Permanent Labor Certification Statistics
What is PERM? Program Electronic Review Management
In March 2005 a completely electronic labor certification system, PERM (Program Electronic Review Management) came into use. PERM is intended to reduce labor certification times to under 60 days. Ironically, however, PERM may be creating as many backlogs as it is intended to solve. Because of congressionally mandated annual quotas, there may not be enough visas available to grant green cards to everyone who is approved by PERM, which may have played a role in the retrogression of priority dates on September 13, 2005.
The standards used in making labor certification determinations under the PERM system will be based on:
1) whether there are not sufficient United States workers who are able, willing, qualified and available; 2) whether the employment of the alien will have an adverse effect on the wages and working conditions of United States workers similarly employed; and 3) whether the employer has met the procedural requirements of the regulations.
The employer has the option of filing an PERM application electronically (using web-based forms and instructions) or by mail. However, the Department of Labor recommends that employers file electronically. Not only electronic filing is faster, but it will also ensure the employer has provided all required information, as an electronic application can not be submitted if the required fields are not completed. Employers will not be permitted to submit PERM applications by FAX.
The employer must recruit under the standards for professional occupations, if the occupation involved is on the list of occupations, published in the PERM regulation, for which a bachelors or higher degree is a customary requirement.
For all other occupations not normally requiring a bachelor's or higher degree, employers can simply recruit under the requirements for nonprofessional occupations. Although the occupation involved in a labor certification application may be a nonprofessional occupation, the regulations do not prohibit employers from conducting more recruitment than is specified for such occupations. Therefore, if the employer is uncertain whether an occupation is considered professional or not, the employer is advised to conduct recruitment for a professional occupation.