Employers in New Jersey and around the country are not always able to find job applicants with the skills and qualifications required to fill highly technical positions. H1-B, EB-2 and other employment-based allow employers to recruit qualified foreign workers to fill these positions, but companies that wish to hire foreign workers cannot apply for these visas until they have completed the U.S. Department of Labor’s Permanent Labor Certification Program.
The PERM certification process is administered by the DOL’s Employment and Training Administration, and it is designed to ensure that foreign workers are not being issued business immigration visas to fill positions that could be filled by Americans. During the certification process, the ETA determines if hiring foreign workers to fill specialized positions would have a detrimental impact on wages and working conditions in America. To begin the PERM certification process, employers must take concrete steps to find workers in their local job markets to fill their open positions.
Before employers can complete and submit the necessary Permanent Employment Certification paperwork, they must list their job openings with a State Workforce Agency at a salary that is at least equal to the prevailing wage in their local job markets. They must then obtain a Prevailing Wage Determination from the SWA. Employers must also advertise the vacancy they hope to fill with a foreign worker in local newspapers. If employers are hoping to fill a professional position, they must advertise the opening in at least two Sunday editions of a local newspaper.
Protecting American jobs and boosting the economy
Visas like the H1-B and EB-2 were introduced to boost the economy and make sure that American companies in rapidly growing industries remain competitive. The PERM certification process was put into place to make sure that these employment-based visa programs are not abused.