The Employer Sponsored Green Card has three (3) steps. Our office divides them into two (2) processes – The PERM Labor Certification & I-140 (commonly referred to as EGC) and the Adjustment of Status to Lawful U.S. Permanent Resident (commonly referred to as AOS).
When U.S. employers sponsor applicants for certain green cards, regulations of the Employment and Training Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor require the employers to first try to recruit U.S. workers for the position(s) at issue in the specific geographical area where the position(s) is to be performed. The purpose of the recruitment is to test the U.S. labor market to determine whether there is a fully-qualified U.S. worker(s) interested in the position the U.S. employer is offering to the foreign national, before issuance of a green card to that foreign national.
This recruitment process is known as PERM labor certification, which is short for Labor Certification for the Permanent Employment of Aliens in the United States.
It should be noted that this a ‘test’ of the market, and if a fully-qualified U.S. worker does respond to the PERM Recruitment efforts of the sponsoring U.S. employer, the U.S. employer is not required to hire the fully-qualify U.S. worker; i.e. the foreign national that may be working on a temporary basis (H-1B, L-1B, or TN) for the sponsoring U.S. employer will not lose their position. What it does mean is, if a fully-qualified U.S. worker does respond to the recruitment efforts the PERM process ends, as the test of the U.S. labor market shows that there is not a shortage of U.S. workers for that occupation in that geographical area, and therefore a green card should not be issued to a foreign national for the position offered by the U.S. sponsoring employer.
Among the recruitment options, PERM requires employers to post the green card with the appropriate state job bank, twice on two (2) different Sundays, internally (Notice of Filing), and on the employer’s intranet, if applicable. If the position is for a professional position (one that requires, at a minimum, a Bachelor’s degree in a specific field), then the U.S. sponsoring employer must perform three (3) additional recruitment steps. In most cases, the PERM process does not require employers to disclose the salary(ies) for the position(s) in the public recruitment but it must be included in the internal and intranet postings (again, if applicable), and some state job bank postings.
It is recommended that you consult with a qualified Immigration Attorney that specializes in Business Immigration to assist with the EGC process, as this process is rife with costly (in time and money) pitfalls, changing adjudicative policies, and nuances that are frustratingly divergent from the U.S. employer’s usual and customary recruitment efforts.
You can request our assistance by providing the information at the bottom of this post and click “Get Help Now”. Once we receive the EGC Retainer Agreement from the sponsoring U.S. employer we will issue the invoice for the Attorney Fee deposit in order to begin the first step of the process – Permanent Labor Certification.
We will share a folder with the U.S. sponsoring employer through our secure portal called Clio which will contain many informative documents for the employer to review. The EGC process can be very complicated with nuances that are not typical for the usual recruitment process. It is imperative that the employer be aware of the distinctions between the Immigration Law recruitment process and their typical recruitment process. Once our office receives the Employer Questionnaire and the Foreign National beneficiary completes their Questionnaire, we will email the employer a document for review that encapsulates all the necessary details about the position being offered, among other things.
Once the document is approved, we will prepare the Prevailing Wage Request (PWR) for submission to the Department of Labor. The DOL currently takes approximately 210 days to issue a Prevailing Wage Determination (PWD).
Once the PWD has been received, we can now begin the Recruitment process; we call this the Recruitment Period. The Recruitment process is intended to show the U.S. government that there are no fully-qualified U.S. workers available to accept the job opportunity in the area of intended employment, therefore a green card should be issued to the foreign national worker being sponsored by the U.S. employer. We will begin the Recruitment Period by requesting a PERM Ad Quote (costs range from $1,500 to $4,500) from a PERM Ad Agency, which we will then share with the U.S. employer to make a payment for the advertisements. Once the ad agency receives the payment, we release the advertisements. Concurrently we will prepare and share a Notice of Filing (NOF) with the U.S. sponsoring employer. This is an internal posting that notifies employees of the U.S. sponsoring employer, a Labor Certification will be filed for the PERM position being offered.
Once we receive confirmation from the U.S. sponsoring employer that the NOF has been posted, we provide detailed instructions and supporting documentation on how to conduct the recruitment, and how to create a PERM account and attorney sub account; this will allow our office to prepare the PERM application.
Once all the advertisements have ended, and we received copies of the ads from the PERM Ad agency, we can prepare the PERM application for the U.S. sponsoring employer to review and approve for filing with the DOL. It will then take approximately 10 months to receive a PERM approval.
While the PERM is pending, we will prepare the PERM audit file documents for your employer’s review and signature. These documents are typically required in response to a PERM Audit. Our office will create an archive of these documents for the U.S. sponsoring employer to keep in case the DOL issues an audit
Once the 10 months have passed, we should receive PERM approval from the DOL. An invoice will be shared with your employer once the PERM is approved.
We will email your employer a list of questions that will need to be answered in order to prepare the I-140 forms. We will also request the necessary financial documentation from the foreign national and the U.S. sponsoring employer.
Once we receive the signed forms and USCIS filing fee (currently $700.00), we will create an archive of the I-140 filing for the U.S. sponsoring employer’s review and authorization for filing. The I-140 can take approximately 4 – 6 months (sometimes longer) to be adjudicated. Either the U.S. sponsoring employer or the foreign national can pay for Premium Processing (currently $2500) in order to have the I-140 adjudicated within 15-calendar days. This means USCIS will process your case within 15 days.
While the I-140 is pending we will receive a receipt notice, which confirms USCIS received your petition. When the I-140 is approved, we will receive the I-140 approval notice from USCIS, and we will send the final invoice to your employer. This would end the two (2) parts of the three-part Employer Sponsored Green Card.
Again, if you would like our assistance with this matter, please complete the Contact Us form.
 Our attorney fee can be found here and it is divided into three (3) payments – a deposit to begin the EGC case, a balance upon approval of the PERM, and a final balance upon approval of the I-140.
 Review of the labor certification application may lead to an audit of the application, or the application may be selected randomly for audit and quality control purposes. See 20 CFR 656.20. You must retain all application information for five (5) years from the date of filing. See 20 CFR 656.10(f).
 If the foreign national has a child(ren) that are near the age of 21, it might be best NOT to expedite the I-140 process. Our office can advise as to best practices depending on the particular circumstances of the foreign national and their family.