If you are not a United States citizen but work for an employer in the U.S., you may be able to receive permanent resident status and remain in the U.S. indefinitely.
The PERM (Program Electronic Review Management) process is the process the Department of Labor requires foreign workers to go through to obtain labor certification (ETA Form 9089). Obtaining permanent labor certification is the first step in becoming eligible to live in the U.S. permanently because of your job skills.
However, many people wonder how long the PERM case process typically takes from start to finish. The Department of Labor follows an extensive procedure to certify your labor status, meaning that it may take several months for you to receive full certification through this program. It helps to have a lawyer for immigration assisting you with your case.
Read on to learn more about the PERM certification process, how long you can expect the process to take, and how our immigration law team at the Lozano Law Firm, PLLC, can help you if you are in Texas and seeking permanent labor certification.
Types of PERM Certifications
The Department of Labor gives preference to non-citizen workers who meet specific qualifications for exceptional talent or skill in their fields. The four preferences for permanent worker visas include:
First Preference EB-1: Reserved for workers with extraordinary talent in athletics, arts, business, education, or sciences. It does not require labor certification
Second Preference EB-2: Reserved for workers with advanced degrees in athletics, arts, business, education, or sciences
Third Preference EB-3: Reserved for professional and skilled workers
Fourth Preference EB-4: Reserved for exceptional cases, such as retired employees of international organizations, religious workers, and other special classes of non-citizens
Navigating these preferences and knowing which category you fall into can be challenging. However, our immigration lawyer team is available to help you through any immigration status proceedings necessary to help you obtain permanent residence in the U.S.
PERM Labor Certification Process
The process to obtain PERM labor certification includes two preliminary steps: the labor market test and prevailing wage determination.
First, employers of non-citizen workers looking to obtain this certification must show that there are not enough available qualified workers already in the U.S. who could complete the job to the same standards.
To demonstrate a lack of U.S.-based qualified workers, employers must go through a labor market test by advertising the position for at least thirty days and attempting to recruit U.S. workers. Employers must complete this market test before the worker begins the PERM certification process.
The employer must also show that hiring a foreign worker would not affect any working conditions or the pay of existing U.S. workers. To do so, the employer must receive a prevailing wage determination from the State Workforce Agency.
After following these two steps, the employer and worker can proceed with the PERM application. Once the DOL receives the application, it will spend time verifying the worker’s specialized skill and reviewing evidence from the employer before approving the application.
After the DOL approves a PERM application, the employer must file an immigration petition before the stated deadline. The applicant must also register for permanent residence using Form I-485 from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
What Is the Typical PERM Processing Time?
The average processing time of PERM labor certifications is approximately 7.5 months from when you filed your certificate. The DOL typically takes a minimum of 30 days to process PERM certifications. However, if the DOL randomly selects your application for audit, your processing time may be closer to 12 months.
This average DOL processing time is longer than usual due to the increased workload resulting from COVID-19 and other pressing immigration circumstances.
Working with our Lozano Law Firm immigration attorney team in Texas is an effective way to speed up your PERM certification process and receive your certification status. Our attorneys always do everything in our power to help our immigrant clients obtain legal status as quickly as possible.
The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC: “Immigration Lawyer Near Me” in Texas
At The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC, we are proud of helping families and corporations through the immigration maze. We believe that immigrants are really good for our country, and we will make every effort within our area of law to help clients obtain legal status in the United States.
The immigration process can pose all sorts of emotional, financial, and practical challenges, including an exhausting bureaucratic system that makes it hard for people to understand their legal rights. Texas Attorney Alfredo Lozano, a board-certified expert in U.S. immigration law, helps his clients streamline confusing procedures with clarity, efficiency, and compassion.
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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect current law and should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts.