PERM Labor Certification Process

PERM (Program Electronic Review Management) is an electronic processing system for filing labor certification applications for employment based green card.
HomeUS Visa & ImmigrationPERM Labor Certification Process

PERM Overview

Under the PERM system, labor certification applications are filed electronically and directly with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).

Some of the benefits of PERM are that it requires less paper work and it’s much quicker since electronic filing reduces the time of collecting documents etc.
PERM is considered to be stricter and a rule-based system, which is similar to current RIR requirements. It will require a pattern of recruitment.

Employer Must Register with Dept. of Labor

  • Each employer must directly register with DOL online at:
  • Complete the form and information Online
  • Employers do not submit supporting documentation with the PERM application but must retain supporting documentation for 5 years for audit purposes
  • After registration, DOL will send the employer registration information by email, including a user ID, password, and PIN.
  • Once registered, the employer can create a sub-account for its attorney.

For online registration help, download the Online Registration Guide.


A. Prevailing Wage:

  • PERM requires that employers obtain prevailing wage determinations from the appropriate SWA in advance of the filing. State Employment Services Agencies (SESAs), a.k.a. State Workforce Agencies (SWAs), will administer Prevailing Wage Determinations (PWDs). Employers must pay 100% of the prevailing wage for the position.
  • The labor certification application must be filed within the validity period of the prevailing wage determination. Generally Prevailing Wage Determinations may be valid for 90 days to 1 year from the date of the determination.

B. Job Order Requirement:

  • Job requirements must represent the employer’s actual minimum requirements and that they bear a reasonable relationship to the occupation and are essential to perform the job in a reasonable manner.
  • A foreign language requirement must be accompanied by a justification based on business necessity.
  • Employer must not have hired workers with less training or experience for substantially comparable jobs.
  • A “substantially comparable” job or position means a job or position requiring performance of the same job duties more than 50 percent of the time.
  • Employers may be required to provide position descriptions, percentage of time spent on the various duties, organization charts, and payroll records in order to document that they have not hired workers with less training or experience for substantially comparable jobs.

Pre-filing Recruitment Requirements for Professional Positions

  • Job Order placed with SWA for 30 days
  • Two (2) Sunday print ads must be placed in a newspaper of general circulation in the geographic area of the proposed place of employment between 30 days and 180 days prior to application filing
  • Employer’s complete name must appear in the ad
  • Ad must apprise applicants of the job opportunity
  • A descriptive job title
  • Job site identification required
  • Employers may substitute one national journal ad for one Sunday newspaper ad where he position requires experience and/or an advanced degree

Three additional recruitment steps required employers may submit documentation of any 3 of the following types of recruitment activities:

  • Job fairs
  • Employer’s website ads
  • Job search website
  • On-campus recruiting
  • Trade or professional organizations
  • Private employment firms
  • Employee referral program with incentives
  • Campus placement offices
  • Local and ethnic newspapers
  • Radio and television ads
  • Pre-filing recruitment requirements do not apply to applications for Schedule A occupations, college or university teachers, and sheepherders
  • Report of recruitment results must contain:
  • Description of recruitment steps undertaken and results achieved
  • Number of hires
  • Number of U.S. workers rejected, categorized by the lawful job related reasons for rejection
  • “A U.S. worker is able and qualified for the job opportunity if the worker can acquire the skills necessary to perform the duties involved in the occupation during a reasonable period of on-the-job training”
  • DOL may order supervised recruitment for any application, whenever appropriate
  • One ad must be placed in a newspaper of general circulation for 3 consecutive days, one of which must be a Sunday
  • DOL may require as an alternative an ad placed in a professional, trade, or ethnic publication
  • Detailed recruitment report may required in some cases

Document retention: The employer must retain recruitment materials and results for 5 years.
Impact of layoffs: If the employer has had any layoffs in the sponsored employer’s occupation or a related occupation within six months before filing, the employer must document that it has contacted and considered all laid-off employees.

PERM Decisions

  • The DOL Certifying Officer (CO) may approve, deny, require an audit; following an audit, the Certifying Officer may order supervised recruitment (to be administered by the CO instead of the SWA)
  • No criteria in the regulation for ordering an audit or for ordering supervised recruitment some applications will be randomly selected for audit
  • Decisions are expected within 45 to 60 days


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