Permanent Labor Certification

'Labor certification' is the most widely used employment-based opportunity for obtaining a green card. Labor certification requires a U.S. employer to prove that there are no minimally qualified U.S. workers for the position. Once the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) 'certifies' this application, the employer will be able to apply to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for permanent residency (a "green card") for the foreign employee.

Labor certification is the first step in the standard “green card” process to obtain permanent resident status based on a job in the United States.

"Program Electronic Review Management," more commonly known as "PERM" is an electronic process for filing labor certification applications for permanent employment-based immigration. Under the PERM system, the labor certification filings are filed electronically and directly with the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL)

Required employer/company registration

Employers must register with USDOL using the company’s legal name. After registration, USDOL will send registration information including user ID, password, and PIN. Once registered, employers can create a sub-account for its attorney. For On-line Registration please refer the Help document.

Basic Requirements for any Application:

  • Full Time Employment: The PERM labor certification position must consider full time employment by the Employee (not part-time)
  • Permanent Offer of Employment: The PERM labor certification must list an offer for a Permanent position (not a temporary position)
  • Minimum Requirements: The educational and experience requirements listed in the PERM labor certification must reflect the Employer’s minimum requirements for the particular position and related to the duties of the position.
  • Wage: The Employer must pay the Employee at least the prevailing wage as determined by the State Workforce Agency of the intended work site.

Prevailing Wage

The employer must obtain a prevailing wage from the DOL based on the employer’s minimal requirements.

Job order requirement

The employer must place a job order with the State Workforce Agency for 30 days. Each state has different procedures for placing job orders.

Internal Notice

For all applications, the employer is required to post a “Notice of Job Opportunity” for 10 consecutive business days at the employer’s work location and any and all internal media

Recruitment Requirements

For all applications, two Sunday advertisements must be placed in newspapers covering the area of intended employment between 30 days and 180 days prior to application filing. In addition, for a professional occupation, three additional recruitment steps required employers may submit documentation of any 3 of the following types of recruitment activities:

  • job fairs
  • on-campus recruiting
  • employer website
  • trade/professional organization
  • job search website (other than the employer’s)
  • private recruitment firm
  • employee referral program
  • campus placement office
  • local/ethnic paper
  • radio or TV advertisements.


If the employer has had any layoffs in the sponsored employee’s occupation or a related occupation within the six months prior to filing, the employer must document that it has contacted and considered all laid-off employees.

Document retention

The employer must retain recruitment materials, results and resumes of applicants (sorted by the reasons they are not qualified) for five years. In case any audit, USDOL may requests copies of resumes.

The information is provided for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Before making any decision, consult with the appropriate professionals. Please refer our Disclaimer for details.

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