Given away by its name, a permanent labor certification issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) allows an employer to hire a foreign worker to work permanently in the United States. The labor certification is process is always to be done by the employer not the alien beneficiary. In most instances, before the U.S. employer can submit an immigration petition to the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the employer must obtain a certified labor certification application from the DOL’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA).
The Department of Labor (DOL) must certify to the USCIS that there are not sufficient U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified and available to fulfill the job in the area of intended employment and that employment of the foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers. The foreign worker is sponsored for permanent residency on the basis that the foreign worker has the qualifications to fill the job position that desperately needs to be filled.
The Department of Labor (DOL) processes Applications for Permanent Employment Certification, ETA Form 9089, with the exception of Schedule A. The date the labor certification application is received by the DOL is known as the filing date and is used by USCIS and the Department of State as the priority date.
The DOL provides the applicant of three various outcomes when processing the PERM application. It can decide to approve it, deny it, or audit it. If your PERM is decided to be audited, the DOL will ask your employer to provide any sufficient additional evidence to support the application. When the DOL receives the evidence by their request from your employer, the DOL will give a decision either to approve it or deny it.
After the labor certification application is certified by DOL, it should be submitted to the USCIS service center with a Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. The certification has a validity period of 180-days and expires if not submitted to USCIS within this period.
Applying for a PERM Labor Certification can be a grueling and involved process especially when you are chosen to be audited. Be prepared by having a lawyer by your side. It is crucial to have an experienced PERM Labor Certification immigration lawyer by your side to help you through the application process.