Labor Certification

Labor Certification - General Information

Labor Certification

When a company wishes to sponsor an alien for permanent residence in the United States, the first step is to file an application with the local Department of Labor for a certification that there are not sufficient United States workers who are able, willing and qualified for the position. This is now called the PERM system.

The employer must show to the Labor Department that it has made a good faith effort to recruit US workers and that there are no US workers available. This is generally accomplished by advertising in newspapers of general circulation in the area of intended employment and by other means that are normal for the occupation but PERM sets forth the means of recruitment in detail. The PERM process requires that all recruitment be conducted prior to filing the application and recruitment must be conducted within 6 months of filing. Each filing requires the following recruitment: (1) a job order must be placed with the State Workforce Agency serving the area of intended employment (2) ads on two different Sundays in a newspaper of general circulation (if the job requires experience and an advanced degree, a professional journal may be substituted for one of the Sunday newspaper ads. (3) three forms of additional recruitment must be conducted out of the following list of ten: (a) job fairs (b) employer's web site (c) job search web site other than employers (d) on-campus recruiting (e) trade or professional organizations (f) private employment firms (g) employee referral program with incentives (h) campus placement offices (i) local and ethnic newspapers (j) radio and tv ads.

Application and Timeline

The application, which can be filed either electronically or by mail, must describe the job in detail, indicating the salary offered and describing the minimum qualifications for the position, including minimum education and experience and any special requirements. The Labor Department will either approve the application or select the application for audit.

The labor certification has indicated that the process should only take about 60 days if no audit is requested. However, this is just a target goal and there is no guarantee as to how long the process will take. If the application is selected for audit, it will undoubtedly draw out the process.

Employer Obligations

The employer's obligation is to make sure that all of the facts as stated in the application are true and correct and that they have backup documentation to support all of their recruitment efforts as well as a detailed description of the applicants for the position and why they were rejected. Our office will guide you through the process and prepare any of the necessary applications based upon the information provided to us. We cannot, however, participate in the interview process if resumes are received as a result of recruitment efforts.

The employee must provide us with a complete biographic history and we will furnish the employee with a questionnaire to complete. We also ask that the employee furnish us with an up-to-date resume and copies of all degrees and transcripts if appropriate. In addition, the employee must furnish us with proof of all prior experience in as much detail as possible. Complete instructions will be given to the employee when we are retained.

Please note that in order to complete the process in the United States, the person that is being sponsored must be able to prove that he has maintained lawful status in the United States. If he or she has not maintained lawful status, he or she may not be able to adjust status in the United States and therefore would have to process the final step (immigrant visa) at a US Consulate abroad. This could cause some serious problems that are too complicated to cover in this letter. In some cases, however the applicant may be eligible for adjustment of status under 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

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If you have any questions concerning the above, please contact our office for an appointment.