The Immigration Service recently announced new procedural guidelines for the acceptance of Labor Certificates filed prior to December 31, 2004 and thereafter. These guidelines are in preparation for the long awaited implementation of PERM, which may occur in the not too distant future. With each new guideline, procedural change and memorandum it appears that PERM may soon be a reality making employment immigration a more efficient means to immigrate to the U.S.
Labor certification is normally a prerequisite for immigrants seeking employment-based applications for permanent residency. Wherein immigrants who fall within the small number of so called First and Second Preference categories are exempt from labor certification, a majority of applicants fall within the categories that must first file a labor certificate.
Labor certification as it currently stands is a long process whereby the Department of Labor determines that there are no U.S. workers able, willing, qualified and available for the position for which the labor certification is being sought. This process has been a source of great frustration in the past because of the lengthy processing times and what have become inconsistent standards and requirements.
These frustrations may eventually be a thing of the past, as the government appears to be closer than ever to implementing a new method of processing labor certification. PERM or Program Electronic Review Management is a proposed system whereby the Labor Certification process will undergo a massive streamlining resulting in dramatically shorter processing times.
As of this date the Department of Labor has not published an interim rule implementing this knew procedure and the impact upon immigrants who have pending labor certification is not clear. What we do know reveals a streamline process that would dramatically cut down on processing times.
In a series of Memorandum published by the Department of Labor PERM was described as a process similar to the one now required in which an employer will be required to test the market for the proposed position and when recruitment is complete and a prevailing wage determination has been obtained the application will be submitted to a centralized location.
The difference with the current process is that under PERM the application will likely be machine-readable or web-based format allowing for quicker decisions and a shorter waiting time. It is likely that the new procedures will provide for conversion from regularly filed cases to PERM.
Stay tuned the change could be just around the corner. It is our hope that PERM becomes a reality soon and that immigrants seeking residency here in the U.S., based upon employment, will be able to take advantage of these new regulations. We invite you to give us a call to discuss your employment opportunities and in return you will get the most up to date information, as we become your PERM HEADQUARTERS.