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 national is being sponsored for permanent residency on the basis that he or she has the qualifications to fill the position. For the application to be approved, the employer is required to undertake a process of recruitment to prove to the Department of Labor that there are no U.S. workers available for the position.

Required Recruitment for PERM Application

Following is a summary of the required recruitment steps in the preparation of a PERM Application.

Step One

Obtain a Prevailing Wage Determination from the U.S. Department of Labor. A Prevailing Wage Request form, containing a description of the job duties and of the minimum requirements for the position, is submitted online to the Department of Labor for review. The Department of Labor will then respond with a Prevailing Wage Determination, stating the minimum acceptable salary that the sponsoring employer must offer to the foreign worker and to any U.S. worker who may apply for the position during the recruitment period.

Step Two

Conduct a Recruitment Campaign Consisting of the Following Steps:

1. Place an online Job Order with the State Workforce Agency for a period of 30 days.

2. Place two Sunday print advertisements in an appropriate newspaper of general circulation in the location where the foreign national will be employed. This should be the newspaper with the largest circulation in the area where the where the job site is located. In the alternative, the employer may place one Sunday print advertisement in a newspaper and one advertisement in a trade publication or professional journal appropriate for the position that is being advertised.

3. Post a Job Opportunity Notice at the work site where the foreign national is, or will be, employed for at least 10 consecutive business days. If the employer typically uses any sort of in-house media to advertise job opportunities, such as an employee newsletter or an Internet site accessible only to employees of the company, then the Posting Notice will also need to be posted in this media, with documentation of the posting.

If the position for which the foreign national is being sponsored for U.S. Permanent Residency is professional in nature — meaning one requiring at least a bachelors degree — then three additional, documented recruitment efforts from the following ten are required from the employer:

  1. Recruitment at Job Fairs.
  2. Posting on the sponsoring employer's website.
  3. Posting on a job-related website other than that of the sponsoring employer.
  4. On-campus recruitment at colleges or universities.
  5. Advertisement in trade or professional journals.
  6. Recruitment efforts by private employment firms.
  7. Us of an employee bonus referral program.
  8. Advertisement in a local and/or ethnic newspaper in the local area where the foreign national is or will be employed (other than, and in addition to, the newspaper of general circulation referred to above).
  9. Radio or television advertisements.

There is then a mandatory waiting period of 30 days from the ending date of the last recruitment effort to see if able, willing, and qualified U.S. workers are available and for the employer to schedule interviews with any U.S. worker applicants who may be qualified for the position. All recruitment must be conducted no more than 180 days prior to the filing date of the PERM Application.

On completion of the recruitment process, a written record must be made of the specific job-related reasons for rejecting any U.S. workers who applied for the position. Any resumes from unqualified applicants must be kept on file for five years in the employer's records.

Step Three

Once the above steps are completed, the Application for Labor Certification can be filed either online or by mail using Form ETA 9089. If the case is eligible for certification without an audit or responses to requests for evidence, the certification (approval) will be issued by the U.S. Department of Labor and mailed to the employer or the employer’s attorney. If the Department of Labor believes that the case may not be certifiable, it will send an audit letter to the employer or the attorney, requesting additional information and/or documents, and providing the sponsoring employer with 30 days in which to file the required response.

Proceed to PERM Phase Two – The Immigrant Petition

Or return to PERM Application Overview