days before the filing of the application.

 PERM Labor Certification Documentation:

  • Local Labor Market Analysis (evidence that U.S. workers are incapable/ineligible of performing this employment).

PERM Labor Certification Process:

  • The U.S. employer conducts a series of permissible recruitment efforts to analyze the current U.S. labor market. All efforts must be documented and ready for DOL inspection.
  • U.S. employer submits Labor Certification application to Department of Labor. (Form ETA 9089). This can be done electronically or by mail.
  • The DOL must then verify that the applicant possesses a skill that is unobtainable in U.S. workers or that the employment required cannot be completed by a U.S. worker. The U.S. employer is obligated to provide evidence that the applicant’s employment will not affect U.S. workers in related fields. This may take 120-180 days unless it is selected to be audited by the Department of Labor.
  • If the petition by the U.S. employer is selected for auditing, the employer must respond with supplementary documentation within 30 days of the request.
  • Once the Labor Certification is approved, the U.S. employer must file an immigrant petition to the USCIS before the Labor Certification expires.
  • If the employer fails to complete the immigrant petition before the deadline, the case will be labeled as abandoned.
  • When the I-140 is approved the applicant must register for Permanent Residence by filing Form I-485 with USCIS.

PERM Attorney Fee

  • We charge a flat Attorney Fee of only $3000 for PERM Labor Certification filing.
  • The attorney fee for preparing and filing the I-140 petition is $1500.
  • The lawyer fee for filing I-485, EAD and AP is $1000 for the primary applicant and $800 for each dependent family member.
  • Department of Labor has no filing fee for the PERM petition. The USCIS has a filing fee of $580 for the I-140 petition.
  • The Attorney Fee  for PERM certification ($3000) and Advertising Fees (approx. $1,500) can NOT be paid by the applicant and must be paid by the employer.

How Our Immigration Lawyers Can Help:

  • Our immigration lawyers are capable of assisting you with the required documentation to meet the critical deadlines.
  • Our PERM Labor Certification attorneys are experienced in providing expert advice for complex situations including verifying U.S. employer and applicant qualifications.
  • Our immigration lawyers are knowledgeable in communication channels between USCIS and Department of Labor.
  • If the applicant receives an audit request from the Department of Labor, our immigration lawyers will prepare and submit an appropriate and timely response to the request with required documentation.