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A permanent labor certification issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) allows an employer to hire a foreign worker to work permanently in the United States. In most instances, before the U.S. employer can submit an immigration petition to the Department of Homeland Security's USCIS, the employer must obtain an approved labor certification request from the DOL's Employment and Training Administration (ETA). The DOL must certify to the USCIS that there are no qualified U.S. workers able, willing, qualified and available to accept the job at the prevailing wage for that occupation in the area of intended employment and that employment of the alien will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.
To improve the operations of the permanent labor certification program, ETA published a final regulation on December 27, 2004, which required the implementation of a new re-engineered permanent labor certification program by March 28, 2005. This new electronic program has improved services to our various stakeholders.
As of March 28, 2005, ETA Form 750 applications were no longer accepted under the regulation in effect prior to March 28, 2005, and instead new ETA Form 9089 applications had to be filed under PERM at the appropriate National Processing Center. Applications filed under the regulation in effect prior to March 28, 2005, have continued to be processed at the appropriate Backlog Elimination Center under the rule in effect at the time of filing. Only if an employer chose to withdraw an earlier application and refile the application for the identical job opportunity under the re-file provisions of PERM was a previously filed ETA Form 750 application filing date considered under the PERM regulation.
The DOL processes Applications for Permanent Employment Certification, ETA Form 9089. The date the labor certification application is filed is known as the filing date and is used by USCIS and the Department of State as the priority date. After the labor certification application is approved by the DOL, it should be submitted to the USCIS service center with a From I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. The priority dates are listed on the State Department’s Visa Bulletin.
The employer must recruit under the standards for professional occupations set forth in 20 CFR 656.17(e)(1) if the occupation involved is on the list of occupations, published in Appendix A to the preamble of the final PERM regulation. For all other occupations not normally requiring a bachelor's or higher degree, employers can simply recruit under the requirements for nonprofessional occupations at 20 CFR 656.17(e)(2). Although the occupation involved in a labor certification application may be a nonprofessional occupation, the regulations do not prohibit employers from conducting more recruitment than is specified for such occupations.
The employer must prepare a recruitment report in which it categorizes the lawful job-related reasons for rejection of U.S. applicants and provides the number of U.S. applicants rejected in each category. The recruitment report does not have to identify the individual U.S. workers who applied for the job opportunity.
The employer can access a customer-friendly web site (www.plc.doleta.gov) and, after registering and establishing an account, electronically fill out and submit an Application for Permanent Employment Certification, ETA Form 9089.
Registration. To better assist employers with processing the Application for Permanent Employment Certification, the electronic Online Permanent System requires employers to set up individual accounts. An employer must set up a profile by selecting the appropriate profile option in the Online System. By completing an Employer Profile, you will be able to:
The address and contact information for each National Processing Center and the states and the territories within their jurisdictions are provided on our Contact Information page.
After approval of the labor certification, the employer must file an "Immigrant Petition for an Alien Worker" with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Form I-140. The employer then attaches the certified ETA Form 9089 to a completed USCIS Form I-140, along with the appropriate fees, and submits the package to the appropriate USCIS Service Center. The petition is filed by the employer on behalf of the foreign worker and must include the approved labor certification and other USCIS specified documentation.
Schedule A is a list of occupations, set forth at 20 CFR 656.15, for which the Department has determined there are not sufficient U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified and available. In addition, Schedule A establishes that the employment of aliens in such occupations will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers similarly employed.
The occupations listed under Schedule A include:
An employer shall apply for a labor certification for a Schedule A occupation by filing an ETA Form 9089, in duplicate with the appropriate USCIS Center, NOT with the Department of Labor or a SWA.
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