Obtaining Permanent Residency by Filing a PERM Application

Foreign nationals who have a sponsoring employer are eligible to pursue permanent residency in the United States through the process known as filing an "Application for Labor Certification" with the U.S. Department of Labor. This is also known as filing a PERM (Program Electronic Review Management) Application. These applications are filed using the U.S. Department of Labor’s Form ETA 9089. Although this form may be submitted by mail, it is highly recommended to use the U.S. Department of Labor’s system for on-line filing of PERM applications.

The entire process of obtaining U.S. Permanent Residency using this procedure can be lengthy, due to considerable backlogs at both the Department of Labor and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS").

There are actually three phases involved in obtaining U.S. Permanent Residency through this process:

  1. Application for Alien Labor Certification (also known as PERM Application).
  2. I-140 Immigrant Petition.
  3. I-485 Application for Adjustment of Status (or Consular Processing).

The first phase involves the U.S. Department of Labor, the second phase the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (“USCIS”) and the third either the USCIS or the U.S. Department of State.

You may learn about each phase below. Contact immigration attorney Michael McVicker for more information about how our firm can assist with the PERM process.

Phase One – The PERM Application

In this process, a sponsoring employer files an application with the U.S. Department of Labor essentially stating that it is not possible to find a qualified U.S. worker to fill a permanent position being offered to a foreign national. The foreign na… Read More

Phase Two – The Immigrant

Once the Application for Labor Certification (PERM) is approved, the employer files the following items with the Immigration and Naturalization Service: the approved application, an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker on USCIS Form I-140, and support… Read More

Phase Three – Adjustment of Status or Consular Processing

Once the I-485 Application to Adjust Status to Permanent Residency is filed with the USCIS, a foreign national immigrating pursuant to an approved PERM application is considered to be in legal status as an “applicant to adjust status.” Th… Read More