DOL implements PERM labor certification program

News Release from Jewell & Associates - March 28, 2005 Labor certification applications filed on and after March 28, 2005 will be filed under the U.S. Department of Labor’s PERM program, a complete revamping of the prior regulations governing LC applications throughout the last twenty-eight years.

A "labor certification" is certification by the United States Department of Labor (DOL) that there is a shortage of qualified U.S. workers for a particular job. Usually, the labor certification is the first step in the process of obtaining permanent residence based on employment.  Under the new PERM regulations, labor certification applications require recruitment in the 180-day period prior to filing. A labor certification application cannot be filed if the recruitment yields qualified, available U.S. workers to whom the employer does not extend job offers. For professional positions (normally, those requiring a Bachelor's or higher degree), the recruitment must include:

  • Two Sunday newspaper ads in the daily newspaper of general circulation;
  • One 30-day job order placed with the State Workforce Agency;
  • One internal posting at the place of employment for two weeks (ten business days);
  • Notice in any in-house media in which job openings are customarily announced;
  • Notice of the job opening to all potentially qualified workers laid off by the employer in the previous six months; and
  • At least three of the following ten other forms of recruitment:
    1. The web site of the employer
    2. An Internet jobs site (may be one affiliated with the newspaper in which the print ads run)
    3. Employee referral program with documentable incentives
    4. Recruitment through a trade or professional association print journal or newsletter
    5. Use of a contract recruiting agency
    6. Participation in an on-campus recruiting event (generally for jobs requiring a degree but no experience)
    7. Notice at a campus placement office (generally for jobs requiring a degree but no experience)
    8. Participation in a job fair
    9. A print ad in a local or ethnic newspaper (if appropriate to the occupation)
    10. A radio or television ad

Under PERM, labor certification applications are processed electronically, based on an attestation form (Form ETA 9089) that may be filed electronically or by mail. In either case, no supporting documentation is filed with Form ETA 9089, but supporting documentation must be maintained for five years and made available to DOL in the event of an audit.

PERM provides no mandatory processing times for labor certification applications. In processing an application, DOL will review the application form, and either initiate an audit or adjudicate the application without an audit. Once a PERM labor certification application is granted, the rest of the immigration process -- specifically, the employer's I-140 immigrant petition and the employee's application for adjustment of status or consular processing -- will proceed under Department of Homeland Security and Department of State rules.

© Jewell & Associates 2005