Employment-Based Immigration, Permanent: Labor certification is a federally-required test of the U.S. labor market in the intended area and occupation of employment. For the employer to complete the labor certification process on behalf of a sponsored employee, the employer must demonstrate that no qualified and available workers, that are willing and able, can fulfill the position on a permanent, full-time basis, and that the permanent placement of the sponsored foreign national employee in that position will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers. The employer must follow the rules and regulations governing the Department of Labor’s Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) application process.
Some persons can receive permanent resident status based upon employment without first obtaining labor certification from the Department of Labor. Those persons file an immigrant visa petition directly with USCIS, providing evidence of their qualifications under one of the classifications including Extraordinary Ability, Outstanding Researchers, Multinational Managers/Executives, National Interest Waivers, Schedule A Cases, Physicians or Investors. Bypassing labor certification saves time and expense for both the employer and employee. Also, under limited circumstances, it is possible to obtain permanent resident status without either labor certification or an offer of employment. Those persons can immediately file an immigrant visa petition with USCIS. Provided the priority date for their green card preference category is current, they also may immediately pursue the last step of the green card process through USCIS (concurrently with the petition) or at a U.S. consulate abroad (after petition approval). Filing directly for an immigrant visa often saves substantial time and expense for the employer and the employee.