Hello Everybody. This is Cyrus Mehta. Welcome to my edition of Immigration Matters with Namaste America (channel 73 in New York City) where we provide you with updates on the latest developments in US immigration law.
On December 28, the Department of Labor (DOL) published its final rule for PERM, the long awaited procedure to quicken the labor certification process.
As a background, labor certification is the first step in employment-based immigration. An employer must establish that there are no US workers qualified for the job through a labor certification application on behalf of a foreign worker. Once the labor certification is approved, the employer can then proceed with the next steps for the green card.
Under the old system, labor certification takes over three years in New York and New Jersey. The new system known as PERM will take effect on March 28, 2005. Under the new PERM system, the DOL has stated that it will be able to certify a case between 45 to 60 days from its filing. From March 28, all labor certifications will be filed under PERM.
Let me explain how the new PERM system differs from the existing system. Under the existing system, the employer sends proof of its recruitment efforts to the Labor Department. An officer analyzes it at the state level first. It is then sent to the federal regional DOL office for further review. Once the Labor Department is satisfied with the employer’s recruitment efforts, it approves the case. At times the Labor Department may also supervise the employer’s recruitment efforts. Before the case is approved, the employer is kept fully apprised of any objections the Labor Department may have and also has an opportunity to respond.
Under the new PERM rule, the employer must still make good faith attempts to test the labor market. However, under PERM, the employer is not required to submit its recruitment efforts to the Labor Department. The employer must attest on the form that it has complied with the recruitment requirements. In addition, the employer must first obtain a prevailing wage determination from the local labor office before it can file a PERM case.
Once the employer has attested to its recruitment efforts on the form and files the case, the Labor Department will approve the application within 45-60 days. In order to prevent fraud, applications will be subjected to audits. If an application is selected for an audit, the employer will receive a letter from the Labor Department asking the employer to provide certain documents within a specified date. The Labor Department can also require supervised recruitment.
It is hard to say whether the new PERM system will work better than the old system. At least the new system will be more quick although we are not sure how many filings will be subjected to audits and how long each audit would take. If an employer still wishes to file under the current system, he or she may do so before March 28, 2005. On or after March 28, all applications will have to be filed under PERM.
In our next segment, we will specifically talk about the recruitment procedures established for an employer under PERM.
As PERM issues are extremely complex, please consult with an attorney on a specific case. The information provided in this segment is extremely generalized and is for public education purposes only.
This segment is brought to you by Cyrus D. Mehta & Associates, PLLC. If you have any questions on this or related matters, please contact us at 212-425-0555. The number once again is 212-425-0555. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit our website at www.cyrusmehta.com
for further information on PERM. We are located at 67 Wall Street, Suite 1801, New York, NY 10005. This is Cyrus Mehta wishing you a wonderful weekend. See you again in 2 weeks!