Most employers looking to sponsor a foreign employee for a work-based green card are required to file a program electronic review management labor certification, or PERM. If you’re planning on helping a new employee in this way, your certification campaign conveys to the department of labor (DOL) that you’re willing to pay your potential hire a fair salary and that you’re not taking away work from U.S. citizens.
Though these two demonstrations should be intuitive, fulfilling PERM advertising requirements in the Bay Area can be more challenging than you might think. Without previous experience, the foreign labor certification process can be costly, time consuming, and extremely stressful. Thankfully, you can greatly reduce your expenses and ease your stress by hiring an agency that specializes in help wanted advertising in the Bay Area. Even with the extra help, you as an employer should still understand the essentials of labor certification prior to beginning the process. Here are a few best practices to keep in mind.
Ensure Long-Term Validity
It’s important to make sure that the labor certification remains valid when your foreign employee receives their green card—keep in mind, this could be years from now. On the application for permanent employer certification, you must give the job title, duties, worksite location, and salary. You must also describe the more intricate details of the employee’s position, which should include any potential changes to their role as well as the estimated time it will take for them to receive their green card.
Green card wait times can vary greatly, depending on the country your foreign national employee is from. For example, an Indian national employee might have to wait up to 8 years to receive a green card while a Canadian national employee could receive their green card almost immediately after the labor certification is approved.
Take Job Duty Changes Seriously
As previously mentioned, the department of labor examines perm applications closely to determine whether the position you’re offering your foreign employee can be fulfilled by an American citizen. If your listed job duties require skills or expertise that only your potential hire possesses, you should have nothing to worry about. Be careful about changing the requirements of your open position—changed job duties will likely require a new application and the department of labor will need to review whether these new duties will be fulfilled substantially by your hire.
Know When You Need to Refile
Changes in job duties aren’t the only thing you’ll need to consider after successfully receiving a labor certification for your employee. If you give your foreign employee a promotion, a salary raise, or send them to a new workplace site, you run the risk of making your previously filed labor certification null and void. Under these changes, you’ll have to file all over again.
For example, if you successfully sponsor a foreign employee under a $60,000 annual salary agreement and later offer them a promotion with a new salary of $70,000, it can be argued that your initially advertised salary is no longer accurate. Though you may have offered this salary increase with good intentions, the department of labor may question whether your lower listed wage was meant to discourage U.S. citizens from applying to the position. You might be able to argue the validity of these changes, but it’s best to keep major changes to keep the favor of the DOL during your filing process.
Pay What You Promised
You must be able to show that you can afford to pay your foreign hire the full-time salary you’re offering. For large profitable companies, this is pretty simple. If you own a smaller business that goes through more drastic ups and downs, it is crucial to provide reliable proof at the beginning of your application. The wage you list on your application form must be equal to the department of labor’s determined fair wage for the job.
After submitting your 9089 form, you’ll need to continue to demonstrate that you are able to afford your employee until their green card is approved. Keep in mind, your ability to pay will come under more intensive analysis by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) after certification, during the green card application process. How can you prove your ability to pay your employee the wage you offered? Simple—pay them the correct amount (or more), on time, and keep a record of your transactions via pay statements or W-2s.
Any recent history of layoffs within the last six months leading up to your application could negatively affect the outcome of your labor certification. Your application could be affected if:
- A layoff occurred in the same worksite location you aim to place your foreign national employee
- Positions affected by the layoff are related to the position you are advertising for employment in the Bay Area
- The laid-off employee(s) is(are) a U.S. citizen, a refugee, or a permanent resident with a green card
It is possible to move forward with a labor certification after a layoff. If you’ve laid off U.S. workers in the same position that you’re hiring for within six months of a layoff, you must provide evidence that you have notified any laid-off workers that may be qualified for your new position and considered them seriously prior to initiating your campaign.
By keeping these practices in mind, you’ll ensure a smooth application process and a happy employee. Looking for more information on how to meet all your PERM advertising requirements? Contact your Bay Area immigration ads service today.
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