Special Handling Labor Certification

Labor Certification for Employment-Based Permanent Residence


The U. S. Department of Labor’s PERM (Program Electronic Review Management) System provides special procedures for “college and university teachers.” This page describes the process and provides general information about it. Nothing in it should be considered legal advice. Before acting on any information provided here, please seek the counsel of a qualified immigration attorney.

The standard process requires that employers to establish that no U.S. workers who applied met the minimum requirements for the job opportunity. The special handling process requires only that the employer establish that a competitive recruitment and selection process was undertaken and that the foreign national it intends to hire was more qualified than any of the U.S. workers who applied for the job.

The labor certification application must be filed within 18 months after the selection is made

Colleges and universities regularly undertake competitive recruitment and selection processes in hiring faculty members, so it is possible that an employer who hired a foreign national faculty member in H-1B or another nonimmigrant status, and who decides within 18 months of the selection of that faculty member, to seek permanent labor certification, will have already undertaken a proper recruitment process and will not need to re-recruit for the position for labor certification. If the initial recruitment efforts were not sufficient, or if more than 18 months have passed since the selection, the employer may re-recruit for the position, reoffer it to the foreign national (if she or he is again the most qualified applicant), and then proceed with the permanent labor certification application which must be filed within 18 months of this selection.

A proper recruitment campaign under PERM includes placement of a print advertisement – stating the job title, duties, and requirements – in one appropriate national professional journal, though the employer may consider the placement of additional advertisements to ensure that this requirement is met. The posting requirement applies to all labor certification applications, so a proper notice of the job opportunity must be provided to the bargaining representative, if any, or posted and published in any in-house media the employer normally uses for such notices.

The employer must document the competitive recruitment and selection process and retain these records for at least five years. The documentation must include, among other things, a statement by the employer’s official with hiring authority setting forth the total number of applicants for the opportunity and the job-related reasons why the foreign national is more qualified than any U.S. workers who applied. It must include a final report by the body making the recommendation to select the foreign national applicant. A copy of the advertisement in an appropriate national journal must be included, along with evidence of any other recruitment undertaken. And a written statement attesting to the “degree of the alien’s educational or professional qualifications and academic achievements” is required.

To discuss your employment immigration needs, contact the attorneys at Ware | Immigration for an initial consultation. Call 504-830-5900 or contact us online. We are located in Metairie and serve greater New Orleans, all of Louisiana, and the nation.