PERM Approvals as quickly as in 3 days !!!
Our firm has been processing and been successful in obtaining approvals for PERM applications anywhere from 3 days, to 2 weeks, to 3 months. This verifies that with legal expertise and proper filing, labor certifications filed under the new system can be approved quickly.
The advertising requirements under PERM take about two (2) months to complete, and must be completed before the application is filed. This means in many cases our clients will have an approved labor certification about six months from the date the process is started.
Applicants with existing cases filed under the old Reduction-In-Recruitment (RIR) system have the option of keeping the application under that system and filing a brand new PERM application without affecting or jeopardizing the old application. The new application will generally be approved faster than an old application, depending on when it was filed.
In cases where it is necessary to preserve the priority dates (e.g for clients from China, the Philippines and Mexico), it may be necessary to convert an application from RIR to PERM for the purpose of preserving the priority date.
PERM is a vast improvement on the previous system for two reasons. First, it is lightening fast by comparison. Second, it has clear rules that must be followed. If the rules are followed, and there are no U.S. workers available, the application will be approved.
PERM applications are filed directly with the Department of Labor over the Web. The state agencies will supply the prevailing wage, but have no other involvement in the process.
Before filing an application, the employer must conduct specified recruitment activities, similar to RIR recruiting under the previous system. This recruitment must include the following:
- Two Sunday newspaper ads (or one Sunday newspaper ad and a professional journal where appropriate)
- A job order through the state workforce agency
- For professionals, at least three other forms of recruitment, which can include a commercial Internet ad; an ad on the employer's Web site; an internal incentive program; participation in a job fair; on-campus recruiting or use of a campus placement office; local or ethnic newspapers; a trade or professional journal; a radio or TV ad; and the use of headhunter agencies.
The salary need not be stated in the ad. This is a big change from the proposed regulation.
The advertising must have occurred within six months of filing the application. All but one ad and an internal notice must be placed a minimum of thirty days before the application is filed.
As part of preparing the application, the employer must obtain a prevailing wage determination ("PWD") from the State Workforce Agency (SWA) before the application is filed. The wage offered must meet or exceed the PWD. This is another big change from old procedure. This means the PERM application cannot be filed (and no priority date can be established) if there is an unresolved dispute over the prevailing wage.
There are also big changes in the way the prevailing wage is determined. Most important, the employer must now offer 100% of the prevailing wage, not 95% as before. However, there is now more flexibility in prevailing wage information, since the official wage statistics now provide four salary levels for each job instead of just two.
A prevailing wage problem will stop a PERM case before it starts. This is another area where a competent lawyer can make a huge difference in the outcome of a PERM case.
No documentation need be submitted with the application. However, the employer must maintain copies of the ads, resumes, and other documents showing that the recruitment actually occurred as reported. The DOL will audit selected cases. Applicants must then produce all supporting documents in thirty days. If the documents cannot be immediately produced, the application will be denied. Applicants must resist the temptation to cut corners with PERM.
PERM does not change the special rules available for Schedule A occupations including nurses and physical therapists (who are pre-certified) and university teachers (who apply under an easier-to-meet standard).
All cases filed before March 28, 2005 will be processed under the previous regulations by two national backlog centers operated by the Department of Labor in Philadelphia and Dallas. The state workforce agencies will no longer handle any permanent cases. All such cases will be handled in the order originally received regardless of the state of origin. Therefore, old cases from places like New York, California, and Indiana will be processed first. The DOL hopes to get rid of all non-PERM cases within two years. However, this seems highly unlikely, and a three-year target is more realistic.
Our firm looks forward to helping companies and their foreign workers throughout the United States obtain labor certifications under the new system quickly, efficiently, and with the highest ethical standards.
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