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labor certification

General information


Labor Certification is one avenue for immigrants to obtain Lawful Permanent Residency. An employer must be willing to act as a sponsor and the U.S. job market needs to be tested to show that there are no qualified U.S. workers available in the area where the position is located.



The labor certification process requires that the US job market be tested through a variety of different advertising modes:

  1. Newspapers
  2. Professional Journals
  3. Internet Ads
  4. Internal Postings
  5. State Employment Agencies
  6. Radio/TV

This advertising must take place within a specific time frame (30 days is the shortest time and 180 days is the longest) and meet certain specific requirements to be successful.

  • For example, ads older than 180 days are unusable and re-advertising will probably be necessary



The online PERM submission process allows this portion of the labor certification process to move relatively quickly. However, filing for permanent residency through the labor certification will still take many months or years as the processing is very slow and certain categories have large backlogs. The US State Department Visa Bulletin shows just how long the wait is for each category. The backlog times fluctuate greatly over time and should only be used as an estimate.

Under the PERM labor certification regulations there is a good chance that the employer will have the labor certification file audited by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Additionally, after the case is certified by the U.S. Department of Labor the USCIS will also examine the PERM filing in conjunction with the employment based visa petition to determine if it was prepared appropriately. Processing times for this step may span years before the USCIS takes up the case. Therefore, it is very important that the labor certification process be conducted using a competent professional so that the employer will maximize the chance of success.

Please contact our office for further assistance. We are always happy to discuss your specific case with you and we offer a free email or phone consultation.