Electronic audit management program or perm It is one of the first and most important steps in the process of applying for a green card or permanent residence in the United States. It is a system for obtaining work certification for the thousands of Indians who work in the United States on work permit visas, such as H-1B, through the EB-2 and EB-3 employment-based preference categories. The employer in the United States must obtain a work certificate approved by the US Department of Labor (Ministry of Labor) before they can render a file green card Petition for a foreign worker with US Citizenship and Immigration Services.
There have been concerns among Indians, as they await the processing of their Green Card, that the PERM system will become increasingly time-consuming and unpredictable. According to a recent Department of Labor notification, PERM takes about 8.5 months to process. Compounding the problem is the fact that the Department of Labor is migrating PERM to an online system that could lead to potential chaos.
“The PERM employment certification is an important part of the employment-based green card journey for many foreign nationals, including most Indian nationals on H-1B visas. The PERM exam is primarily a labor market test, and is often the first step on the road to Permanent residence in the United States based on employment.While the PERM process is paid for by the employer, it is directly supervised by the US Department of Labor, which must identify and confirm whether there are any able, willing, qualified, and available US workers to accept the job opportunity In the intended area. Employment, ”he says Vic Joel Managing partner at the Virginia-based law firm Goel & Anderson LLC.
DOL certification of a PERM application also certifies that hiring a foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed American workers. While the general time frame for Perpetual Fair Value (PERM) is 9 to 12 months with no further delays for Indian nationals; Joel says significant advance preparation is required before applying. “Long government processing times are likely to continue or worsen in the coming months. Employers and employees are advised to anticipate the possibility of delays and a rigorous process that emphasizes form and substance.”
The recent announcement from the Department of Labor that PERM is moving to an online system raises concerns for Indians holding H-1B visas in the US. “PERM employment certification, which is necessary for thousands of Indians eligible for green card petition under EB-2 and EB-3 categories, is a very rigorous, cumbersome and time-consuming process. DOL recently announced changes to Form ETA-9089 (part of the PERM process). ) and moving the process to the Foreign Employment Application Portal (FLAG) platform. These are significant changes in the preparation and submission of the application which is the basis for employment-based green cards,” says Mumbai immigration attorney Purvi Chauthani; Adding that it is not yet clear whether the results of the new system updates are positive or negative.
In accordance with recent changes, the Department of Labor has revised Form ETA 9089, “Application for Certificate of Permanent Employment,” to remove a key explanatory field on the form and to require more details about job requirements, work location, and qualifications of a sponsored employee. .
“The big change to the PERM process is the June 1, 2023 migration from the old portal used to prepare and submit PERM applications to a new system, FLAG, which is causing a lot of anxiety for potential immigrants, employers, and even lawyers. The Labor Department has indicated that it intends to complete the separation of all Cases filed through the old system before adjudication of cases in the FLAG system began.Thus, while the substantive rules and arbitration criteria have not changed, key elements of the form and data requirements have been revised, and it will be well until 2024 before we know how the DOL interprets The information you collect now,” says Joel. He believes this will add to the anxiety experienced by Indian applicants because PERM is a rigorous process and the impact of a drafting error or refusal could lead to significant delay or ineligibility for applicants nearing the end of their maximum stay in the H-1B or L-1 visa categories.
Phases of the PERM process

  • US employers are required to have a Department of Labor (DOL) approved work certificate before filing an immigration petition (green card) for a foreign worker with USCIS in most categories of EB-2 and EB-3
  • An application for employment certification must be submitted to the Department of Labor using ETA Form 9089
  • The United States Department of Labor must certify to USCIS that there are not enough American workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available to accept the job offered to the immigrant worker at the prevailing wage for that occupation in the intended work area, and to employ the alien. The worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similar US workers
  • If enough able, qualified, and willing applicants (U.S. citizen or permanent resident) are not found to fill a position through the recruitment process, the employer may file a PERM application.
  • According to the Department of Labor, a PERM application submitted electronically was expected to be decided in about 45-60 days unless the case was audited. However, the current processing time for unaudited PERM applications is around 90 days
  • If the case is selected by the Ministry of Labor for auditing, the employer must submit all required documents within 30 days
  • After the work certificate is approved, the immigration petition must be submitted to USCIS before the work certificate expires. The certificate has a validity period of 180 days and expires if it is not submitted to USCIS within this period.


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