PERM Or Labor Certification

Colorado Labor Certification and PERM Lawyer

The Steps to Labor Certification

Employers will often agree to "sponsor" employees for permanent residence or "green cards." The most common employer-sponsored green card process is called labor certification. To learn more about the labor certification process, contact Colorado immigration attorney Lisa E. Battan.

Labor certification involves three steps:

Step One: To qualify for labor certification, the employer must be offering a full-time job to the immigrant employee. The first step in labor certification is the PERM process. The process involves filing an application with the Department of Labor showing that there are no qualified U.S. applicants for the employee's position. The position must be one which requires more than two years of education or training, or the process could involve many years of waiting. The worker must meet any qualification required in the labor certification. We will ask clients to obtain letters from past employers to show that you have the required experience. The employer must offer the employee the "prevailing wage," which is the average wage normally paid to an employee performing this type of work, as determined by the Department of Labor.

Before filing the application, we will advertise the position as required by the Department of Labor. The employer will have to interview any qualified applicant who applies. If no qualified worker applies, or if all applicants are disqualified because they do not possess the minimum education and experience, the client will win the labor certification. The law says that the employer must pay all costs related to this portion of the process.

Step Two: Once the labor certification is approved, we may file an Immigrant Petition with USCIS. This petition must show that the employer has a position for which it has won labor certification, the employee meets the requirements in the labor certification and the employer has the ability to pay the wage offered to the worker. We must present the company's tax returns (and perhaps other financial information) in support of the employer's ability to pay. Net income, net assets or the wages currently paid to the worker, or a combination thereof, must be greater than the prevailing wage.

Step Three: After the Immigrant Petition is approved, or sometimes at the same time as we file the Immigrant Petition, we can file Applications for Permanent Residence for the worker and any spouse or unmarried children. We must show that all applicants are admissible to the U.S., in that they haven't committed crimes, been deported, taken public assistance, maintained legal immigration status, and meet various other criteria. We can file the permanent residence applications only when visas are available. Whether visas are available will depend on your country of origin and the level of education required in the labor certification. At this time, workers without an advanced degree could wait some years for a visa to become available and to file the permanent residence applications. People from Mexico, India and China also wait longer than people from other countries. The Visa Bulletin determines when people can proceed with filing their applications for permanent residence.

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Please note this is not legal advice. Before I can advise you on whether you are eligible to use this process to obtain a green card, you must contact me personally so I can review the specifics of your case. Please contact me if you have additional questions. My toll free number is 1-866-614-8668.

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