What is PERM?
Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) is a system used for obtaining Labor Certification, and it is the first step for certain foreign nationals in obtaining an employment-based immigration visas. The PERM labor Certification process reflects Congress's effort to simultaneously protect U.S. workers from unfair competition and protect U.S. employers from excessive government interference.
What is the PERM to Green Card process?
The overall PERM-to-Green Card process requires the following three steps:
PERM Application at Department of Labor (DOL): the PERM labor certification process is typically the most important step in the overall process. Due to DOL's expertise in labor issues, the Congress has assigned this step to them.
I-140 Petition at USCIS: The I-140 petition is not the green card application itself, but just a preliminary petition to establish which green card line the foreign national can use to obtain the green card.
I-485 Application at USCIS (or Consular Processing at the U.S. Department of State): The I-485 application is the green card application itself, so Congress assigned it to USCIS. Alternatively, if the foreign national applies for a green card while outside the United States, the foreign national must apply through consular process, in which case DOS will have jurisdiction instead of USCIS.
What are the main things the Federal agencies look for at each major step?
PERM Application at DOL:
Minimally qualified U.S. worker might apply for the position.
DOL might issue an audit to determine whether the U.S. employer has made Substantive or Procedural mistakes with respect to the "minimum qualifications" test and its implementation.
I-140 Petition at USCIS:
USCIS has to determine whether the employee can pass the "minimum qualifications" test.
USCIS also has to determine whether the employer has enough funds to pay the DOL-required salary for this job.
I-485 Application at USCIS (or Consular Processing at DOS):
USCIS/DOS will seek evidence to prove that the job continues to exist.
USCIS/DOS will exam if the employee is admissible under Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
What is the PERM-to-Green Card Processing Time?
The PERM-to-Green Card processing time is divided into three time periods: the processing time for PERM Application, the processing time for I-140 Petition, and the processing time for I-485 Application.
PERM application processing time: approximate 4-6 months based on DOL's caseload.
I-140 petition processing time: approximate 9 Months to 13 Months dependent on the petition type and USCIS's caseload.
I-485 application processing time: approximate 7.5 Months to 13 Months dependent on the application type and USCIS's caseload. (Note: I-485 and I-140 may be filed simultaneously).
What are the application fees?
No government filing fee for the PERM petition.
Form I-140 Filing Fees: $700
Form I-485 Adjustment of Status including Form I-131 Application for Travel Document and I-765 Application for Employment Authorization: $1,225 per person greater than 14 years old; $750 per person under 14 years old
Expert Opinion Letter: Approximate $600-$900
Academic Evaluation: Approximate $300-500
Translation: Approximate $500-$800
Medical Exam: Approximate $450-$800
What services will The Deng Law Firm provide?
We will provide you with a completed document list for all of the documentation needed for PERM-to-Green Card.
We will help you prepare and organize the documentation.
We will provide clear answers to any questions you may have for your petition.
We will help you edit your current Resume.
We will help you sort out the documents need to be translated.
We will help guide you to complete Academic Evaluation and Expert Opinion Letter drafting.
We will create a questionnaire for you to send to your supporting person to gather facts for the Supporting Letters.
We will draft 3 Supporting Letters for your petition.
We will analyze your credentials and contributions in your field, prepare a legal argument, emphasize your expertise, and draft a Petition Letter.
We will help you to go through PERM application process, and file all the necessary documents and forms for the process.
We will complete and file Form I-140, and any other forms and services you purchased.
We will help you respond to USCIS questions and prepare you for your in-person green card interview.