Labor Certification (PERM)
What is labor certification?
The United States Department of Labor issues labor certification after ensuring that the following are true:
- There are not any qualified workers in the United States who are willing, able, and available to perform certain services instead of a foreign worker; and
- That by offering employment to the foreign worker, the working conditions and wages will not be adversely affected for U.S. citizens who are similarly employed.
The U.S. Department of Labor has offered labor certification through the Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) system since March 28, 2005.
Who needs labor certification?
Employers in the United States must obtain labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor before they may file an employment-based petition. As such, U.S. employers who wish to employ foreign workers under the following two preference categories must first obtain labor certification:
- Second employment-based preference (including exceptional ability workers and advanced degree professionals); and
- Third employment-based preference (including professional, skilled, and unskilled workers)
However, there are exceptions to this rule that are based on national interest waivers. There are not many occupations that are precertified as “Schedule A,” which includes occupations like professional nursing and physical therapists.
What is the procedure to obtain labor certification?
Petitioning employers must complete each of the following steps in order to obtain labor certification from the Department of Labor:
- Offer a prevailing wage for the position that will be open for application;
- If there is a bargaining representative, notice of the planned labor certification should be provided. If there is not a bargaining representative, notice of the position must be posted at the location of employment for at least 10 consecutive days;
- Indicate that the position is available on any in-house media that is normally used to post such positions (i.e. company newsletter or company e-mail);
- Go to the state employment office that services the area of employment to place a job order lasting for 30 days, at minimum;
- Place Sunday advertisements for the offered position for two consecutive weeks indicating that the offered position is available;
- When hiring for professional positions, three additional forms of recruitment should be made by advertising the position, including but not limited to the following: employer website, campus recruitment, job fairs, professional or trade organizations, employee referral programs, privately-held employment firm, radio and television ads, newspapers;
- Conduct interviews to determine the qualifications for the advertised position;
- Collect and prepare a report that summarizes your efforts to recruit and your subsequent results, along with an audit file;
- Register with the United States Department of Labor;
- Utilize the PERM process to prepare and file your electronic application for labor certification within the designated time frame—no later than 180 days and no sooner than 30 days into the process of making efforts to recruit for the position; and
- Per the request of the Department of Labor, respond to audit(s).
The Austin employment-based visa lawyers with the Law Office of William Jang, PLLC, charge the following in attorney’s fees for the typical labor certification application with the United States Department of Labor. However, it should be noted that the fees listed below do not include all the fees that will be subsequently required to file the relevant applications and petitions with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) (please take a moment to look over the disclaimer on this page):
- $3,000 in attorney’s fees
- The cost of advertisement (this varies)
At the Law Office of William Jang, PLLC, our Austin employment-based visa lawyers have the experience and the resources to help you through the entire labor certification process (please take a look at a sample of cases that were approved). To speak with an attorney in Austin about what you will need to do in order to obtain your labor certification, please call our Austin offices at (512) 323-2333 today.