Filing for a PERM Labor Certification: What You Should Know


The Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) Labor Certification is an essential step for many foreign nationals seeking to obtain an employment-based green card in the United States. Our guide provides essential information about the PERM process to help you understand what’s involved.

What is PERM Labor Certification?

PERM Labor Certification is a process by which the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) certifies that there are no qualified U.S. workers available and willing to fill the position being offered to a foreign worker, and that hiring a foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.

Step 1: Prevailing Wage Determination

The employer must obtain a prevailing wage determination from the DOL. This step ensures that the wage offered to the foreign worker is comparable to that of U.S. workers in similar positions in the geographic area of employment.

Step 2: Recruitment Process

Before filing the PERM Labor Certification, the employer must conduct a recruitment process to attempt to fill the position with a U.S. worker. This includes placing a job order with the state workforce agency, running two Sunday newspaper advertisements, and undertaking three additional recruitment steps for professional occupations.

Step 3: Filing the ETA Form 9089

After completing the recruitment process, if the employer is unable to find a willing and qualified U.S. worker for the position, they can file the ETA Form 9089 with the DOL. This form includes details about the job, the recruitment process, and the foreign worker’s qualifications.

Step 4: DOL Review

The DOL will review the ETA Form 9089. If approved, the employer will receive a certified PERM Labor Certification, which can then be used to support an employment-based green card petition.

Step 5: Filing the I-140 Petition

With a certified PERM Labor Certification, the employer can file an I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Once the I-140 is approved, the foreign worker can apply for a green card when a visa number becomes available.


Filing for a PERM Labor Certification is a detailed and complex process, but it’s an important step for many foreign workers seeking to obtain a green card in the United States. This guide is a general overview and does not constitute legal advice. Always consult with an immigration attorney for advice tailored to your specific circumstances. Remember, the landscape of U.S. immigration law is complex and can change rapidly, so it’s always important to stay informed and seek professional advice.

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