PERM - Permanent Labor Certification


  • PERM (Program Electronic Review Management) is a process used for obtaining a permanent labor certification, which is issued by the Department of Labor (DOL). It is also known as PERM labor certification. PERM is the first step for certain alien to get an employment-based immigrant visa.
  • The employment-based preference categories that require PERM labor certification are EB-2 (other than a National Interest Waiver) and EB-3.
  • PERM allows an employer to hire a foreign worker to work permanently in the United States.
  • The date the labor certification application is received by the DOL is known as the filing date and is used by USCIS and the Department of State as the priority date. 


Requirement and Processing:

  • Before a U.S. employer can file an immigration petition for a foreign worker, the employer must first register with the Department of Labor (DOL), which must subsequently certify with the USCIS that:
    1. There are insufficient U.S. workers qualified and available to accept the job offered to the alien at the prevailing wage,
    2. The employment of the foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S workers.
  • The employer is required to use newspaper ads, a posting in the state labor department’s job bank, and, for professional positions, three additional allowed forms of recruitment. The regulations address not only the types of recruitment, but also the content of the advertisements.
  • A simplified special handling procedure may be available for persons in teaching positions at higher education institutes.
  • After the labor certification application is certified by DOL, it should be submitted to the appropriate USCIS Service Center with a Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. The certification has a validity period of 180-days and expires if not submitted to USCIS within this period.