A PERM approval is generally the first step in a process where an employer sponsors a foreign-born worker for permanent residence in the US. The employer must advertise the job and demonstrate to the US Department of Labor (DOL) that the employer is offering the prevailing wage (or the actual wage if this is higher) to the employee and that no minimally-qualified US workers have applied for the job.
In September 2012, we were hired by an IT company to begin the process of filing a PERM application on behalf of Pramod, a computer programmer
Most of our cases take 6 to 8 months from the start date to get a PERM approval. This case, however, was selected for an audit by the US Department of Labor (DOL). Although PERM cases are randomly selected to be audited by DOL, some cases are also selected for “Supervised Recruitment”, where every step of the process is closely monitored by the DOL. In Pramod’s case, the DOL issued a Notification of Supervised Recruitment which vastly increases the time it takes to process the PERM application.
In fact, the PERM application for Pramod turned out to be the longest-running PERM application that we have ever handled.
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To make matters worse, in June 2014, we received a notification from the DOL stating that after review, Pramod’s PERM application was denied!
According to the notification, the employer had moved Pramod to a new work location in a different Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) from that in which the PERM application was originally filed. Thus, the PERM application had to be denied.
In response, we submitted a Request for Reconsideration Based on Government Error. We stated the DOL had committed an error on the PERM application and submitted evidence that the new site was located within the same MSA as the employer’s previous address. A few months later, DOL concluded that we were correct and rescinded their earlier denial.
Finally, in February 2015, we received a DOL draft of the advertisements’ corrections, which allowed the employer to begin posting recruitment advertisements for Pramod’s job.
An important part in the Supervised Recruitment process is the specific set of procedures the job advertisement must follow. The advertisement is not only time-sensitive, it must also meet all the guidelines imposed by DOL’s Certifying Officer. For example, the Certifying Officer demands that the advertisement be placed on a website for 30 consecutive days within 15 days of receiving the notification. Furthermore, all the recruitment efforts need to be documented appropriately.
One month after the advertisements had run, we received the Recruitment Report Instructions notification from the DOL and submitted the final Recruitment Report with all of the required recruitment documents to the government.
Pramod and his employer knew all too well that any small mistake on the PERM application would not only result in a denial, but would also make it impossible for him to extend his H-1B beyond his 6th year.
Then, earlier this summer, we received a PERM approval for Pramod!
We are now in the process of preparing an I-140 Immigrant Visa Petition which we will submit to the USCIS on behalf of Pramod’s employer. While waiting for his priority date to become current, Pramod can have his H-1B nonimmigrant status extended beyond the 6-year limit.
Read more of our Immigration Success Stories.
PERM Approval Resources
- PERM: Employer Recruitment Requirements
- How to Get a Green Card through Employment
- PERM Labor Certification (DOL)
- Program and FLAG Resources (DOL)
Videos – Green Card Through Employment
- How to Obtain a Green Card Through Employment – Immigration Attorney Carl Shusterman (former INS Attorney, 1976-82) explains the EB-1, EB-2, EB-3 and EB-4 preference categories and how to obtain permanent residence through each of these categories. He describes the PERM process, national interest waivers and Schedule A occupations.
Green Cards Through Employment: An Overview – Overview concerning employment-based immigration to the United States.
- Visa Bulletin: Employment-Based Categories – Explains the movement of the employment-based priority dates on the monthly State Department Visa Bulletin.
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Carl Shusterman served as an INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) before opening a firm specializing exclusively in US immigration law. He is a Certified Specialist in Immigration Law who has testified as an expert witness before the US Senate Immigration Subcommittee. Carl was featured in the February 2018 edition of SuperLawyers Magazine.