The Process of Acquiring a Green Card Through PERM - An Overview

by David H. Nachman, Esq., Ludka Zimovcak, Esq., Snehal Batra, Esq. and Samantha Chasworth, Esq.


The PERM Labor Certification is a process through which a foreign professional with an employment-based immigrant visa can acquire a green card to the United States. There are a total of 9 steps for acquiring a green card. The first part is PERM, then I-140 and the final step is the green card application. The following is an overview of the process.

Step 1: Clarify Job Duties and Communicate Minimum Requirements

The employer, employee, and attorney must establish crucial details about the job for which the employer is sponsoring the employee. These details include but are not limited to the following.

• Job title
• Job duties
• Experience requirements
• Minimum education
• Job location
• Number of supervised employees

Employers are expected to articulate job requirements based on the regulations by the Department of Labor (DOL) and realistic business practices.

Step 2: Obtain a Prevailing Wage Determination (PWD) Request from the DOL

An attorney will submit an online request for a PWD to the DOL to establish the prevailing wage for the job title in that specific location. The prevailing wage is the minimum amount that the employer must pay the foreign employee after they acquire their green card. It should be noted that the PWD does not have to be paid until the green card is granted by the USCIS and/or the DOS, as applicable.

Step 3: Testing the Market

The employer must perform a market test as per the DOL rules while the PWD request is pending to determine if there is a qualified, able, and willing US worker who applies for this specific job.

Step 4: Submit PERM to DOL

The attorney must file the (9089 Form) PERM application to the DOL.

Step 5: File I-140

The employer must submit the I-140 to the USCIS to demonstrate that it can pay the prevailing wage and that the employee has the necessary qualifications for the position. This will classify the employee as an Immigrant Worker, and it must be submitted to the USCIS with the approval notice of PERM Labor Certification.

Step 6: Wait for Priority Date to Change to Current

The visa bulletin offers current information on what factors can affect the duration of this waiting period.

Step 7: File I-485

The employee and their derivative family members (i.e., spouse and children) must file the green card application I-485 with the I-140.

Step 8: Attend the Appointment to Provide Biometrics

The employee must provide their biometrics during appointment that USCIS will schedule at a USCIS Application Support Center (ASC).

Step 9: Attend the Interview with a USCIS Officer

The employee must confirm to the USCIC officer interviewing him/her that the job offer is still available. They must also provide original immigration status documents, civil documents, and the previously completed medical exam on form I-693. These documents must be in a sealed envelope.


About The Author


David H. Nachman, Esq. is one of the Managing Attorneys at the Nachman Phulwani Zimovcak (NPZ) Law Group, P.C., a pre-eminent International Immigration and Nationality Law Firm dedicated to providing a wide array of business and family immigration law services for skilled U.S.-and Canada-bound workers. The Attorneys in our Law Firm assist clients with waivers, marriage cases, citizenship applications, I-130 sponsorship for family, etc.
If you have any questions about how the immigration and nationality laws in the United States may impact you or your family members or if you want to access additional information about the United States or Canadian immigration and nationality laws, please feel free to get in touch with the immigration and nationality lawyers at NPZ Law Group. You can send us an email at info@visaserve.com or you can call us at 201-670-0006 extension 104. In addition, we invite you to find more information on our website at www.visaserve.com


Ludka Zimovcak, Esq. is a Managing Attorney at NPZ Law Group, PC. Mrs. Zimovcak's passion for excellence in immigration law derives from her own family's first-hand immigration experiences. She is fully licensed to practice as an Attorney in Slovakia and New York


Snehal Batra, Esq. is Managing Attorney of our Raritan, NJ office at the Nachman Phulwani Zimovcak (NPZ) Law Group, P.C., a pre-eminent International Immigration and Nationality Law Firm dedicated to providing a wide array of business and family immigration law services for skilled U.S.-and Canada-bound workers. Ms. Batra is an Indian-American attorney with a passion for immigration law which derives from being an immigrant herself. Having been born in India and raised in New Jersey, Ms. Batra understands firsthand the many difficulties and challenges that immigrants commonly experience while engaged in the U.S. immigration process. As such, she is eager to help families, businesses and individual immigrants to realize the American dream.


Samantha Chasworth, Esq. is Counsel at the Nachman Phulwani Zimovcak (NPZ) Law Group, P.C., a pre-eminent International Immigration and Nationality Law Firm dedicated to providing a wide array of business and family immigration law services for skilled U.S.-and Canada-bound workers. Ms. Chasworth earned a Juris Doctorate (JD) from the St. John's University School of Law in Queens, New York, where she was an editor on the Journal of Civil Rights and Economic Development and participated in numerous immigration and family law clinics and internships including time at the US-Mexico Border at the Karnes County Civil Detention Center.


The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.