Labor Certification

“PERM” Labor Certification is the way in which an organization shows whether there are minimally-qualified American workers available, willing and able to work in a specific job in a specific geographic location. The application is filed with the Department of Labor (DOL), not the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). Labor Certification is required for most EB-2 and all EB-3 petitions.

The core of Labor Certification is advertising the job in print newspapers and in other ways, reviewing the responses received, and deciding whether any of the applicants satisfy the job’s requirements or are otherwise able to perform the responsibilities of the job.

If the recruitment efforts do not identify a minimally-qualified American worker who is willing, able and available to perform the job, then Fermi Research Alliance (FRA) may file the PERM Labor Certification application with the DOL. This is done electronically, over the Internet, without any supporting documentation being filed. The DOL advises that most applications filed electronically without technical problems are decided within 8 months. The DOL also audits some filings, sometimes randomly to monitor the accuracy and efficiency of its computerized analyses, sometimes as part of a targeted inquiry by the DOL on certain types of filings, and sometimes in response to patterns or answers or information in the filing. An Audit means that FRA must file all supporting documentation with the DOL within 30 days of receipt of the Audit Notice. Processing of audited filings by the DOL can extend up to a year and a half.

If the application is certified (approved), FRA must file the EB-2 or EB-3 I-140 petition within 180 days; after that, the approval “expires.”


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