Labor Certification, formally known as the Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) system, is a method for a U.S. employer to get approval from the U.S. Department of Labor to hire a foreign worker in a permanent position. The approval, in turn, allows the foreign worker to apply for a green card, which will allow him or her to come and work permanently in the U.S. At J. Sparks Law, we assist clients in the Austin area to apply for both labor certification and green cards.
Employer Bona Fides and Job Offer. The U.S. employer must be a genuine employer with a real need for the position they desire to fill with the foreign worker. Some of the required proof the employer must provide to establish their bona fides are an IRS tax number, a physical office space, and contact information. The employer must then offer the foreign worker a valid job employment opportunity. They must also demonstrate an employer-employee relationship, which can be shown by having a contract between the employer and the foreign worker.
Fair Compensation. The employer must show that they will be paying the foreign worker fairly for their work. The employer must pay the foreign worker equal to or more than the prevailing wage for the position in the area of employment. The prevailing wage is as set by the Department of Labor. Before taking the steps to obtain labor certification, the employer must request and obtain the prevailing wage from the Department of Labor. What the employer is offering the foreign worker and the prevailing wage must be stated in the labor certification application.
Recruitment of U.S. Workers Efforts. Before the Department of Labor approves an employer’s labor certification application, the agency must be satisfied that the employer has tried but cannot find qualified American workers for the job. To do this, the employer must go through a recruitment process as outlined by the Department of Labor. This includes placing a job order with the State Workforce Agency. It also involves placing advertisements in newspapers, stores, and other locations. At J. Sparks Law, we have experienced labor certification lawyers ready to guide you through this process.
Once an employer meets these requirements and submits their application, the Department of Labor will approve or deny the application. It is important that you have an experienced labor certification lawyer to guide you in filing the application to avoid unnecessary denial of your application, which will force you to start all over if you cannot find American workers for your open position.
If the Department of Labor approves the labor certification, then the employer will need to file a Form I-140 petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This petition can be concurrently filed with the foreign worker’s application for a green card Form I-485. It is important to keep in mind that the Form I-140 petition must be filed before the labor certification expires.
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If you are in the Austin area and wish to apply for labor certification, contact J. Sparks Law today and schedule a consultation to learn more about how we can help you.
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