PERM is Starting to Work
July 21, 2005

The new, expedited online labor certification procedure known as Program Electronic Review Management (“PERM”) has been implemented, and immigration law practitioners across the US are starting to see results.

As background, labor certification is the first step in most job based permanent resident (green card) filings, with employers being required to document that U.S. workers are unavailable to perform the job at issue. With PERM, employers submit their filing online with the U.S. Department of Labor and pledge that they have taken steps to recruit for the position at issue, but that their efforts have not yielded results. Such recruitment steps include advertisements in newspapers and/or periodicals, online job postings and listings in state unemployment office databases – and the requirements for any particular filing will vary depending on the nature of the position at issue.

Unlike the conventional labor certification program previously in effect, there is no contemporaneous governmental supervision of the recruitment steps or scrutiny of the accuracy of the recruitment results. Instead, all PERM filings are subject to after-the-fact audit, with employers being threatened with sanctions should the information provided in their online filings be found to be false.

In a PERM filing, an employer outlines his recruitment efforts over a 6 month period, and within 14 to 90 days, the employer can expect to receive a decision on their application. In the early stages of the PERM program, not unexpectedly glitches in the governmental software program have led to a few processing problems. Those glitches are slowly but surely being addressed, and it seems PERM may eventually live up to its promise of being an efficient and effective tool for employers and their foreign workers.

Copyright © 2005-2008, By Law Offices of Richard Hanus, Chicago, Illinois