PERM Labor Certification: Everything You Need to Know

PERM Labor Certification

If you are interested in getting an employer sponsored green card, you will likely need to know about the PERM process.


When an employer wants to sponsor a foreign worker for a green card, the employer must get an approved labor certification from the Department of Labor.


The PERM process, which stands for Program Electronic Review Management, is the way that an employer obtains an approved labor certification from the Department of Labor. This is the first step for many in obtaining an employment based green card.


The PERM labor certification process is completed by the employer. Through various steps, the PERM process ensures that there are no qualified American workers for the job that the foreign national is being sponsored for.


In this guide, I’ll explain what you need to know about the PERM labor certification process. If you have any questions, feel free to email us directly at




  1. What is the PERM labor certification?


  1. Why should you complete the PERM labor certification?


  1. What are the requirements for the PERM labor certification?


  1. What is the process for getting a PERM labor certification?


  1. Audits


  1. What documents are needed for a PERM labor certification?


  1. What forms are required for a PERM labor certification?


  1. PERM labor certification fees


  1. PERM labor certification processing time


  1. Conclusion


1. What is the PERM labor certification? 


The PERM (Program Electronic Review Management) system is a way for obtaining a Labor Certification from the Department of Labor. Obtaining an approved labor certification from the Department of Labor is the first step in obtaining an employer sponsored green card. The PERM labor certification process is completed by the employer. Through various recruitment procedures, the PERM process ensures that there are no qualified American workers for the job that the foreign national is being sponsored for.


The PERM labor certification is required for some green cards. It is required for the EB-2 visa, unless you qualify for the National Interest Waiver. It is also required for all EB-3 visas. The PERM labor certification is approved by the Department of Labor. If it is required and you cannot continue with the visa application process until it is approved.


Please be aware that an approved PERM labor certification is not lawful status. It is only the first step in getting approved for a green card. Please note the PERM labor certification is not necessarily required to get a green card. It is only required for the EB-3 and some EB-2 visas.


2. Why should you complete the PERM labor certification? 


There are many reasons why an employer may want to complete the PERM labor certification process. Here are just a few:


You can hire a permanent foreign worker. 


This is the most significant benefit associated with the PERM labor certification. Once you have an approved PERM labor certification, you can file a Form I-140 immigration petition for permanent residence on behalf of a foreign worker. This is known as sponsoring the worker. If you wish to hire a foreign worker and sponsor them for a green card, using the PERM labor certification process is a great option.


It is faster and easier than many other permanent residency options. 


If you are hoping to sponsor a foreign national, the employment-based green card through the PERM labor certification is often an excellent option. It is relatively fast and easy, compared to other ways of getting a green card.


For example, the EB-1 green card does not require a PERM labor certification. However, the requirements are stricter than the EB-2 and EB-3 green cards.


Another way of getting a green card is through family-based petitions. These are different from employment-based green cards because your family sponsors you rather than your employer. Family-based green cards do not require the PERM labor certification. However, the wait times for family-based green cards can often take longer than for EB-2 and EB-3 green cards. This means that for many people, using the PERM labor certification path to permanent residency is a better option.


3. What are the requirements for the PERM labor certification? 


In order for your PERM labor certification to be approved, you must meet several requirements. They are discussed below. My team and I would be happy to help you determine if you meet these conditions.


There must be a valid job offer. 


The employer must have made a valid job offer to the foreign beneficiary. The employer must have an IRS tax number, a physical office space, and a way to be contacted. The employer must have an employer-employee relationship with the foreign beneficiary. This means they must have the ability to control the work of the beneficiary through hiring, paying, supervising, and firing them. A valid job offer can be shown through a contract between the employer and the beneficiary.


The beneficiary must be fairly compensated for their work. 


The employer must be paying the beneficiary fairly for their work. This means that they must pay equal to or more than the prevailing wage. The prevailing wage is set by the Department of Labor. The employer must request the prevailing wage from the Department of Labor. The prevailing wage, as well as the salary for the position, must be shared on the PERM labor certification application.


Attempts to recruit American workers must have been made. 


Before your labor certification can be approved, you must demonstrate that there are no qualified American workers for the job. To prove this, you must go through a recruitment process. This includes posting a job order with the State Workforce Agency. It also involves posting advertisements in newspapers, stores, and other locations. More information about the requirements for the recruitment process will be provided later in the guide.


4. What is the process for getting a PERM labor certification? 


The PERM labor certification process is a multistep one. The following is a general list of steps. A more detailed explanation follows below. My team and I would be happy to expand any of these steps for you.


  • Recruitment Process
  • Submit Form ETA-9089
  • Submit Form I-140


Recruitment Process 


You must first extend a job offer to a foreign national and determine a PERM labor certification is appropriate. Then, you must ensure there are no qualified American workers for the job through the recruitment portion of the PERM process. In this process, the employer must make it locally and publicly known that a job is available. If any qualified American workers apply for the job, they must be given priority ahead of the foreign beneficiary. If you do not hire any of the American applicants, you must have a valid reason.


The exact recruitment process will depend on if the job is a professional or nonprofessional job. Professional jobs are jobs that require at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. Nonprofessional jobs are jobs that do not require a degree. An immigration lawyer can confirm if the job is professional or nonprofessional if you are unsure.


Professional jobs have more strict requirements for the recruitment process. Firstly, they must place a job order with the State Workforce Agency. This job order must be available for at least 30 days. Secondly, they must place a job order in a Sunday newspaper for 2 consecutive Sundays. One of these Sunday newspaper ads can be replaced by an advertisement in a relevant professional journal. Additionally, advertisements must be placed in at least three of the following:


  • At a job fair
  • On the employer’s website
  • On a job search website
  • At a campus recruiting event
  • Through a trade or professional organization
  • Through a private employment firm
  • Through an employee referral program
  • In college placement offices
  • In other local or ethnic newspapers
  • On radio and/or television


Nonprofessional jobs have slightly less strict requirements. They must place a job order with the State Workforce Agency for at least 30 days. Additionally, the employer must put an ad in 2 consecutive Sunday newspapers. However, they are not required to make any other recruitment efforts.


All recruitment efforts must be completed at least 30 days before you file the PERM application. This is to ensure that any applicants have adequate time to submit their applicant. No recruitment efforts can have been made more than 6 months (180 days) prior to the application. This is to ensure no new applicants exist.


Additionally, please be aware that you must keep all of your documents showing proof of the recruitment process for up to 3 years in case of an audit.


Submit Form ETA-9089 


You must complete the recruitment process without finding a qualified American worker. You must also ensure that you meet all other requirements for the PERM labor certification. If you do, you can complete and submit Form ETA-9089. Form ETA-9089 is the Application for Permanent Labor Certification. This document is submitted to the Department of Labor either electronically or by mail.


Submit Form I-140 


Form ETA-9089 is your PERM labor certification application. If the Department of Labor approves it, the petitioning employer may file an I-140 green card petition. If the Department of Labor does not approve it, you may not continue with the green card application process.


Form I-140 is the Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers. This document is submitted to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The Form I-140 must be submitted before the PERM labor certification expires. More information about Form I-140 and the rest of the green card application process can be found by looking at the EB2 visa and EB3 visa service pages on our website.


5. Audits 


Audits can be targeted or random. Targeted audits occur when the Department of Labor has concerns about your application. These can be because of inconsistencies in documentation provided or a failure to provide enough information to prove that you meet the requirements for a PERM labor certification. My team and I will do our best to ensure that our clients will not be subject to targeted audits.


For random audits, the Department of Labor will audit some applicants to ensure that the PERM labor certification process is effective. There is nothing to be done to prevent random audits. For this reason, it is extremely important that you keep all supporting PERM documents on file.


If you are selected for an audit, you will have 30 days to respond with the requested information.


6. What documents are needed for a PERM labor certification?


In order to prove that you meet the conditions for a PERM labor certification, several documents may be provided. The following is a general list of documents that may be useful. Please be aware that it is not a comprehensive list. Applicants may not need to include all of these. My team and I would be happy to assist you in determining which documents are required for your individual situation.


Choosing the appropriate documents is very important. If you fail to provide enough evidence of your eligibility, your PERM certification may be rejected or subject to an audit. You should also take care to keep all documents for up to 3 years.


  • Contract between the beneficiary and the petitioner
  • Prevailing wage request
  • Newspapers with job advertisements
  • Job order submitted to the State Workforce Agency (SWA)


7. What forms are required for a PERM labor certification? 


Additionally, several forms are required throughout the PERM labor certification application process. The following will provide more information about some of them. My team and I would be happy to provide more information about any of these, or any other, form. My team and I would also be happy to help you complete any of these forms. Additionally, as with all other paperwork, you should keep copies of your forms for up to 3 years in case of an audit.


Form ETA-9089 


Form ETA-9089 is the Application for Permanent Employment Certification. This form is your PERM labor certification application. The employer will complete this form and submit it to the Department of Labor. The Department of Labor will use the information provided to determine if the PERM labor certification should be approved. The Form ETA-9089 asks questions about the employer, the attorney, the prevailing wage, the job, the recruitment process, and the beneficiary. My team and I would be happy to answer any questions you have about Form ETA-9089 or help you complete it if necessary. More information about Form ETA-9089 can also be found by clicking here.


8. PERM labor certification fees


There is no fee associated with filing the PERM labor certification. However, there are fees associated with later aspects of the EB2/EB3 green card application process (such as filing the Form I-140 immigration petition).


There may also be fees for activities associated with the PERM labor certification, such as lawyer fees or fees for placing job advertisements, photocopying, translating, or other such activities. Any fees incurred throughout the PERM labor certification application process are the responsibility of the employer.


9. PERM labor certification processing time 


The total time it takes for your PERM labor certification application to be approved will depend on a variety of factors. Some of these factors include the time of year when you apply, your individual case, and if you are subject to an audit. PERM applications that are not subject to an audit usually take around 6 months for certification. Audits can add another 1 year to this processing time.


A PERM certification does not mean you have been approved for a green card. After the PERM labor certification is approved, you must get an approved Form I-140 and wait for your priority date. This process can take much longer, up to 20 years for some foreign nationals.


10. Conclusion 


The PERM (Program Electronic Review Management) labor certification is the first step for many in obtaining an employer sponsored green card. The PERM labor certification is completed by the employer. It ensures that there are no qualified American workers for the job. It is required for all people applying for the EB2 and EB3 visas (who are not eligible for an EB2 National Interest Waiver).


You should now have a much stronger understanding of the PERM labor certification, including the purpose, the requirements, and the application process.


If you have any questions about anything discussed in this guide or about the PERM labor certification in general, feel free to email me directly. I can be contacted at I am very responsive via email and I would be happy to help you.



Related Posts

Based on 672 reviews
Daniel P.
The best sincere and swift immigration attorney, I was able to get my USCIS approved within 11 months . I’m very much happy to work with this organization
Hazem A.
"I feel incredibly fortunate to have come across Ashoori Law, even though they are based on the opposite coast from me. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and everything shut down, I needed to renew my... work visa, but I wasn't sure how to proceed. That's where Ashoori Law came in - they helped me and my company decide to switch to a permanent resident visa through work. Throughout the process, Michael was always available to answer questions and provide guidance. My designated lawyer, Lorianne, was also amazing - she did everything right and made me feel like part of the family. I never hesitated to reach out to them for help, and they always found the best solution. Michael even made recommendations during the early stages of the process. Currently, we're in the process of submitting form I-140, and as usual, they're handling everything very professionally. I can't thank them enough, and I would highly recommend Ashoori Law to anyone who needs immigration support."read more
Taiwo feranmi O.
Ashoori Law you’re exceptional, professional and knowledgeable in what you do. You answered all our questions promptly and handled all our immigration filings accurately and timely. We will surely... recommend your service to anyone with no doubt in our minds that you will do excellent work.From all our family, we say “Thank you”Taiwo OYEDELEDolapo AdekoyaRound RockTexas USAread more
Roberto P.
I contacted Ashoori Law to get help with the GC re-entry permit for me and my wife. The whole procedure was pretty smooth. They are very responsive, well organized and know what they are doing.... Highly recommended. Roberto and Lauraread more
Hasnain B.
had a lovely experience with Ashoori law. They have a team of competent lawyers who guide you through every stage of your process. I highly recommend Ashoori law to people who are looking a smooth... process and a trust worthy law firm to handle their more
Harim J.
This is my second time to work with Ashoori Law for my re-entry permit. I definitely recommend them as they promptly answered my emails and processed my application. I also liked that they have their... own portal system, where I could automatically track my todo list, as well as the status of my more
Muhammad Qasim B.
Applied for E2 Visa and Approved from my Home Country Pakistan. A Very Professional Services, Very Good Team. I highly reccomend Ashoori Laws. We wish them best of luck for their business and their... more
Excellent case description and answering questions in a friendly and supportive manner. Excellent meeting and communication skills. Really appreciated Mr. Antonio Castro for support and his skills... for client more
Mike R.
Ashoori has been very helpful in our application for my fiancée's K-1 Visa. They were great and informative in putting out application package together and have been on top of the deadlines/process... every step of the way. Would recommend Ashoori for your immigration legal needs and more
Olti G.
Thank you Mr. Ashoori. This was case was not an easy one but we achieved our goal. The best!
Kalyan C.
We have used the services of Ashoori law firm to file re-entry permits for myself and my wife and we are very happy with their service from the get go. The team is detail oriented and they have filed... our paperwork correctly. Their fees are reasonable and they responded to our queries in a timely manner which gives you peace of mind. Definitely recommend them for any immigration related servicesread more
Victoria Y.
Michael and his firm helped me through a re-entry permit process and they are wonderful people!!They called me for the first time to understand what’s needed and they consulted me on the first phone... call with no charge of money.This process took a little bit more than a year and I had a lot of questions all along and they answered really fast even if it’s in an email!And of course I will contact them in the future in case I will need an immigration stuff (such as reentry permit)!Thank you for more
ratneswar R.
Very professional law firm..they take care of every problems for the clients..They are very responsive to the questions asked by the clients.
Carm B.
Michael and his team are amazing I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for immigration lawyers. A++++++++++ Service.
Vivek B.
I had excellent experience getting reply to my queries in very simple manner. It was great help to get the answers as part of free consultation without committing for further process until I got... satisfaction that I know what I am getting into. I highly recommend this firm for any one who are looking to get their open question resolved and work with highly professional team. In particular Ehsan from team has been extremely professional and patient giving all details and answering all my more
Mekayla B.
THE BEST!!It’s scary and intimidating to start the immigration process. But everyone at Ashoori Law has been a great help.They made the process so much smoother by always responding to all our... messages attentively and giving us peace of mind. If you’ve been struggling to find the right lawyer for your case, take this as your sign!read more
Alok G
I have user their services multiple times over the years. They are very responsive and helpful. They provide good answers to even subjective questions and correspondingly make good recommendations.... I am expecting and hoping they continue just like more
Hussein A.
After long time of search , fortunately I reached to Ashoori Law .Mr Ehsan is patient and very professional, he gave me direct and clear answers for many questions regarding EB-5 visa. I am very... grateful to Ashoori Law team .read more
Miraal N.
Thank you Michael & team! The process for a TN visa was efficient, comprehensive and seamless. Highly recommend.
Farheen N.
I got really good experience with Ashoori Law. They are reliable, thrust worthy, professional & sincere with their clients.
mehreen “Maha” A.
Great experience highly recommended. They all are very helpfull on each and every step. I really trust them . Thanks Ashoori law
Saket C.
We are very pleased with the service and guidance provided by Michael and his team for re-entry permit applications for myself and family members. Ours was a bit tricky as we were planning to come... especially for this task. Michael's guidance on the timelines really helped us plan the trip and get the fingerprinting done.Michael and team were very responsive and thorough over email on all the queries that I asked throughout the process.I would highly recommend more
Yala K.
I had a chance to work with Ashoori law in the context of my succesful E2 application. Both Andres Soto and Cristina Casabianca were super knowledgable, responsive, and a pleasure to work with. I... truly enjoy the experience and I am very thankful for their help & support! I highly recommend more
Swordsmith F.
The team that was working on my case was amazing. I felt I could ask simple questions that I had in the process. Very personable people and at the same time professional. We had success in our visa... application!read more
Mahsa K.
We applied for EB1 Visa through Ashoori Law and we're very happy with both the result (as the case got accepted) and with the team throughout the process. They know what they're doing and there's no... need to keep running after them to get things done.Mr. Ashoori was also included in all the communications and emails, and even though he most probably does not have the time to read everything, but his presence and knowing that he is reachable and accessible was very heartwarming.Overall we were happy with everything throughout the process and we decided to continue with the firm for the final phase of our case which is related to providing documents to the embassy and preparing for the more
French Pilot U.
Thank you for your help guys. We got the green card in 15 months with no interview. You were always answering any questions we had, we definitely appreciated that.Savannah and Axel.
Nasrin N.
I have a great experience with Michael. He helped to get a re-entry permit for my mother. During the process Michael was extremely attentive and offered considerable amount of his time to help us. He... is absolutely professional and knowledgeable. My mother received her re-entry permit in less than 2 months in a situation that was not promising. The fee was reasonable and I strongly recommend Ashoori more
Tara M.
Working with Koby in the early stages of the process has been a surprising delight. It's a complicated and overwhelming process and I had a ton of questions. Koby was warm and personable, clear and... knowledgeable, responsive and professional. His obvious competence and resources combined with his ability to explain the process and my options gave me confidence in the entire more
Henok A.
I started working with them when I petition for my son. Starting from the first day I found it very easy to get through anyone you wanna talk to as well as follow-ups when you have any questions.... They do what needs to be done on time and if you have any questions, they are happy to answer your phone or email any day of the week. We are at the finish line as I’m writing this review and I have nothing but many thanks to all who help me through this process. You guys are the best knowledgeable and efficient immigration lawyers I could ever ask more
Kanwarbir Singh M.
Highly recommend law firm.Thanks to Ashoori Law firm.I have used their service for my E2 visa as well as E2 change of status as i needed both of them.I just got my E2 change of status... approved.Great service by the Michael Ashoori and his team. Very professional ,easy going and helpful. If you are looking for one, this is the place. I will be using their service for my E2 visa also and later on with future applications more
Chris H
Exceptional Service and Successful E2 Visa Acquisition - Highly Recommend Ashoori Law!As a Singaporean citizen engaged in the retail and wholesale of electric bicycles in the United States, finding... the right legal team to handle my E2 visa application was crucial. Choosing Ashoori Law was one of my best decisions.From the initial consultation to the successful acquisition of the E2 visa, I was impressed by the professionalism and attention to detail demonstrated by Ashoori Law. They not only provided comprehensive guidance for the preparation of documents but also offered specialized training for the interview process. This boosted my confidence during the interview with the visa officer, allowing me to effectively present my business plan and qualifications.A highlight of their service was their ability to secure not just my individual E2 visa but also ensure that my family obtained their visas smoothly. Throughout the process, the team at Ashoori Law was responsive and thorough in their explanations, making the entire experience stress-free and straightforward.I am deeply grateful for everything the Ashoori Law team has done for my family and me. For other business professionals seeking E2 visas, I strongly recommend Ashoori Law. They are not just proficient legal advisors but also reliable partners in this challenging more
Vianne A. A.
I had an excellent experience with Michael Ashoori Law for my L-1A visa application. Their team especially from Brollesy Law LLC was incredibly knowledgeable, responsive, and attentive to detail.... They guided me seamlessly through the process, ensuring a successful application. Highly recommend Ashoori Law for their professionalism and expertise in immigration more
A nice and responsive team working with us on our case. Its been a pleasure working with the team and receiving optimal guidance where needed.
Professional, always there for questions, very competent
Harold H.
I recently had the pleasure of working with Michael Ashoori Law Firm for my E2 Visa renewal, and I am beyond satisfied with their service. As a French national, navigating the complexities of... immigration law can be daunting, but the professionalism and expertise of this team made the process seamless.From the beginning, the team demonstrated exceptional knowledge and a keen understanding of my specific needs. The interview at the embassy, which can often be a stressful experience, went smoothly, thanks in large part to their thorough preparation and guidance.I would like to extend my special thanks to Sergio A., Mariam M., and Michael P. for their dedicated assistance throughout the process. Their attention to detail, prompt responses, and genuine care for my case were truly commendable.I wholeheartedly recommend Michael Ashoori Law Firm to anyone in need of immigration legal services. Their commitment to their clients is evident in every interaction, and their results speak for more
Donnie R.
The entire team at Ashoori law has done a fantastic job of securing our E2 status here in USA . Every step of the process was very transparent and professional. They have treated us like family at... the same time and have helped us secure an opportunity to live the American dream . Special thanks to Michael , Ehsan , Rebecca , Patricia and others who have worked on our case .If you are looking for a law firm to attend to all your immigration needs , no matter what your situation is , look no more . Rest assured Michael Ashoori law have your best interests at heart . It’s a one stop shop , they handle everything for you 💯 %read more
Maninder K.
Excellent service
Jesse S.
I've been in touch with Kim Rivero, and I just have to say that he has been incredibly helpful and communicative, even going so far as to get on a call on off hours due to our time difference. He's... gone above and beyond and I really appreciate more
Kamlesh C.
Exceptional Immigration Services from Ashoori Law - A Comprehensive ReviewI recently had the privilege of working with Ashoori Law for the immigration process, specifically for the L1A New Office... Visa, as the Founder and CEO of an IT company in India. I am Kamlesh, and I cannot express my gratitude enough for the outstanding support and professional assistance provided by Ashoori Law throughout the entire journey.Initial Consultation:From the beginning, the team at Ashoori Law, including Rohit and Michael, demonstrated an exceptional level of expertise and commitment. They patiently addressed all our initial questions, concerns, and doubts about eligibility, providing valuable insights into the L1A visa process for establishing a new office in the United States.Documentation and Business Plan Preparation:One of the standout aspects of Ashoori Law's services was their meticulous attention to detail in preparing the necessary documentation and crafting a compelling business plan. Patricia, a key member of their team, demonstrated a high level of professionalism and expertise in creating a comprehensive business plan that undoubtedly played a crucial role in the success of our visa application.L1A Filing and Processing:The team, led by Cristina, our immigration attorney, seamlessly guided us through the entire L1A filing process. Cristina's prompt responses to our inquiries and her thorough understanding of the documentation and processes involved instilled confidence in us. Remarkably, we received approval for the L1A visa within an impressively short period of 15 days, a testament to Ashoori Law's efficiency and competence.Ongoing Support:Even after the successful approval of the L1A visa, Ashoori Law continues to be an invaluable resource for us. We are looking forward to further discussions regarding the visa processes for my wife and children, confident that the same level of professionalism and dedication will be extended.Conclusion:In conclusion, I wholeheartedly recommend Ashoori Law for anyone navigating the complex landscape of immigration processes. The team's depth of knowledge, attention to detail, and commitment to client success set them apart. The positive outcome of our L1A visa application is a testament to the expertise and professionalism of Ashoori Law, making them the go-to choice for immigration more
Youjin L.
I highly recommend Ashoori Law for your U.S. immigration needs. The team is exceptionally knowledgeable and professional. Rohit Srinivasa was incredibly easy to work with and went above and beyond... what was necessary to help me navigate through the complicated immigration more
Rick Q.
Ashoori Law was very helpful and professional in guiding us through the difficult and complex EPERM process with the Department of Labor and the USCIS for our I-140.
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 thousands 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.

Related Posts