Green Cards (Common)
National Interest Waivers
Professors & Researchers
Executives & Managers
PERM Labor Certification
Investors (EB-5 visas)
Family (Spouse, etc.)
Work Visas (Common)
O-1 Extraordinary Ability
TN Canadians & Mexicans
J-1 Visa Holders
Nurses & Physical Therapists
What is Labor Certification ("PERM")?
"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 (CIS) for permanent residency (a "green card") for the foreign employee.
There are several basic requirements for labor certification applications:
Applications filed on or after March 28, 2005, are processed under a program called "Program Electronic Review Management," more commonly known as ("PERM"). It was officially promulgated on December 27, 2004. These are some of the key points of PERM:
You can find more details about PERM labor certification procedures on our PERM labor certification page.
There are many employment-based alternatives to labor certification, including the Aliens of Extraordinary Ability (EB-1A), Outstanding Professors or Researchers (EB-1B), Multinational Executives or Managers (EB-1C), and National Interest Waiver (NIW) categories, among others.
Once the labor certification application is "certified" (i.e., approved) by the U.S. Department of Labor, the employer files an "Immigrant Petition for an Alien Worker" with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for the foreign worker. If the employee is currently in the United States, the employee can also file an application for permanent residency together with work and travel authorization.