Question: Hello. I have no family in the U.S., but would very much like to immigrate to the U.S. I am educated. Is there any other way?
Answer: Yes, you can be petitioned through employment through what is known as the PERM. There are 3 major steps to obtaining a Green Card through Employer Sponsorship: 1) Labor Certification through the PERM process. 2) I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker and 3) I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence.
Question: What are the typical PERM processing times?
Answer: Un-Audited cases take around 2-3 months from filing to certification and audited Cases: 8 months from filing to certification.
Question: Can you give a general overview of the PERM process?
Answer: PERM is the process for obtaining labor certification, the first step of the green card process for foreign nationals seeking permanent residence through their employment. To obtain an approved PERM Labor Certification, the employer must prove (through newspaper advertising and other recruiting methods) that they were unsuccessful in recruiting a qualified U.S. worker for a certain position. The employer must be prepared to hire the foreign worker on a full-time and permanent basis. There must be a bona fide job opening available to U.S. workers.
Job requirements must adhere to what is customarily required for the occupation in the U.S. and may not be tailored to the worker’s qualifications. In other words, the employer must establish that the job opportunity has been described without the use of unduly restrictive job requirements, unless it can demonstrate that they arise out of business necessity. The employer must pay at least the prevailing wage for the occupation in the area of intended employment.
Question: Must the employer pay a certain amount for the position?
Answer: Yes, it must be what is known as the ‘prevailing wage’. Prior to filing ETA Form 9089, the U.S. employer must first request a prevailing wage determination from the State Workforce Agency (“SWA”) having jurisdiction over the proposed area of intended employment. The U.S. employer is then required to include the following prevailing wage information on the ETA Form 9089: The prevailing wage; The prevailing wage tracking number (if applicable); The SOC/O*NET (OES) code; The occupation title; The skill level; The wage source;
The determination date; and The expiration date. The proposed wage for the foreign national must at least be equal to this prevailing wage.
Question: Is this done online or through mail?
Answer: Actually, the Department of Labor has an online portal specifically for PERM’s and it can all be online if done properly.