The Houston Guide To Green Cards PERM

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To come to the US on an employment-based visa, then PERM is the way to go. This guide by Toppins Law Firm will help break down PERM for you to help you understand whether you qualify.

What is PERM?

PERM is the short form of Program Electronic Review Management. It is one of the steps, which immigrants who want an employment-based green card have to fulfill. The process is meant to protect the US labor market from displacement by foreign workers.

When a PERM certification is issued, it allows an employer to bring in a foreigner into the US for permanent residency. The Department of Labor has to prove that there are no US workers available to do the job being offered. It also has to show the employment of the worker is not going to impact wages or working conditions for US employees.

The filing date is the day on which the DOL receives a PERM application. The USCIS will use this as the priority date. It is merely the worker’s place in line as they wait to be processed. After the DOL certifies a PERM application, it is taken to a USCIS Service Center accompanied by form I-140. If satisfied, the employer will file form I-485.

Who Needs PERM?

It is a requirement for employees seeking to gain permanent residency in the US via the EB-2 visa or EB-3 visa.

Necessary Requirements to Qualify for a PERM Application

  • Full-time Employee

Only a full-time employee can qualify for PERM. The employer filing for the employee has to prove the position is a full-time based employment for a job in the US. The position must be a bonafide one that is also available to US workers.

It is not allowed to tailor the job to the employee’s unique qualifications. Besides that, the employers must prove that there are no US workers, who are willing and qualified to take up the position. It is also essential that the employer demonstrates the job will not affect the wages of US workers.

  • Permanent Job

Besides full-time employment, the position offered has to be permanent. Seasonal jobs will not qualify. They can get a temporary visa but not the PERM application.

The Steps to PERM

  1. Outline the Position

Before the PERM application starts, the employer has to present a comprehensive job description for foreign employees. This job description will be used on forms throughout the application process, and its success hinges on this.

In most cases, it is necessary to contact an immigration lawyer such as Toppins Law Firm to determine whether this description is okay. The best job description should only contain the minimum requirements for the job. For instance, including language skills is not okay. The DOL frowns on language skills that may affect the ability of US workers to apply.

  1. The Prevailing Wage

After the job description, the immigration lawyer will search and determine the prevailing wage for the job. It is the minimum amount allowed to be paid for foreign employees. This figure is dependent on many factors. For instance, the county in which the employee will work will determine the wage.

Other factors include the duties the employees will perform, the training, and the educational level. After conducting the research, the lawyer will file a PW request. This figure is usually accepted unless the DOL decide that a different wage is required.

The prevailing wage is usually valid for three months or up to a year. The date of validity matters since the employer must file PERM or begin recruiting with that time. If it does not happen, a new prevailing wage application must be submitted.

  1. The Recruitment

Before applying for PERM, the employer has to try to recruit within the US. The recruitment process can be quite complicated but here is a simple breakdown.

  •  Job Order
  • An employer has to place a job order with the Workforce Authority in the state for 30 days. This application can be made online on a state-run site.
  • Advertise the Position, For any PERM application, the employer has to place an ad in a newspaper with large circulation on two Sundays. For any position, which requires a Master’s degree and above, the employer has to apply in at least three of thee: job fairs, their website, and a job search website, trade organization, private employment firm, on-campus recruiting, employment referral program, campus placement office, radio and television ad.
  • In-House Ad

4. Submitting PERM

Filing with the DOL is free; however, you will pay about $580 for the I-140 petition and $1070 for I-485 forms. The ad fees range from about $1200 and have to be paid by the employer. The employee only pays for the forms I-140 and I-485.

From start to finish, the PERM process will take about 3 to 6 months if no audits are required. The forms I-140s take about 6 to 12 months and 6-12 months for the I-485. The result is that the entire process can take about 18 months to complete.