The recent government restrictions on H-1B has prompted more employers to consider directly helping F-1 college graduates in Optional Practical Training (OPT) apply for green cards. Due to the graduates generally having little or no practical work experience, businesses and immigration attorneys are helping the students apply for EB-2 and EB-3 visas.
The first step to applying for an EB-2 or EB-3 is to submit a Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) application to the Department of Labor (DOL) seeking work authorization. The purpose of PERM is to ensure that the American labor market cannot fill the job with American nationals. This leads to the PERM application process being long and complicated. Immigration attorneys work with their clients and employers work with their future employees to ensure that their applications meet the highest quality standards to satisfy the DOL. Without a successful PERM application, students will not be considered further for an EB-2 or EB-3.
PERM requires employers to take the following steps for an EB-2 or EB-3 position:
- Determine a position’s minimum requirements and job duties
- Research wage requirements for the position
- Determine and execute an extensive recruitment process
If the employer is unable to hire a qualified American national at the end of the recruitment process, it can submit ETA Form 9089 (Application for Permanent Employment Certification) to the DOL. The PERM process can take several months and can take longer if the application is reviewed by DOL to ensure compliance with PERM requirements. Reviews can be triggered by several issues, including:
- Recent layoffs by the employer
- Unqualified applicants
- Ineligible positions, such as not requiring a bachelor’s degree
- Personal relationship between the company’s executives and the applicant
If there are issues with the application that need to be reviewed, the DOL will notify the employer, which must respond within 30 days. If no response is provided, the application is considered abandoned. Reviews of PERM applications can take several months, extending the overall timetable to well over a year.
There are many ways for foreign nationals to legally work in the United States. Immigration attorneys recommend having more than one option if possible. Seeking an EB-2 or EB-3 visa is just one way to pursue a green card. The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth can help you determine if you may be eligible for other avenues. Call us today at 888-517-9888 to receive a free immigration consultation.