What is a PERM application for Green Card?

Applying for a U.S. Green Card is a complex multi-step process. If you are a foreign worker seeking a to obtain a Green Card through employment, the first step would be to obtain a job offer from a U.S. employer. After that, the employer will have to complete a labor certification, commonly known as PERM (Program Electronic Review Management), on your behalf to obtain an EB-2 or EB-3 visa immigrant visa.

PERM was implemented on March 28, 2005. The employment-based preference categories that require PERM labor certifications are EB-2 (except National Interest Waivers) and EB-3.

PERM Process Overview

Before a U.S. employer can file an immigration petition on behalf of a foreign worker for a position covered under EB-2 and EB-3 visas, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) must approve a labor certification. To initiate the PERM process, the employer must first actively make recruitment efforts before filing a labor certification application (this can be proven through website printouts, newspaper tear sheets, and job orders.) If, during this process, the employer finds that there are no able, qualified, and willing applicants, whether U.S. citizens or permanent residents, then the employer can submit a PERM labor certification application. To this end, the employer confirms:

  • There are no applicants in the U.S. who are able, qualified, and willing to accept the job offer in question at the standard salary for the position in the area where the employer intends the foreign employee to work; and

  • By employing the foreign worker, neither the wages nor the working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers will be adversely affected.

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