Labor Certification Process

Labor certification process – Before an applicant for an employment-based green card can have their visa approved, their employer must take steps to ensure that their employment is authorized by the U.S. government. This is known as the labor certification process and it involves a series of steps taken by a qualified U.S. employer in order to offer a job to an immigrant worker.

Prevailing Wage Determination and Recruitment

Before the employer can have the Department of Labor (DOL) certify that this job can be filled by an immigrant worker, the employer must request that the DOL make a determination of what the prevailing wage is for an employee with those work duties. After a prevailing wage determination has been made by the DOL, the employer may begin the process of recruiting for the position. There are very specific rules and guidelines for recruitment, so it may be wise to consult with an immigration attorneybeforetaking these steps.

Labor Certification

Program Electronic Review Management, or “PERM,” refers to the process in which the applicant’s employer proves to the U.S. Department of Labor that:

  • The minimum requirements of the position cannot be filled by a U.S. worker;
  • That the immigrant worker will be paid at a prevailing wage, comparable to other U.S. workers;
  • The description of the job meets the applicant’s qualifications and background;
  • The minimum requirements of the job are standard to the requested position and not tailored to the applicant’s skills and qualifications;

Filing for a labor certification establishes a priority date for the applicant. This is important because the process can take many years for some applicants.

Petition by Employer

The applicant’s employer needs to complete and submit Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker to the USCIS. The employer must establish that they are qualified U.S. employer, that they can afford to pay the proposed salary for the position, and other things must be evidenced in the application.

Adjusting Status to a Green Card

An applicant for an employment-based immigrant visa will not be eligible to adjust their status until their priority date becomes current. This means that their application to adjust status may not be sent to the USCIS until it is their turn in line to receive an immigrant visa.

Consider setting up a consult with an immigration lawyer at Gilles Law, PLLC. You can reach us at 980-272-8438 at our office in Uptown Charlotte. We are here to assist with your inquiries.

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