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PERM Labor (process of obtaining permanent residency through employment):

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There are several steps involved in sponsoring an employee for legal permanent residence. The Houston Immigration Lawyers at Garg & Associates are experts and are ready to assist you. The first step is obtaining labor certification through the Department of Labor. The labor certification process has recently been amended, as of March 2005, and a new system has been put in place in an effort to make to process more efficient. The labor certification process is a necessary step in an effort for a person to become a permanent resident through employment. The new labor certification process takes approximately 60 days assuming the case is not audited. Please note that there is no guarantee that the process will be completed within this time frame. The purpose of the labor certification process is to ensure that a there is a shortage of qualified US workers prior to allowing a foreigner or alien to fill the position. It is generally the policy of the United States to protect its citizens and its workers. It is therefore against public policy to allow foreign workers to enter the United States and work in a position that an otherwise qualified US worker could fill. Some common considerations involved in the labor certification process are the wages paid (the prevailing wage or common wage), experience level, education, and potential special requirements for filling the position such as language.

As part of labor certification process, which is essentially used to evaluate and ensure that the sponsoring company's recruitment efforts are compliant, a company must used several different methods and forms of recruitment months before filing the actual application for labor certification. The Houston Immigration attorneys at Garg & Associates can assist you in ensuring the recruitment efforts comply. For a professions position, there are four requirements, which are part of the process, they include:

  1. Placing an advertisement in a major newspaper for two Sundays;
  2. Placing a job notice at the location of the job's position for 10 consecutive business days;
  3. Listing the job with the specific states commission charged with workforce regulation for 30 days;
  4. Obtaining prevailing wage determination, as discussed above.

Additionally, the sponsoring company must also complete three of the following dealing specifically with recruitment:

  • Participating in a job fair;
  • Posting the position on the employer's website;
  • Use of a job search website other than the employer's;
  • On-campus recruiting;
  • Recruitment through trade or professional organizations;
  • Use of private employment firms;
  • Use of an employee referral program with incentives;
  • Posting notice of the job opening at a campus placement office;
  • Advertisement in local and ethnic newspapers; or
  • Radio and television advertisements.

After all of these initial steps referenced above have been completed, the Houston Immigration Attorneys at Garg & Associates can electronically file the application for labor certification. Once approved, a Visa Petition (I-140) must be filed with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. The purpose behind filing the Visa Petition is essentially to prove several things to the Immigration and Naturalization Service. They include: ensuring the job has been certified, ensuring the employee meets all the requirements listed on the labor certification, and ensuring that the company pays the proper wage. The Visa Petition will also determine under which preference the employees are classified. The categories are second preference immigrant (a person with a master's degree or more) and third preference immigrant (a person with a master's degree or less). Depending on the preference or level, it can be determinative of how long it may take to immigrate to the US.

Just like the labor certification process, the Visa Petition process also requires some documentation, although not as intense as the labor certification process. The purpose of this documentation is to ensure that the employer has the ability to pay the employee the prevailing wage. In order to prove their ability to pay, documentation such as tax returns, accounting ledgers, and/or annual reports may be used. In addition to proving ability to pay, a company will also be asked to produce confirmation of the employee's qualification and educational background such as a copy of the degree, transcripts, references from previous employers and/or a resume.

At the same time the I-140 is pending approval, the Application of Permanent Residence can be filed. This is basically the last stage before a Green Card be granted. It is important to understand that there are only a specific number of immigrant visas available for each preference category and once the "quota" is met. No more will be issued during that calendar year. Once the quota is met, all other application filed afterwards will become part of the backlog. The date the USCIS receives the petition will become the priority date for processing purposes.

During the process or application period to become a permanent resident, there are a number of different circumstances and factors INS will be interested in such as political affiliations, arrests or convictions, and whether or not the person has ever been out of status or in violation of any US immigration policy. In some circumstances, an in person interview may be required, while in other circumstances, it may not. The Houston Immigration Attorneys at Garg & Associates are ready to assist you today in compiling all the information necessary and completing all the necessary paperwork in the PERM process. Contact Garg & Associates today!

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