What Role Does the Bureau of Labor Statistics Play in the PERM Process?


The road to a green card can seem never-ending. For those looking to obtain a green card based on employment status, it is generally required that their employer obtain a PERM Labor Certification for them as part of the process. The PERM process in and of itself can be overwhelming and involves very specific requirements that must be fulfilled in order for the Labor Certification to be granted.

Left to right: Late Michael Phulwani, David Nachman, Ludka Zimovcak, Snehal Batra

One of the key steps in the PERM process is obtaining the prevailing wage which is the amount that you should be paid for your proposed future employment. Determining the prevailing wage is a critical step in the PERM labor certification process and the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, plays a central role in its calculation.

What Role Does the Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, play in the PERM Labor Certification Process?

In order to be granted a PERM Labor Certification, the prevailing wage for the applicant seeking a green card based on employment status must be obtained. A request for a prevailing wage determination must be submitted directly to the Department of Labor (DOL) using form ETA 9141. The purpose of the prevailing wage determination is said to be in place in order to protect foreign workers from being exploited, earning lower wages in the hopes that they can obtain a U.S. green card. On the other side of things, U.S. citizens may lose out on jobs as foreign workers would take the same job for less pay. As stated in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), the presence of foreign workers in the U.S. cannot come to the detriment of U.S. citizens. This is why the prevailing wage determination is a required step in the PERM process.

The DOL states that the prevailing wage is the average wage that is paid to those working in similar employment, in a specified occupation, and in the same area of intended employment. In order to calculate or to “Strike” the prevailing wage, DOL accesses its Online Wage Library, which uses data gathered through the Occupational Employment Statistics (“OES”) survey. The goal is to find a position that matches that of the green card applicant as closely as possible based on factors such as the geographic location of the job, required skill set, education level, and experience level of the job, as well as the level of supervision required of the job.

In order for the employer to be successful in completing the PERM process, it must be shown that the green card applicant will be paid the Federally – Mandated prevailing wage. Without this, the PERM Labor Certification will not be issued.

Immigration Law Attorneys

If you should have any questions or need more information about the ways in which the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Laws may impact you, your family, your friends or your colleagues, please contact the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers at the NPZ Law Group – VISASERVE – U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers by e-mailing us at info@visaserve.com or by calling us at 201-670-0006 (x104). You can also visit our Law Firm’s website at www.visaserve.com



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