Services > PERM Labor Certification

PERM Labor Certification: Obtaining a "Green Card through Work"

Employers may sponsor workers for permanent residence through the PERM labor certification process.

PERM, which stands for "Program Electronic Review Management" is a "stream-lined" attestation-based procedure which has reduced the processing time of labor certifications. The job offered must be for a full-time, permanent position. Employment may be for skilled or unskilled labor. This means that employers in a broad range of occupations and businesses can sponsor employees for a wide variety of jobs. Filing the labor certification application is the first of three major steps generally needed to obtain permanent residence through an offer of employment in the U.S.


Our office has successfully filed labor certifications for employees in many occupations including cooks, nannies, housekeepers, hair stylists, hotel administrators, architects, engineers, dentists, and financial analysts.


As long as the employer can make all the necessary attestations, labor certifications may be filed for almost any job. Once the labor certification is approved, waiting time for a priority date to become current will vary depending on the skill needed for the job. Visas will generally be available sooner for positions that required skilled workers.


Our knowledgeable attorneys and staff can help you navigate through the complex process of filing a labor certification.

Employers must offer the prevailing wage for the job offered. We will obtain the prevailing wage on behalf of the sponsoring employer. If the employer agrees to pay at least the prevailing wage, we can proceed with the labor certification process.


The employer must also demonstrate that the job is truly open to U.S. workers. This means that prior to filing the labor certification, the employer must demonstrate that there is a shortage of U.S. workers in that particular occupation where the employment will be located. Our office will assist employers in meeting this burden. We will draft advertisements that will need to be placed in two Sunday advertisements in the area of intended employment. We will also draft a job order that the employer must place with the state's workforce agency and assist with all other advertisement requirements. After recruitment pre-requisites have been met, we will submit the labor certification application online to the U.S. Department of Labor.


Once the labor certification is certified, we can proceed with the second major step which must generally be taken when filing for permanent residence through employment. We will file the I-140 petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This petition must be filed within 180 days from the date the labor certification is certified.


Filing the adjustment application is generally the third step in obtaining a "green card" through work. If a visa is immediately available, the foreign national can also file a concurrent I-485 application to adjust status. If he or she is in the U.S. while the adjustment application is pending, the foreign national may also apply for work and travel permits. The spouse and minor children of the principal applicant can file derivative applications. Often the permanent residence card is mailed directly to the applicant's home. The sponsored employee and eligible family members can then live and work legally in the U.S.


It must be noted that when visas are not available, the sponsored employee must wait for the priority date to be current. Also, in order to apply for adjustment of status the applicant must be in legal status or be "grand-fathered-in" under §245(i). Our attorneys can help explain what this means and evaluate whether you are covered by this important provision. Contact us and schedule an appointment to learn if you may qualify to sponsor an employee or obtain permanent residence through an offer of employment.


Marilyn Labrada Dume

Marilyn Labrada Dumé

Founder & Managing Partner
Marilyn Dume is the founder and managing partner of the firm. Ms. Dume earned a Juris Doctor degree from Columbia Law School in 1989. Prior to attending Columbia, Ms. Dume attended University of Pennsylvania where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1986. Ms. Dume is admitted to the New Jersey State Bar.

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