Labor Certification | PERM Process

As of March 28, 2005, the U.S. Department of Labor ("DOL") implemented a new means of obtaining labor certification, entitled the Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) system. The new PERM system allows U.S. employers to hire non-citizens on a permanent basis, and to qualify non-citizens for eligibility for lawful permanent residence.

The Essential PERM Elements are:

  • US employer willing to sponsor non-citizen for a permanent full time job;
  • The non-citizen possess the required skills and education to perform the duties;
  • The employer has displayed an unavailability of US workers through the required recruitment process; and
  • The employer has the ability to pay the prevailing wage.

The PERM has shortened the labor certification approval process from two years (or more) to approximately six to eight weeks. In addition to the new electronic filing requirement, PERM incorporates many other changes, including:

  • Pre-filing recruitment requirements;
  • Preparation of a recruitment report, summarizing recruitment efforts and results;
  • New prevailing wage determination procedures; and
  • Placement of a "Job Order" with the local State Workforce Agency ("SWA").

Department of Labor Audits

Under the new PERM system, sponsoring employers may be subject to a U.S. Department of Labor ("DOL") audit if the application fits a DOL audit profile, or if an employer is randomly selected for an audit. Employers are required to maintain documentation of their recruitment efforts. The evidence will document the unavailability of qualified U.S. workers for the position.

If you need assistance with online filing, have legal questions or want to protect against being subject of a DOL audit or like to take preventative action, contact Nair & Associates for a professional consultation regarding the safest way for your company to proceed.


  • Green Card through Employment: There are various employment categories which lead to a green card, including RIR, PERM, Schedule A for Nurses, Physical Therapists and Pharmacists
  • Green Card for Physicians: National Interest Waiver for physicians who work in underserved areas
  • Extraordinary Ability (EB1): For aliens of extraordinary ability who are entering U.S. to continue work in the filed which he/she has such ability. This visa allows alien to bypass labor certification process and forgo the requirement of a job offer
  • Outstanding Professor/Researcher (EB1): For "outstanding" academicians, professors and researchers who can establish a high level or degree of achievement in their respective fields
  • Multinational Executives/Managers (EB1): For the international transfer of executive or managerial personnel within multinational companies
  • Advanced Degree Professional (EB2): For "members of the professions holding advanced degrees" and "aliens of exceptional ability"
  • Professional Workers (EB3): For those who are professionals
  • Skilled Workers (EB3): For those who are skilled workers
  • Nurses/Physical Therapists (EB3): For those who are nurses and physical therapists
  • National Interest Waivers: For those in EB2 category. They may apply for permanent residence status and seek a waiver of the offer of employment by establishing that his/her admission to permanent residence would be in the
  • National Interest
  • Immigrant Investor (EB5): For those who invest one million dollars in a new enterprise that employs 10 U.S. workers, or $500,000 if the investment is in certain rural areas of an area of unemployment of at least 15% of the national average