If you are interested in obtaining your Lawful Permanent Residence through Employment, you will most likely be required to go through the Labor Certification process. Labor Certification, also known as the “PERM” process, is an application your employer must file with the Department of Labor certifying that it has attempted to recruit U.S. workers for the open position, but has been unsuccessful. Some categories of employment-based immigrants, such as EB-1, do not require labor certification. Additionally, you may be eligible for a National Interest Waiver, which waives the labor certification requirement. “Schedule A”: Shortage Occupation workers also do not require a Labor Certification. Currently, the occupations listed on Schedule A include nurses, physical therapists, and persons of exceptional ability.
PERM requires the employer to take specific steps with regard to recruitment and completion of the certification application. It is imperative that employers follow the PERM regulations precisely, as one small error can result in a denial of the labor certification. Denial can cause serious hardships because of the long backlogs with respect to employment immigration. The filing of the Labor Certification application establishes your “priority date” (i.e. holds your place in line for a visa), and thus denial of a labor certification application for improper recruitment or other error can lead to you and your employer losing years of valuable time.
It is not recommended that you or your employer pursue labor certification alone. Please contact one of our highly experienced attorneys who will guide you through PERM process.