Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers: Employers Hiring Non-U.S. Citizens Must Initiate the PERM Labor Certification Process

In an effort to protect qualified Americans from losing employment opportunities to foreign immigrants, the Program Electronic Review Management process was established. An employer wishing to permanently hire a non-U.S. citizen must go through the PERM process to secure a Labor Certification.  This process can only begin after the employer has proven that there are no fully or minimally qualified American workers available to fill the permanent position.  The immigrant worker cannot be offered the position permanently, but may continue to work until their temporary work visa expires if there are qualified American workers available.  If in fact the employer does prove that there are no U.S. workers available to fill the position, they must then submit an application for a Labor Certification to the Department of Labor who will then certify it with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Before filing an application, the employer must conduct recruitment activities.  The employer must be able to present evidence of these activities and that the activities determined the absence of qualified U.S. workers for the position available.  Recruitment activity documents are not required to be filed with the application, but can be requested for a period of up to five years if an audit or review is necessary.  In the absence of an audit, an application takes approximately 90 days to process.  If an audit is required, the employer must provide all recruitment evidence to the Department of Labor within 30 days or the application automatically expires.  Once the application is approved, an Immigrant Petition must be filed within 180 days.

The PERM process for Labor Certification is the first step in the process of obtaining a Green Card (permanent residency) which can take several years to finalize.  Opponents to the process claim that the extensive application procedure is unfair to immigrants seeking permanent employment.  Proponents of the PERM process believe that it protects U.S. citizens and permanent residents from losing job opportunities to immigrants that may be willing to work for less money or benefits.  Applicants should speak with an experienced immigration lawyer before beginning the complex PERM process.

Philadelphia Immigration and Nationality Law Firm of Surin & Griffin, PC Offers Experience, Knowledge, and Skilled Legal Counsel and Representation

If you or someone you know needs legal assistance for immigration or nationality issues, contact the experienced and skilled attorneys at Philadelphia’s immigration law firm of Surin & Griffin, PC.  Our knowledgeable immigration lawyers can help you navigate through the complex legal system, and ensure that you understand the process along the way through multi-lingual attorneys.  Call us at 215-925-4435 or complete our online information form to schedule a consultation today.  Conveniently located in center city Philadelphia, our immigration law firm serves clients throughout the tri-state area and beyond.