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PERM Regulations Published

Written By: Anna Capili

The Department of Labor (DOL) recently published the regulations for its Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) program after two years. The regulations will take effect on March 28, 2005.

February 16, 2005- The Department of Labor (DOL) recently published the regulations for its Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) program after two years. The regulations will take effect on March 28, 2005.

The PERM regulations were first proposed in May 2002. They were created to help streamline the permanent labor certification system, thus providing an answer to the current labor certification backlog.

PERM is an electronic process that will be used for filing and processing labor certification applications for permanent employment-based immigration.

One of the most significant changes to the process, under the new PERM regulations, would be the 45-to-60-days-period of processing for electronically submitted applications through PERM. This means that DOL expects that files submitted will be decided within 45-60 days. Current situation can take up to three (3) years of processing for labor certification applications. With the new PERM regulations, DOL contends that it will definitely speed up the process and provide for the means to get the present backlog done in no time.

Employers will be able to file a form electronically via DOL’s website when the rule takes effect in March. In addition, employers can also file labor certification applications by mailing them directly to the centralized processing center available. A listing may be viewed at http://www.workforcesecurity.doleta.gov/foreign.

Some of the key features of the new PERM regulations include:

1.The employer must pay the sponsored employee at least 100% of the prevailing wage for the position as determined by DOL.
2.The employer must provide the following requirements for recruitment: (a) advertisement to two Sunday newspaper editions; (b) undertake at least three additional means of recruitment as alternate forms of advertising. For positions that require experience and an advanced degree, the employer is advised to substitute an advertisement in a national journal or publication for one Sunday newspaper advertisement; and (c) place a 30-day job order with the DOL for the offered position.
3.The employer is required to provide a conduct of recruitment for disqualifying candidates, layoffs, and audit, among others.
4.Employer with 10 or fewer employees must document any family relationship between its employees and sponsored employee.
5.The DOL may question whether or not the position is open to US workers if the employee is “required” to pay legal fees.
6.Employers are allowed to withdraw and re-file Labor Certification Applications, while preserving the original filing date. However, applications found not to have “identical job opportunity” will be withdrawn and re-filed under a new filing date.

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