PERM Labor Certificate
A Labor Certificate is the first step to apply for an Employment-based Second Priority EB(2) and Third Priority permanent residency where no national interest waiver is sought. Since March 2005, US Department of Labor implemented the new PERM rule that is discussed in detail below.
A permanent labor certification issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) allows an employer to hire a foreign worker to work permanently in the United States. In most instances, before the U.S. employer can submit an immigration petition to the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the employer must obtain an approved labor certification request from the DOL’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA). The DOL must certify to the USCIS that there are no qualified U.S. workers able, willing, qualified and available to accept the job at the prevailing wage for that occupation in the area of intended employment and that employment of the foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.
To improve the operations of the permanent labor certification program, ETA published a final regulation on December 27, 2004, which required the implementation of a new re-engineered permanent labor certification program by March 28, 2005. This new electronic program has improved services to our various stakeholders.
The DOL processes Applications for Permanent Employment Certification, ETA Form 9089. The date the labor certification application is accepted for processing is known as the filing date and is referred to by USCIS and the Department of State as the priority date. After the labor certification application is approved by the DOL, it should be submitted to the appropriate USCIS service center with a From I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. You may access the State Department Visa Bulletin to learn which priority dates are currently being processed.