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The PERM Process

PERM is a system through which employers can sponsor a foreign national for the green card by submitting an application to the Department of Labor (DOL). In this application, employers attest that they have taken certain steps to recruit U.S. workers and that they have been unable to locate a qualified U.S. worker for the position. They also must confirm that they pay the “prevailing wage” to the beneficiary, once the green card is approved. Employers are responsible for documenting their compliance with the recruitment steps enumerated in the regulations.

PERM is very much the employer’s petition. While it may be filed on your behalf, the employer is responsible for performing all the steps to prepare the application and can withdraw the petition for any reason. In fact, under current DOL regulations, the employer also must pay all fees related to the preparation and filing of PERM, including legal fees. As a result, immigration counsel must be able to balance both your needs and the employer’s needs in preparing these applications. Our attorneys understand that PERM is a complicated and counterintuitive process. We regularly work with employers to guide them through this complex process, and to ensure that the petition is in all respects properly prepared.


The final stage of the permanent residence immigration process is either an I-485 application to adjust status to that of a permanent resident, which is filed with USCIS, or an application for an immigrant visa, which is adjudicated at the U.S. consulate in your home country. The articles in this section discuss the considerations in deciding between adjustment of status and consular immigrant visa processing, address the rights and responsibilities of individuals once they become lawful permanent residents of the U.S., and discuss the requirements for those interested in eventually naturalizing.