Securing a Green Card Through Job Offer Under PERM Labor Certification – Process Explained





Welcome to our blog post where we will walk you through the step-by-step process of obtaining an employer-sponsored green card in the United States. The most common process, referred to as PERM labor certification or ‘PERM,’ is designed for foreign workers who receive a full-time job offer from a U.S. employer and wish to pursue permanent employment opportunities in the country. The perception that employment-based green card sponsorship is only available for higher-level professional positions is not accurate. In fact, most jobs qualify for the U.S. permanent residency process through PERM, which can encompass a range of roles. This includes jobs such as teachers, nurses, airline pilots, landscapers, truck drivers, researchers, performing artists, nannies, and more.


In this article, we will outline the essential procedures and requirements involved providing a comprehensive understanding of securing lawful permanent residency status through this particular green card path.


Prior to taking the substantive steps below, a crucial initial assessment involves analyzing the beginning stages of an applicant’s PERM process. An immigration attorney should review the applicant’s proposed job description, along with the applicant’s updated resume to determine whether the position being offered is classified as an advanced degree professional, professional, or skilled/unskilled worker. This determination will be key in understanding eligibility for the last phase of the green card process, commonly referred to as Adjustment of Status. The immigration attorney should also determine whether the proposed employment requires any prior experience and collaborate with others to obtain the necessary employment verification letters well before initiating the PERM steps below.


Now, let’s move on to the substantive phases of PERM labor certification.


Step 1: Prevailing Wage Determination


The first step under PERM labor certification involves obtaining a prevailing wage determination. This determination ensures that foreign workers are paid the same wages as similarly-qualified U.S. workers. The U.S. employer must submit a prevailing wage request to the Department of Labor detailing the job title, duties, work location, experience requirements, and educational qualifications. The Department of Labor reviews the request and provides a minimum wage that the employer must pay the sponsored foreign worker at the time the worker actually obtains his or her Green Card (this is a prospective future employer obligation).


Step 2: Recruitment in the Area of Intended Employment


To protect the U.S. workforce, the Department of Labor requires U.S. employers to make genuine efforts to hire qualified domestic employees before considering foreign workers. For recruitment purposes, sponsoring employers are only required to consider qualified U.S. citizens, permanent residents, refugees, or asylees. The recruitment stage involves the employer advertising the job in newspapers and other appropriate platforms in the area where the worker will be performing their job duties. Strict guidelines must be followed, including specific language requirements in advertisements, as well as timing considerations. Working with an experienced immigration lawyer is advisable to ensure compliance with these technical recruitment requirements. Although most employers undertake the recruitment phase after the prevailing wage determination arrives (Step 1), in some cases recruitment should be well under way even before the wage determination is issued. This is an option that should be explored especially if the prospective employee is facing some kind of urgent immigration deadline.


Step 3: Cooling Off Period


After completing the recruitment process, a mandatory cooling off period follows. During this period, the U.S, employer allows applications to trickle in from the recruitment efforts. The purpose of this period is to evaluate applications and conduct interviews to determine if any qualified U.S. workers are able, willing, qualified and available for the position. One common question raised by employers during this process is whether they are required to hire an applicant who seems to be qualified for the role. According to the Department of Labor’s FAQs, an employer is not required to hire a qualified worker when testing the labor market.


Step 4: PERM Application


Once the prevailing wage determination and recruitment steps are completed, the U.S. employer can proceed to file the PERM application with the Department of Labor on Form ETA 9089, which was just updated on June 1, 2023. The online PERM submission formally seeks authorization to hire a foreign worker for the position, indicating that suitable U.S. workers could not be found despite adhering to the prevailing wage determination and conducting appropriate recruitment efforts. The filing of the PERM application establishes a ‘priority date’ for the green card applicant and becomes important in Step 6.


Step 5: Form I-140


After the PERM application is certified by the Department of Labor, the process moves to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). In this step, the U.S. employer files Form I-140 with USCIS, providing evidence that the sponsored foreign worker meets the requirements specified in the prevailing wage determination and PERM application and confirming that the employer has the financial ability to pay the offered salary to the applicant in the future. Form I-140 can be filed with or without premium processing. For some green card applicants, the sponsorship process will temporarily stop after this stage unless the State Department’s visa bulletin allows for the filing of the last part of the green card (Step 6).


Step 6: Adjustment of Status or Consular Processing


In Step 5, Form I-140 was filed with USCIS. Step 6 involves two potential pathways for the remaining part of the green card process, depending on the location of the worker and whether the worker’s priority date qualifies for the last phase of the green card under the visa bulletin.


a) Adjustment of Status: If the foreign worker is already in the U.S. under a valid nonimmigrant status, such as an H-1B or student visa, and their priority date (the date their PERM application was filed) is current under the visa bulletin, they may choose to adjust their status via Form I-485. This process entails transitioning from nonimmigrant status to lawful permanent resident status from within the U.S. While the Adjustment of Status is pending, a work authorization card and travel permission can be requested for the applicant and any qualifying family members.


b) Consular Processing: If the foreign worker is outside the U.S. or simply elects to process the last part of their green card abroad in their home country, they will undergo consular processing. This involves attending a visa interview at a U.S. consulate or embassy and, upon successful completion, receiving an immigrant visa stamped in their passport. They can then enter the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident, obtaining a green card.


Deciding which pathway to pursue for this last part of the green card process is important. If you are unsure, you can always select “Consular Processing” on your Form I-140 and then switch to “Adjustment of Status” from within the U.S. Switching from “Adjustment of Status” to “Consular Processing”, however, is much more difficult and may entail a lengthy delay from the National Visa Center, so it is best to think through potential filing venues ahead of Step 6, when possible.




Obtaining an employer-sponsored green card in the United States through PERM labor certification involves navigating through a series of complex procedures, starting with the Department of Labor and culminating with USCIS. From analysis of employment documents to wage determination to PERM application and subsequent Form I-140 filing, the journey can be labor intensive. It is crucial to seek guidance from an experienced immigration lawyer to ensure a strong foundation for your application and smooth and successful process.


We hope this blog post has provided valuable insight into one of the ways of obtaining an employer-sponsored green card in the U.S.


If you found this information helpful, please share this post to spread the knowledge. Thank you for reading, and stay tuned for more informative content in the future.

Share this post...

Posted in , ,
Ashoori Law
Based on 591 reviews
Jamal Albardwil
I was delighted with my experience. Mr. Ehsan Ashoori Was a professional, and free consultation meant free and informative. And he educated me on what to expect and do, the likely outcomes, and how to achieve it. I would highly highly recommend this... immigration law firm to anyone needing an immigration law firm.I wish I could give them 6 stars.100% more
Sanjeev Bhalla
Ashoori Law is a professional law firm with a great team. We had applied for my daughter's change of status visa and they handled it pretty well and we got the status change without any difficulty. I would strongly recommend them to anyone who... wishes to engage a immigration law firm. They will do a great job as was in our case. I'd like to thank Michael and Sergio as well their entire team for the fantastic work work they did for more
Graem Beddoes
Very grateful for the help and guidance in getting our E2
Carolina Marmolejo
Very proffessional law firm. My husband & I appreciated their attentive, meticulous and detailed work on our case. They always stayed communicated and responsive to us from beginning to end.
Kaveeta Ramnarine
Totally grateful to the Ashoori team for their excellent service. They are very responsive and knowledgeable, they go above and beyond for their clients.Special thank you to Attorneys Rebecca McCarthy and Ehsan Mehri for their continued support in... our more
Shyam Chandrasekharan
I wanted to express my heartfelt thanks for your exceptional guidance and expertise in securing my visa extension approval. Your professionalism, attention to detail, and dedication were instrumental in achieving this success. Your support and clear... communication throughout the process were invaluable. I'm deeply grateful for your outstanding more
Malia Hi’ilani
Ashoori Law is a very knowledgeable and thorough law firm, with a great team. They gave me confidence in my business plan by providing a free discovery call to see if it was worth pursuing. Very personable and available for all of my questions or... concerns throughout the process. I was granted my E2 change of status successfully. I would highly recommend them for all of your immigration more
Israt Jahan
AshooriLaw is a great choice for our case.they response fast and very helpful.
Beth Jinks
Ashoori Law again handled my green card travel document renewal application professionally, and they accurately predicted the processing time. I've tackled similar paperwork alone before, but have now been working with Ashoori for about five years... because they provide peace of mind that everything is handled correctly. Highly more
Chris Lejeune
At first I was hesitant hiring a lawyer from outside Texas that no one I knew personally dealt with however I am glad I did. These guys are very helpful and friendly. Their knowledge of my case and procedures was outstanding. 5 stars all day long.
Yuvraj Singh
I would highly recommend Ashoori law for any kind of immigration services. They are fast, their process is easy and they are professional. I would highly suggest them handle your immigration cases.
Mazen Hanana
Thank you for your amazing services as well as for your prompt response to all my queries.Your professional experience was very helpful in submitting, approving and getting my Re-entry permit
Very great! Love, love, love Ashoori Law and his team. They make you feel like family. This is the team that will definitely get the job done. Very friendly and professional!
Nyoka Bandoo
Very professional and looks out for your best interest at heart!
arsalan pervez
Hello sir u have watsap number
My wife & I recently engaged the services of Ashoori Law for Immigration services, and I must say that I am thoroughly impressed with their expertise and professionalism. From the moment I contacted them, they demonstrated a deep understanding of my... case and provided insightful advice that put me at ease. Their legal team, led by Micheal, displayed an exceptional grasp of the intricacies involved in my situation. The Ashoori Law team not only guided me through the entire legal process but also took the time to answer all my questions in a clear and concise manner. Their attention to detail and dedication to my case truly set them apart. I am pleased with the overall outcome and would recommend Ashoori Law for their top-notch legal more
Before contacting Michael Ashoori's firm, I had spoken to a few Immigration lawyers, NONE was as patient and responsive as Michael. His firm scheduled a call with an Attorney who turned out to be the most efficient and brilliant lawyer ever.... Stephanie DiPietro was simply amazing. The detail in her notes, cover letter and crisp responses to my plentiful enquires mostly done with a smile was always reassuring. I highly recommend this firm as they are worth much more than they more
I had an exceptional experience with Ashoori Law. I hired Ashoori Law Firm to help with my immigration process. They assigned me a dedicated legal assistant, Jeser, and an attorney, Matthew, to guide me through the process. I am truly grateful for... the responsiveness of Jeser and Matthew. They consistently answered all my questions and helped me prepare all the documents for the application. The team's friendliness and remarkable expertise stand out. I highly recommend Ashoori Law to anyone seeking legal services for more
Anas Khan
Michael's firm has been very helpful in processing, filing and taking the Re-entry permit to its successful approval. I needed help as I had to travel due to personal emergency for an extended duration and had a lot of questions with no time to... think. They gave us time and clarified all the questions over call, email giving proper directions. Some of the videos on YouTube posted by Michael also helped me figure out that I could reach out to them to take my application forwardThanks to Matthew, Clara, Milena and all the folks who more
Alyssa Sanders
I highly recommend this lawyer for all immigration needs. They were so extremely patient with my situation and my questions, and definitely legitimately cared about the experience had with them. Immigration can be a very difficult and scary... experience and they definitely offered peace of mind. Very Affordable for the quality of services provided. I would definitely use them again in the future and recommend for immigrantion law needsread more
Fauzia Usman
Thankyou so much Michael Ashoori and your Immigration Attorney Shruti Bali and all team member to help me process me and my family case of E2 Investor Visa. It took Approx. 10 months from Ontario Canada. I Never visit IN person to this Firm,... everything deal and process online. Ashoori Law serve Great Professional Service. Highly more
Sonia Rathour
Ashoori Law Firm has the most loyal Representatives and lawyers who really cares about their client. They always available to answer any question you have regarding your case and always give the best advise for your best.I got so lucky to have... immigration case in their more
Dinesh Perera
I am so glad I chose Ashoori Law for my E2 process. They handled my case professionally from start to finish. My circumstances were somewhat complicated and needed special attention in order to get me across the finish line. I must state that I was... extremely fortunate to have had Shruti as my attorney handling my case. She was always very responsive to all my questions and cleared my doubts in every instance. All documents were very carefully handled by her and checked over and over again prior to submission, which i believe is the key to getting the E2 approved. Thank you Michael, Shruti and the entire team for a professional and successful job more
Next Reviews
Michael Ashoori Headshot

Michael Ashoori, Esq.

President of Ashoori Law

I’m a U.S. immigration lawyer and I help families, professionals, investors, and entrepreneurs get visas, green cards, and citizenship to the United States.

Since starting my law firm, I’ve helped hundreds of people from all over the world with their immigration needs. I’m very passionate, hard-working, and committed to my clients.

Got a question? Send me an email.