Sponsoring someone for Permanent Resident Status through a job offer involves completing and submitting numerous forms to the United States Department of Labor, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) and sometimes the United States Department of State. As the following demonstrates, undertaking this process without the assistance of a competent immigration attorney is extremely unwise.
Navigating the Program Electronic Review Management (“PERM”) system is the first step in the process for obtaining U.S. Permanent Resident Status through employment. Before an employer can sponsor an immigrant for Permanent Resident Status in an employment-based category, the employer must typically demonstrate through PERM that, if hired, the immigrant will enjoy wages and working conditions that are standard in the industry for the offered position. The employer must also demonstrate that there are no U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified and available to fill the position.
PERM first requires an employer to obtain from the United States Department of Labor something called a Prevailing Wage Determination (“PWD”) for the offered position. The Prevailing Wage is defined as the average wage paid to similarly employed workers in a specific occupation in the geographic area of proposed employment. The PWD is obtained by filing online form ETA-9141 with the National Prevailing Wage Center (“NPWC”), part of the United States Department of Labor.
Next, before the PWD expires, in most cases the employer must begin “Recruitment”; that is, the employer must attempt to recruit a U.S. worker who is able, willing, qualified and available to fill the position. The steps an employer must follow in the Recruitment process are strictly regulated, and differ depending on whether the position is a “Professional Occupation” or a “Non-Professional Occupation.” There are also “Special Recruitment Requirements for College and University Teachers.” Recruitment requires the employer to advertise the position for at least 30 days, and must begin no more than 180 days but no fewer than 30 days before the employer files form ETA-9089, also online with the United States Department of Labor.
To complete form ETA-9089 the employer must demonstrate, among other things that 1) Recruitment has been completed and has failed to identify a U.S. worker who is able, willing, qualified and available to fill the position; 2) the Prevailing Wage is appropriate to the offered position; and 3) the aspiring immigrant possesses the education and experience that are necessary to successfully fill the position as determined by the United States Department of Labor. Completing form ETA-9089 also requires accurately codifying the offered position under the Standard Occupational Classification (“SOC”)(O*NET/OES) code and the North American Industry Classification System (“NAICS”) code. Only after the ETA-9089 is certified by the United States Department of Labor can the employer petition USCIS to grant the prospective employee U.S. Permanent Resident Status.
That, in a nutshell, is PERM and navigating it without competent legal assistance is perilous. Because the system is internet-based, and because form ETA-9089 cannot be amended after it is filed, the form must be completed precisely in the first instance. Failure to do so can result in a denial of certification or, worse, in an audit of the employer by the United States Department of Labor.
Mark Monaco will help you successfully navigate PERM. He will obtain your Prevailing Wage Determination, guide you through Recruitment and complete and file form ETA-9089. Mark Monaco will also prepare and file your petition for U.S. Permanent Residence and help you protect yourself form an audit by the United States Department of Labor.
Accessing this website does not create an attorney-client relationship. Before acting on any information in this website you should consult with an immigration attorney.