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Labor Certification – PERM

Labor certification is the first step to obtaining permanent resident status through the employment-based immigration process.



Labor certification is the first step to obtaining permanent resident status through the employment-based immigration process. An approved labor certification (LC) by Employment and Training Administration (ETA) of the Department of Labor (DOL) verifies that:

  • There are no U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified to accept the job;

  • At the prevailing wage for the particular position;

  • In the geographic area of intended employment, and

  • Hiring a foreign worker will not have adverse effects on the wages or working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.

The Labor Certification process operates under a program called PERM (Program Electronic Review Management) in which employers must electronically file ETA Form 9089.


It is up to the employer to conduct certain recruitment efforts which must include:

  1. Two professional print advertisements;

  2. A job order from the SWA (State Workforce Agency) for 30 days or more;

  3. An on-site job posting for 10 consecutive business days;

  4. For professional occupations, at least three additional recruitment methods from the following must be used within 30 days of filing for PERM:

- Employer’s website,

- Job posting website other than employer’s,

- Job fairs,

- Headhunter agencies,

- Employee referral program,

- On-campus recruiting,

- Campus placement office,

- Local newspapers,

- Trade or professional journals,

- Radio or TV ads.



All recruitment must take place within the 30 – 180 day time frame prior to filing a PERM application.

All advertisements need to include a description of the vacancy, the employer name, geographic location, and contact information. Any information regarding minimum education and work experience requirements must also be provided on the ETA Form 9098.

Once approved, labor certifications are valid for a period of 180 calendar days. Current PERM processing times vary.




This summary is not intended to be a legal consultation and intended to be a general description. A legal consultation is necessary before any action is taken. Please call Chicago Law Group (847) 579-9989.

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