The majority of employment-based immigration options require an approved PERM labor certification from the US Department of Labor (USDOL) as part of the permanent residency process. The employment-based categories that require a PERM labor certification are EB-2 Members of the Profession Holding Advanced Degrees or Persons of Exceptional Ability (other than National Interest Waiver cases) and EB-3 Professionals, Skilled Workers, & Unskilled Workers.
The PERM labor certification process requires the employer to prove to the USDOL that it cannot find a willing and able U.S. worker to perform the particular position in question. To show this, the employer must test the labor market for several weeks by actively advertising and recruiting for the position. The USDOL has extremely precise regulations as to the timing, form, and content of the recruiting efforts that must be conducted by the sponsoring employer. It is therefore imperative that the employer comply with the requirements and other obligations, including reponding properly to resumes or applications by interested candidates and handling of documents.
If the recruitment is unsuccessful - meaning there are no qualified, willing, able, and available U.S. workers to fill the position - the employer files the labor certification application with the USDOL. If USDOL certifies the application, the employer can proceed to filing an I-140 immigrant visa petition under the appropriate preference category with US Citizenship & Immigration Services. Once the immigrant visa is approved and a visa number is available, the foreign national may apply for permanent residency. If a visa number is not immediately available, however, the foreign national must wait for a number to become available before seeking residency.
There are numerous regulations and requirements for this category. Wilson Law Group has extensive experience with PERM labor certification applications for small- and large-scale business. We welcome you to contact our office for a consultation with one of our immigration attorneys regarding your particular legal matter.