PERM Labor Certification
The Labor Certification process, commonly referred to as PERM, is the first step in a three-step process for many employment-based permanent residency cases. PERM requires employers to test the U.S. labor market to demonstrate to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) that there are no willing, able, and minimally qualified U.S. workers available for the position in which the foreign national is being sponsored and that employment of the foreign national will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers. Additionally, the employer must attest that they will pay at least the prevailing wage for the position, as determined by the DOL.
I-140 Visa Petition
If the PERM Labor Certification is approved, the second step of the process is to file the Form I-140 Visa Petition. At this step, the employer is required to show it has the ability to pay the offered wage to the employee. The foreign national must also provide evidence that he or she qualifies for the position by submitting documentation such as copies of diplomas, transcripts and experience letters from prior employers.
I-485 Adjustment of Status Application
The third and final step of the process is filing the I-485 Adjustment of Status application. An adjustment of status application can be filed once an applicant’s priority date becomes current. The priority date is established on either the date that the PERM labor certification was filed, or the date that the I-140 was filed if the petition is exempt from the PERM requirement.
Approximately 90 days after filing the adjustment of status application, the foreign national will receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD Card), which will permit him/her to work in the US while the I-485 is pending. Approximately 90-120 days after filing, the employee will receive Advance Parole Travel Authorization from USCIS. This permits the employee to travel outside the U.S. while the I-485 is pending.
To learn more about your options contact our San Francisco law firm to speak with one of our immigration attorneys.