The reins on immigration in the U.S. have tightened this past year – with or without a wall. Education and preparation can make all the difference for companies that want to successfully fill much needed positions. And finding the green card-sponsored employees you need sometimes means jumping through hoops – hoops like PERM recruitment.
The purpose of the PERM recruitment process is for organizations to prove they have taken reasonable steps to fill an open role with a minimally qualified American worker before sponsoring a green card applicant.
They do this by undertaking a series of recruitment activities to show they have thoroughly searched among U.S.-based workers, including posting multiple job orders over a period of time laid out by the Department of Labor. The PERM labor certification is required for EB-2 and EB-3 green card processes.
What are the steps of PERM recruitment?
There are three stages of the PERM recruitment process, set by the Department of Labor (DOL).
The first stage is determining the Prevailing Wage. Before you begin recruiting, you need to provide the DOL with basic information about the position, including information job title, duties, location(s) of the job and any travel requirements.
When the Prevailing Wage is determined, you will agree to pay the foreign national that amount or the initial salary offered, depending on which is higher.
From there, you can move onto recruitment. In this stage, you will prepare and post a job order announcing the open position and fulfill mandatory recruitment activities.
Mandatory activities include two newspaper advertisements in two Sunday papers, an internal notice of filing posted for 10 consecutive business days, as well as the previously mentioned job order which must be displayed for at least 30 consecutive calendar days.
Then, there’s a cooling off period of another 30 days during which it’s assumed you’ll be receiving and assessing applications for the open position. This step is necessary before filing the PERM labor condition application.
Pro tip: Try creating a PERM timeline that tracks exactly when and where your advertisements have been posted and a spreadsheet to track any responses. If you’re audited, you’ll need to show documentation for the entire recruitment process. An app can help review applicants quickly and easily.
After screening resumes submitted, you can file Form ETA 9089 for adjudication by the DOL. Once submitted, the DOL will review the PERM application for compliance and either approve, audit or deny the application.
If a qualified U.S. candidate applies during PERM recruitment, you must restart the process over again.
What about PERM audits?
The Department of Labor does sometimes audit PERM cases. Typically, these are randomly done, but there are some factors that could make some applications more susceptible to audits than others. You could be audited to make sure you’re in compliance with the PERM advertising requirements, and it’s best to always be prepared.
PERM certification is a necessary part of filing an I-140 petition with USCIS or an adjustment of status I-485 application. To move onto the next steps in the green card petitioning process, PERM and PERM recruitment comes first.
How long does PERM recruitment take?
The PERM process, including the necessary recruitment steps, can take up to 12 months, and tends to take between 10 and 11 months.
If you’re selected for an audit, that could add up to six more months. Sponsoring a green card is a time consuming process, and it begins with PERM recruitment.