PERM / Labor Certification


The first step in nearly all employment-based, permanent residency cases is Labor Certification (LC). The goal of the LC process is to determine that the insufficiency of U.S. workers in the local area warrants the hiring of a foreign worker for the position. The local labor market is tested via advertising and other competitive recruitment. A detailed LC application is filed with the state labor agency. Under the “reduction in recruitment” (RIR) method, the recruitment often takes place prior to filing the LC. Eligibility for RIR is based upon the state agency’s policy, the type of job, how much recruitment has taken place, and other factors. In non-RIR cases the employer files the application first and the state agency issues advertising instructions. The employer must then interview applicants and provide a detailed “results of recruitment” letter. After LC approval the employer files an Immigrant petition with INS.