The Department of Labor (DOL) is responsible for issuing permanent labor certifications, which allows the employment of foreign workers on a permanent basis in the United States.  An employer must obtain one before submitting an immigration petition to the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) The DOL must certify to the USCIS, “that there are not sufficient U.S. workers able, willing, qualified and available to accept the job opportunity in the area of intended employment and that employment of the foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.”

immigration law

Once permanent labor is issued it basically certifies that:

▪     There are no U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified and available to accept the job

▪     at the prevailing wage for that position,

▪     In the geographic location of intended employment, and

hiring the foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.

PERM stands for Program Electronic Review Management. This program’s purpose is to improve how the permanent labor certification program operates. Some employment-based applications require you to go through the PERM process.

Official PERM Filing Procedures:

▪     Complete the recruitment activities

▪     Request a prevailing wage determination from SWA. Submit the information on Form 9098 including the prevailing wage, tracking number, the SOC/O* (OES) code, occupation title, skill level, wage source, determination date and expiration date. Under PERM, the salary offered to the foreign worker must be equal to or higher than the prevailing wage, which is different from the old requirement that can be within +/- 5% of the prevailing wage.

▪     Complete Form 9098 – Application for Permanent Employment Certification, including detailed job duties and requirements on education, work experience, training/certification, and specific capabilities. A statement of the prospective foreign worker’s qualifications is also required.

▪     Signatures of the employer, employee, and attorney or anyone who prepared the forms. An application filed electronically also must be signed by all parties upon confirmation that the application has been received.

▪     Retain all supporting documentation and records for 5 years. They are not required in the application, but must be available in case of an audit or otherwise requested by an certifying officer.

▪     Register an employer account with DOL’s online system at

▪     File the PERM application through DOL’s designated website.

You will receive an approval within anywhere between a few days to a couple of months. If the case is randomly selected for audit, it may take several more months to be certified.

The O’Brien Law Group of Louisville Kentucky understands some aspects to your immigration case can be complex and at times incredibly frustrating. They have helped many families and individuals from various countries, gain the ability to live and work in the United States.

Lead Attorney Rusty O’Brien has 14 years of experience practicing immigration law. He has obtained both, temporary and permanent entry into the United States for clients from around the globe. He understands the federal statutes and regulations affecting your ability to work or live in this country.

“We regularly represent clients before the Immigration Service (CIS), Immigration Courts (EOIR), Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), and numerous U.S. consulates and embassies abroad.”

Once the labor shortage is certified, you can apply at the CIS level for your immigrant visa. We can help you navigate the PERM procedure as well. For a consultation, contact O’Brien Law Offices and obtain the legal services to achieve the results you desire.


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