Labor Certification / PERM is a process by which a foreign worker can get an employment visa and a Green Card in the United States. Filing a Labor Certification / PERM is an important step for obtaining a Green Card on the basis of a job offer. At the time of application is filed the actual employment is not required.

Once the certificate is received, the employer can apply for a Green Card for his employee. The family of the employee receives the same green card. The key to the labor certificate process is proof that the employer cannot find a suitable US employee for an open position, so he applies for an immigrant. In all, millions of people received green cards and became US citizens as a result of this process.


  1. Job description is drafted and the application is filed.
  2. The Prevailing Wage (to be paid to the future employee after he/she receives the Green Card) is established by the Department of Labor (NPWC – National Prevailing Wage Center) based on the job description and experience.
  3. Advertising requirements are established and the employer starts to advertise the position to establish that there are no U.S. workers available for the position in question.. The advertisement and recruitment process begins.
  4. Job applicants are reviewed. If a determination is made that there are no qualified American applicants, the Employer may then file a Labor Certification petition to approve the eligibility of an immigrant worker.
  5. If the Labor Certification is approved (certified), the Employer can file an Immigrant Petition (Green Card) for an immigrant worker.

Other Comments:

  • The employer need not actually ever employ the alien employee. Although the Employer should have a real intention to hire the alien employee upon the successful termination of the application process, the employer may change their mind and not hire the alien employee after he receives his Green Card. Also, the employee is not required to work for the employee after the successful completion of the Green Card process.
  • Properly worded job description, wage determination and the advertisement requirements with the Department of Labor are the key elements of a successful Labor Certification process.
  • The employer must be ready to demonstrate ability to pay the employee.
  • The job must be “full time”
  • The alien employee need not be in the United States at the time of the filing. If the alien is in the U.S., and is in status, he may adjust status to that of the Permanent Resident without having to leave the United States. If the alien is out of status but not barred from re-entry (under 180 days of being out of status), then he may obtain his Green Card through counselor processing in his home country.
  • Immediate family members of the Green Card recipient may receive Green Cards also.

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