PERM: The First Stage of the Employment Based Green Card Process

Employment Based Green Card Process: Perm stage

In the Law Offices of Tina Sharma, we work with many technology companies sponsoring their employees for US green cards.

The very first step in the employment-based green card process is called the Perm Process.

So what is the Perm Process?

There are very specific steps an employer must follow for this first stage of the green card process. The ultimate goal is to be able to file this on behalf of an employee or potential employee that the US company would like to sponsor for the green card process to allow that person to remain permanently in the US and to continue to work for this sponsoring employer.

In order to file the perm process for the employee, the employer must first be able to prove to the United States Department of Labor that the employer is not able to find a qualified available US worker, meaning US citizen or green card holder, to fill this position.

One of the first steps in the PERM process is filing for a wage determination with the US Department of Labor (DOL). To file this wage determination, the employer files a form with the Department Of Labor electronically online.

In this prevailing wage determination request, the employer completes all of the information about the job including the description, the job location, and the job requirements, then submits this to the DOL. Then, the Department of Labor will review all of the job details and provide the employer with the required wage for that particular position.

This process can take several months so it is often one of the first things we do when we get started on the employment-based green card process for an employer.

Once the wage determination is received from the Department of Labor, the employer must post the job for at least 10 consecutive business days at the place of employment.

Additional steps required to test the US labor market.

There are several different ways to test the US labor market. Some of the different steps that the employer can use include advertising in newspapers, college job fairs, radio and television ads, using employment agencies, online advertising using sites such as or other job search sites.

Another requirement is to have at least two Sunday newspaper ads done in a newspaper of general circulation for the job location area. These two Sunday newspaper ads do not have to be on consecutive Sundays.

All of these recruiting and testing of the labor market must be within 180 days before filing the perm case. Any of the steps done more than 180 days before the filing are considered stale recruiting and cannot be used to prove a shortage of US workers.

After all of these required steps are complete, the employer must wait at least thirty (30) days which is called the quiet period, during which time there is no testing of the labor market being done. When the quiet period is completed, the application can be filed either by mail or online through the secure United States Department of Labor electronic Perm site.

Once filed, the cases are currently taking around 4 months or so. When the certification is received from the Department of Labor, the employer can go onto the next step of the green card process which is the petition for immigrant worker using form I-140.

If you have any question about the employment-based green card process please do contact our office, we’ve helped many employers sponsor their employees, we’d be happy to help you. We can be reached at 202-329-6556 or by email at

Contact our office today.