Green Card through the PERM process
Getting a green card through the PERM process can seem a little intimidating because of the number of things one must do to apply for a green card. However, the process is pretty simple if you know what to do. Here's what you have to do to get a "green card."
Step 1: Get yourself an attorney
Getting the right attorney is crucial as they can help file specific documents and communicate with the employer for a few copies. Since the whole process takes a while, it can be reassuring if you have an attorney to help you.
Step 2: Formulate job duties and minimum requirements
The second phase in the procedure is a series of emails between the attorney, the employer, and the employee. It is to iron out the finer points of the work for which the employee is sponsored. The latter includes the job title, obligations, minimum qualifications and experience requirements, work location, number of employees supervised, and other important information. The employer must articulate the employment requirements per DOL standards and business practices. When accepting the offer, employees must demonstrate that they met the job requirements. One must adequately document previous experience and education. Changes in job functions, minimal requirements, or future locations may necessitate restarting the procedure. Usually, the timing depends a lot on how quickly one can get all the needed information from everyone involved. Overall, this step can take 2-4 months.
Step 3: Request a prevailing wage determination (PWD) from the Department of Labor
Once you know what the job requirements are, you must send the Department of Labor an online PWD request (DOL). Based on the job activities, minimum criteria, and other details, the DOL will establish the prevailing rate for the occupation in the selected geographic location. If a collective bargaining agreement governs the position's wage, evidence is filed to DOL to demonstrate this. PWD establishes the minimum wage that a company must be ready to pay an employee when the employee becomes a legal permanent resident. At the moment, the Department of Labor puts out a prevailing wage determination every 6 to 8 months (up to 9 months for union positions).
Here is the official link to learn more about PWD: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/eta/foreign-labor/sitemap
Step 4: Carry out recruitment
When the request for the prevailing wage has been in the works for five (5) months, the ads will be put up to test the job market. For PERM purposes, this test of the job market must be done according to DOL rules. The recruitment stage takes at least two months. If a capable, willing, and qualified US worker applies, one must halt the process, wait at least six months, and then re-test the labor market, possibly with amended criteria
Step 5: Submit PERM to DOL
When the recruitment period is up, and no able, willing, or qualified US workers are left, one must prepare and file the (9089) PERM application with DOL. The PERM process takes about 5–6 months right now, but if the case is audited, it could take a lot longer. The issue is unlikely to be audited. The national audit rate is around 25%.
Based on what has happened so far, it seems likely that the Labor Certification stage (steps 1–4) will take at least a year.
Here is the official link to learn more about PERM process: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/eta/foreign-labor/programs/permanent
Step 6: File I-140
This phase is filing a petition with USCIS to be classified as an Immigrant Worker. The employer must show that the business has enough money to pay the going rate to the employee. The individual must demonstrate that they meet all of the employment requirements. One must submit this petition along with the approval notification for Labor Certification, which is only valid for 180 days. We usually prepare the I-140 petition ahead of time so that it is ready to file as soon as the PERM is certified. I-140 processing currently takes 6-8 months. The USCIS offers "premium processing," which reduces the initial processing period to around two weeks.
Here is the official link to learn more about I-140 filing process: https://www.uscis.gov/i-140
Step 7: Wait for a priority date to become current
Depending on the type of green card and the country of chargeability, immigrant visa numbers may not be available right away. If the priority date is current when the PERM is approved, one might be able to proceed to the next stage right away and file the I-485 application alongside the I-140. If the I-140 immigrant visa petition is approved, and the priority date is not within three months of the most recent visa bulletin, we can provide monitoring services. Monitoring means helping with the monthly review of visa eligibility in the right category, keeping an eye on new laws and regulations at the DOL and USCIS, gathering important information and documents to figure out if a person is eligible for an adjustment of status, and is available to answer questions during the waiting period.
Step 8: File I-485
I-485 is a personal green card application filed by the employee identified in the I-140 petition and their dependent family members (spouse and children). It can be filed before or after the I-140 application as long as the priority date is still valid. The application for adjustment of status focuses on the employee's eligibility to earn a green card (e.g., absence of criminal history or other grounds of inadmissibility). A travel/work permission card that one can utilize while I-485 is pending must be requested as part of the adjustment of the status application. After submitting, the work and travel card typically arrive in 4-5 months. An employee no longer requires an H-1B at that moment. However, they may continue to utilize it until their green card is issued.
Here is the official link to learn more about I-485 filing process: https://www.uscis.gov/i-485
Step 9: Attend a biometrics appointment
After we apply, the applicant should receive a biometrics appointment notice within 1-2 months. It will take place at the USCIS location nearest to your home.
Step 10: Prepare for and attend an interview with the USCIS officer
One will receive approval, a request for evidence, or an interview notification approximately 12 months after submitting the papers. An immigration officer will assess the employee's green card application and all underlying immigration papers during I-140 processing. At the time of the interview, the employee must confirm that the job offer is still available and present all original civil and immigration status documents (H1B approvals, visa stamps, SEVIS documents). In a sealed envelope, they must also provide a previously completed medical exam on form I-693. If the employee is chosen for an interview, we will prepare them and, if necessary, accompany them to the discussion.
So, there you go! These ten steps will get you your green card. It might take a while, but don't let time intimidate you. If you follow these steps blindly, you'll reach the end goal quickly and smoothly.