PERM + Audits: Waiting for work-based permanent residency

Perm, the Hair Kind

PERM stands for Program Electronic Review Management and does not refer to a kind of hairstyle.

PERM is a labor certification process used by the US Department of Labor to ensure that jobs aren’t being taken away from US citizens in the process of hiring foreign nationals. It is typically used when an employer is sponsoring a foreign national for permanent residency (“green card”) rather than a temporary work visa (such as an H1-B, L-1, E-3, TN, etcetera). And this is not to be confused with a Labor Condition Application (LCA) which is not used to acquire a permanent residency card. PERM is a relatively new system, put in place just in 2005.

Foreign Labor Certification Team

Very recently, one of the largest (if not the largest) business immigration firms in the world got “punished” by the US Department of Labor. ALL PERM applications from this firm shall be “audited” — ALL applications. The auditing process can delay applications up to a year and really create problems for employers and their potential hires. The firm in question is alleged to have meddled in the client’s hiring practices — like putting on the kibosh on hiring perfectly qualified US workers just to keep the process moving along. As a consequence, all of their PERM petitions are going to be audited. Not good.

To find out the name of the firm and more details, read the Department of Labor Press release here.

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